Mike Drop: New York Sports Suck

Some cities celebrate championship victories with a parade.

Some cities get excited about different levels of success and appreciate being in the championship picture.

What does New York celebrate? Firing their coaches, firing management, getting high draft picks, and signing high priced free agents for no value.

Quick, off the top of your head, what’s the best thing that’s happened to the Knicks in the last 5-10 years? I bet you the answer is “they fired XX”.

What’s the best thing the Giants have done the last few years – Fire McAdoo? Fire Shurmur? Take your pick!

What’s the one thing Jets fans are united on more than anything – they want to fire Adam Gase.

You see the trend?

We, New York City, do not celebrate success like other cities do.

Boston has at least 1 parade every year. Kansas City has had 2 parades in the last 5 years. Washington DC has had a parade each of the last 2. 

While fans in those cities get drunk and take pictures of trophies, New Yorkers celebrate firing execs, signing free agents and benching talent. 

Times have changed in the Big Apple.


NBA

Knicks

Knicks fans have two days a year to look forward to – the day a coach or exec finally gets fired and the Draft Lottery. Two issues are the draft lottery has never worked in the Knicks’ favor and they almost always screw up the pick. Firing people is great, except the usually hire someone worse and the cycle of rooting for a firing continues.

Here are the top 5 best things that have happened to the Knicks in the last 20 years

  • Fired Isaiah Thomas
  • Fired Phil Jackson
  • Fired Steve Mills
  • Fired Derek Fisher
  • Fired Kurt Rambis

Make an argument that I am wrong. You could tell me that the Knicks acquiring Carmelo Anthony was a great thing. But my counter would be 1) look at how it ended and 2) look at what the Knicks had to sacrifice to get him (Danilo Gallinari, Gordon Hayward, Jamal Murray).

Tell me drafting Kristaps Porzingis was a good thing. My counter would be – Dennis Smith Jr.

Getting the #3 pick in 2019 in the draft lottery was great and I believe RJ Barrett will be a star. The problem? Maybe he WILL be a star one day, but Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are stars today.

Do you see a theme here? This is what we do, as fans. We suffer from horrible player personnel decisions and root for coaches and executives to be fired. Firing someone has become more meaningful than winning basketball games. Do you remember where you were the afternoon that Steve Mills was fired? Of course, you do, because it was a major moment. Do you remember that time the Knicks beat the Heat in 2020? It was a huge win, probably the biggest of the season. But I bet firing Mills was more exciting than a random win, during another lost season on a Sunday night.

Again, tell me I’m wrong…

Brooklyn Nets

Nets have had significantly more success than the Knicks since moving to Brooklyn in 2012. They have made the playoffs in 4 out of 7 seasons and have been able to acquire the star power that the Knicks have lacked.

While the Knicks have spent their recent summers acquiring guys like Andrea Bargnani, Julius Randle, Joakim Noah, Robin Lopez and countless others, the Nets have gone out and acquired guys like Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant. Those last two are note working because Kyrie and Durant are the guys that Knicks were “supposed to” sign.

So the Nets make big splashes and try to take attention and headlines away from the Knicks. How has that worked out? Acquiring Pierce and Garnett was worth 1 playoff series victory and essentially cost them Jayson Tatum. This season, Durant and Kyrie have battled injuries and will conclude year 1 of the new era with 20 combined games played.

Here’s the biggest problem with the Nets – they could win 15 games in a row and be in first place and you know what the story would be in NYC? Knicks lose by 25 last night. Knicks will always be the #1 story in New York and even on a national level, despite the Nets’ star power and success.

The Knicks’ failure will always trump the Nets success and THAT, in itself, is failure for the Nets.

Unlike the Knicks, the Nets don’t fire people. They take action and make big moves. They just fail to capitalize on those moves.

(Kyrie/Durant very well could win 2-3 championships, but right now the moves aren’t working).


MLB

Mets

Mets have some great players on their roster. Pete Alonso, Jacob deGrom, plus Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard. They don’t lack talent. They just lack positive memories.

Sure, the World Series run in 2015 was AWESOME! I’ll never forget that. But here’s the thing…

  • They had a lead in 3 of the 5 games and blew them all.
  • Daniel Murphy was on another planet, with his historic streak of 6 straight playoff games with a homerun, and then was not re-signed.
  • David Wright FINALLY got his moment and seemed rejuvenated – but played only 39 games before calling it a career

Those are the takeaways from the World Series. Not the success, but the failures.

