Asst. Sports Director
Photo via the New York Times
It has been a while since sports fans in the great city of New York have had a reason to cheer for their teams. The last time they won any kind of title was in 2011 when the New York Giants won the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. This year, so far, has been promising to the fans of the greatest sports market in the world. Arguably two of the greatest sports franchises in the city of New York, the Knicks and Mets are both restoring the faith of their fans.
The New York Knicks have been awful for so long. The main culprit for their failures is team owner James Dolan. Dolan has made so many ill advised decisions from awful front office hires to questionable contract signings. There was even an incident where Knicks’ legend Charles Oakley was dragged out in handcuffs inside of Madison Square Garden due to an altercation with a fan and member of arena security. Years and years of lackluster performances have caused Knicks fans to be the joke of the league. For a reference, Knicks fans to the NBA community is what New York Jets fans are to the football world.
Photo via dailyknicks.com
This season has helped repair the reputation of the New York Knicks. At the time of this article being written, the New York Knicks are on an eight-game winning streak, the longest active in the NBA. The team’s two top players, Derrick Rose and Julius Randle, have been balling out. Randle has been averaging 23.9 points per game and 6.1 assists. Rose has been tallying 13.3 points per game and 3.9 assists. For anyone who may not know, Derrick Rose has always been a fan favorite in the league. At age 22, he won the Most Valuable Player award in 2011 being the youngest player to ever receive the accolade. After a devastating ACL tear soon after, Rose was never the same player. Always regarded as one of the greatest “What Ifs” in sports history, he never met the expectations after his MVP season. However, Rose in New York is a perfect combo. A veteran and fan favorite bringing some swagger and talent to this team is what the franchise needed. The culture shock Rose has contributed to has made fans giddy and cheer him on. The Knicks are currently the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. This is the first time they have been in playoff contention and seeding since 2013. They may not make it far in the playoffs, but as in the words of Lebron James, “The league is simply better off when the New York Knicks are winning.” With a lot of developing young talent on the team as well, the New York Knicks have a promising future.
In 2013, the New York Mets’ new staff ace, the best pitcher on the team and in the bullpen, was a young man by the name of Matt Harvery. The Connecticut native was putting up monstrous numbers and a key factor to the success of the team. Matt Harvey even received the nickname from fans “The Dark Knight” due to the team changing it’s beloved logo to a darker skyline while he was dominating. After four years of amazing success, Harvey would get diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016. Essentially, a compression of nerves, arteries and veins from the lower neck to the armpit. Harvey would of course never be the same pitcher that he was resulting in him being traded in 2018 to the Cincinnati Reds.
Harvey during his time in New York was accompanied by a young pitcher by the name of Jacob deGrom. DeGrom was drafted by the team in 2014 and immediately made an impact on the team and the league as a whole. He won the National League “Rookie of the Year” award and was elected to the all-star team. Overshadowed by Harvey despite his success, he knew his time would come at some point to be the leader of the team. When he took over for Harvey in 2018 as the ace staff, he was selected to the All-Star Team, All-MLB First Team, National League ERA leader and National League Cy Young Award winner. Clearly making the most of his opportunity, deGrom fulfilled his promise of becoming the strong pitcher the team desperately needed.
Jacob deGrom this year has been putting up MVP season numbers making him a forefront leader for the award. Last Friday, he threw 15 strikeouts, had two hits at bat and even garderned a run batted in (RBI) in the Mets’ 6-0 victory over the Washington Nationals. It is already being praised as one of the greatest games a pitcher has had in the MLB in a long time. DeGrom had had a 2-1 start this season so far averaging a 0.31 ERA and already tallying up 50 strikeouts. The Mets are currently 8-7 and are first place in their division, the NL East. The team is looking to improve on their success already this year and make a run in the playoffs. New York is the greatest city in the world for a reason. Flashing lights, Broadway and the larger than life atmosphere make it the perfect place for sports fans. The fans of the city’s teams have no problem telling you if a player is not meeting expectations, if you are wrong and why their team is the best. Emotional is the best way to describe New York sports fans. With the success of the Mets and Knicks, they have a reason to cheer and to root after years of hardship and failures. The greatest sports market in the world may be the greatest sports city in the world.