The other day, in a discussion with Joe Fortunato from Blueshirt Banter, he brought up the point of how the Yankees save New York City sports from being a miserable sports town. And he’s right.
Though it’s impossible to think about New York City sports without thinking of the Yankees, the most powerful team in sports, let’s just take a run at it. Take a look at the NYC sports scene, boiling it down to the simplest of simple: Championships.
Pulling the Yankees out of “New York” leaves six major sports teams (we’re going to include the Giants and Jets, even though they play in NJ, because - well - yeah):
In the last 20 years, these six teams have won only three championships – Giants in ‘90 and ‘07 and Rangers in ‘94.
That’s just sad. Over the last 20 years, the Yankees have won five championships on their own – almost double what the six other teams have done combined. Is it just a bad run for those six teams? It’s hard for me to believe that six teams in four different sports are all struggling this mightily, but I can’t just chalk it up to bad luck. We know the plights of the Wilpons, Dolans, etc., but they haven’t owned these teams forever.
In the last 50 years, the six teams listed above have won 12 combined championships – Mets in ‘69 and ‘86, Giants in ‘86, ‘90 and ‘07, Knicks in ‘70 and ‘73, Rangers in ‘94 and Islanders with their run of four straight from ‘80-‘83. In the last 50 years, the Yankees have won nine World Series on their own.
What stings the most is the recent struggles of most of these teams. We all know the plight of Mets fans lately, but the Knicks and Islanders rank right down there in the categories of ownership, GMs, managerial mishaps and the like. The Giants and Jets have enjoyed some recent success in getting to the playoffs, but only the Giants have tasted the sweetest victory in the last decade.
And soon, the Nets will join the ranks of NYC sports teams. They will improve over this past season because I just don’t think they could play this poorly again. Right?
It’s hard to imagine NYC sports without the Yankees, but if they weren’t around, this would be one very, very sad sports town.
Now I have to go take a scalding hot shower and scrub myself until I’m raw. That was a terrible article to have to write. It pained me.