New York, New York … if you can make it there — so the song goes — you can make it anywhere.
Except, of course, if you happen to have a professional sports team … in any sport … based in the Empire State.
Far be it for a New Yorker to complain, but here we are on Week 17, the final weekend of the National Football League regular season, a date brimming with promise for rabid fans to be rewarded by seeing their teams in make-or-break games with the playoffs at stake.
Except that all three New York teams are already broken.
The New York Jets have won seven games and lost eight, and are eliminated from making the playoffs. Their bombastic coach, Rex Ryan, is hanging on to his job by the thinnest of threads and may need a victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday to keep him employed.
The tradition-clustered New York Giants are even worse, with a 6-9 record and not even much to play for Sunday against the woeful 3-12 Washington Redskins.
And the Buffalo Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999, haven’t finished with a .500 record since 2004 … and bring a 6-9 record into their last game of the year Sunday against the first-place New England Patriots.
Turning to baseball, things don’t get much better. The New York Yankees, usually a lock to make the playoffs, didn’t get there this year, and after the season ended, they lost their best player when second baseman Robinson Cano signed a super-rich contract with the Seattle Mariners.
The New York Mets? As the late New York Giants manager Bill Terry once said of the Brooklyn Dodgers, are they still in the league? You’d hardly know it from the crummy teams the Mets have produced lately.
Basketball? Not only are the New York Knicks, who actually won a playoff series last season, losing twice as many games as they’re winning, they’re the joke of the National Basketball Association because of their terrible owner and overpaid, under-motivated players.
As for the Brooklyn Nets, their owner has spent lavishly on washed-up stars who can’t win anymore, and the team won’t have a first-round draft choice until 2018.
As for hockey, the Rangers are mediocre, at best, as are the New Jersey Devils (New Yorkers consider New Jersey part of our sports territory —MetLife Stadium, where the Giants and Jets play, is in Joisey). The New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres are just pitiful this year.
So, what’s going on here? Eleven teams in four sports, and not one worth buying a ticket to see?
Well, as true New Yorkers, we only have one thing to say:
Wait til next year!