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Super Bowl Is Just the Ticket for Stamford Nun

STAMFORD, Conn. — If you wanted tickets to Sunday's Super Bowl, you always could have emailed Giants President John Mara and asked, just as Sister Carol Ann Nawracaj did. But then Nawracaj, the head of Stamford’s Villa Maria School , is an honorary Giants coach — and the team's good luck charm.

Her relationship with the Giants dates to the late '70s, when the Giants trained at Fairfield University. Nawracaj, who was taking courses there at the time, instantly hit it off with then- Head Coach Ray Perkins and the other coaches and players. She received tickets to several games from the coach and was “hired” in 1981 after he realized they won every game she attended.

After being named an honorary coach, she remained close with the Giants, speaking to the players before games and sending cards and other gifts over the years. One of her most memorable creations was a 4-foot model rainbow that the team put together, piece by piece, until it won Super Bowl XXI over the Denver Broncos. Since then, rainbows have appeared at the two other Super Bowls the Giants have won, and Nawracaj says she has the pictures to prove it.

“I think it’s supposed to rain in Indianapolis on Sunday,” she said, hopeful the good luck sign would appear again.

Sister Nawracaj said she never expected to have such a long relationship with a professional football team, explaining it took her a few years just to learn the rules of the game. But for her, it was more about the relationships, some of which, such as her friendship with New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick , have lasted to this day.

“It’s more than just football on Sunday afternoons, it’s friendship,” she said, adding that she wishes the Patriots and Belichek success, except, that is, when they're playing the Giants. She admits, however, that former New England offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss asked her to adopt the Patriots as her AFC team.

When asked about Sunday’s big game, Nawracaj begins dissecting the two teams like a television analyst: Each team has a great coach and high-powered offense, she says, expecting a back-and-forth contest with many lead changes. Although she shares  thoughts about the teams and the game, she won’t predict the final score of Super Bowl XLVI .

“As long as the Giants have the lead at the end,” she said.

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