Want more failures? 2006, 2007, 2008. All epic. Not a good epic, but the worst kind of epic. Say good-bye to Shea Stadium? Lost. Say hello to CitiField? Lost.

Mentioned David Wright earlier….he is my all-time favorite baseball player, and a legendary Met. But he missed way too many games due to injury. Do you remember the clutch homeruns in Philly and DC? Or do you remember the games he missed more? Yeah, me too…

Yankees

It’s been 10 years since they Yankees have won, or even played for the World Series. Compared to the teams listed above, that’s laughable. Nets have never won, Knicks haven’t won since 1973, Mets haven’t won since 1986. So to say “it’s been 10 years” is certainly laughable.

But it’s also a real problem. Because the Yankees continue to roll out one of the better teams every year, especially the last two years. In 2017, Yankees lost the ALCS to the Houston Astros, who went on to win the World Series. It was later found out that the Astros CHEATED.

One year later, Yankees lost in the NLDS to their rival Red Sox, who went on to win the World Series. Allegedly, the Red Sox ran a similar cheating scam that the Astros did.

Yankees are nothing like the other teams on this list. Nets make big moves, Knicks root for firing coaches, Mets fail every chance they get. But the Yankees? They lost because other teams cheated. Ouch.

Bottom line for the Yankees – they are judged on championships, not wins. Yankees are not a team that says, “oh well, we had 100 games and had a good season”. No, a good season is winning the World Series. That’s the expectations in the Bronx and anything less is a failure, meaning the last 10 years, despite modest levels of success for most franchises, have been a failure.


NFL

Giants

My favorite stat for the Giants – 1993 is the last time they won a playoff game in a year where they did not advance to the Super Bowl. They lost the Super Bowl in 2000 and won it in 2007 and 2012. Beyond that, success has been pretty limited.

That Super Bowl XLVI victory in 2012 is their last playoff win and they have only made it to the playoffs one time since (2016). Giants fans have spent the last couple of years rooting for the team to fire head coaches Bob McAdoo and Pat Shurmur, while waiting out the final years of the Eli Manning era.

Jets

Jets fans couldn’t wait to get rid of Rex Ryan. They got Todd Bowles.

Jets fans couldn’t wait to get rid of Todd Bowles. They got Adam Gase.

At least the Giants have two Super Bowls since 2007 and three appearances since 2000. Jets last Super Bowl appearance was 1968 and it’s been over 50 years since they won. That’s 50 years of misery.

And 10 years of recent misery. The Jets have the NFL’s third longest active playoff appearance drought, having not made it since 2010.

Jets are a lot like the Nets in the sense that, when they can, they go for the big splashes. Like last off-season, when they signed LeVeon Bell, who used to be among the league’s best. Bell went on to have the worst statistical season of his career (minus an injury-shortened 2015).


NHL

I am not a hockey guy, so I really am not qualified to write about hockey, but here’s a couple of thoughts.

Rangers

Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994 and finally returned in 2014, losing to the LA Kings. That year was the only time legendary goalie Henrik Lundqvist made the Stanley Cup. Given how great his career has been, and how good the Rangers were for most of the past decade, they feel like a failure.

Rangers made the playoffs every year from 2010-2017, losing in the Cup once, Eastern Conference Finals twice, and second round twice.

Islanders

Islanders are probably the least recognizable hockey team in NYC and do they even have a home? They were moved out of Nassau Coliseum into Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It is a horrible venue for hockey (I’ve been there). Now they split time between Long Island and Brooklyn. As a result of the split time, it cost them their best player, John Tavares, who left as a free agent after the 2018 season. The problem is, I feel like if you have two homes, you don’t have one. Soon, they will spend 100% of their time in Belmont. But will that drum up interest? 

Devils

Since 2012, Devils have made the playoffs once, losing 4-1. Devils have a lot of success in the Stanley Cup, way more than the Rangers or Islanders, but their last win came in 2003 and they lost in 2012.


Let’s summarize the championship scene in New York City

  • Rangers haven’t won since the ’90s and wasted the prime of an all-time great goalie.
  • Mets haven’t won since the ’80s and have wasted multiple primes.
  • Islaners haven’t won since the ’80s.
  • Knicks haven’t won since the ’70s.
  • Jets haven’t won since the ’60s.

Devils have won three Cups over the last 15 years, but have been mostly terrible recently.

Yankees are great, but they lost because of cheating.

Nets are good, but everyone is injured.

It really sucks to be a New York sports fan.

Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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