The ticker-tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes (Broadway in lower Manhattan) for the U.S. women’s soccer team brings to mind the number of sports teams that are here in New York, how often parades have been given for them and the teams that haven’t been eligible. This week being a slow sports week, it’s time to sanely assess, or just discuss, New York’s place in the world of sports, given two major league baseball teams, the Yankees and the Mets; two NBA teams, the Knicks and the Nets; one WNBA team, the Liberty; two NFL teams, the Giants and the Jets; three NHL teams, the Rangers, the Islanders and the Jersey Devils; and, although they’re never counted, the teams of Buffalo, a city in New York, the NFL Bills and the NHL Sabres.
You’d think having so many teams would double, even triple the number of opportunities for New York teams to win championships in their respective sports, but there hasn’t been a Canyon of Heroes celebration for a New York team since the Giants’ 2011 Super Bowl defeat of the New England Patriots, and before that, the New York Yankees 2009 World Series defeat of Philadelphia. The Giants were also celebrated in 2008, their first Super Bowl defeat of New England.
The Yankees, formidable opponents this season, ended the ‘90s with World Series wins in 1996, 1997 and 1999. They started off this century defeating the Mets for their 26th World Series win in 2000. They came close twice after that, losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 and to the Florida Marlins in 2003. Overall, they’ve won 27 World Series.
What about the rest? The Mets haven’t won since 1986. The Knicks since 72-73. The Nets have never won as a NBA team. The Rangers haven’t won since 1993-94. The Islanders won four Stanley Cups in the early ‘80’s. Three for the Devils, between 1994 and 2003. The Jets, not since 1969. The Buffalo Bills actually brings New York’s winning percentage and respectability down by losing four consecutive Super Bowls in a row, back in the early 90s—The only NFL team to do so. And Buffalo’s Sabres, zero!
“Having this parade here in New York City was one of the best moments of my entire life,” said Carli Lloyd, a star player on the U.S. women’s soccer team.
When will any of the New York teams get to have this moment again? Who’ll return? Who’s got next?