Well Nets, you blew it. Welcome back to irrelevancy.
0-18 is fun. 1-18 is who cares land.
I was talking to a friend about the New York sports landscape and how some of the teams can become invisible, and some never do. One man's take.
1. The Yankees. Sorry everyone, but even if the Mets win 115 games and the Yankees go 79-83, the Yankees will still make the backpage because someone with Steinbrenner DNA will want to fire someone, and the tabloids will eat it up....and Francesca will talk about them. The talk would be about the payroll and how much they waste/should spend, or how about it's A-Rod's fault. Those of you who have only been around since 1996 have never experienced a lame season, but even in the Stump Merrill years this team never disappeared from the news cycle.
2. (tie) The Giants and Jets. Basically the same story, just swap in the nouns. The NFL is king in America (although it is second to baseball in this city) and there will always be talk about the QB and the coach, whoever they are. If you go 10-6 the talk is why you didn't go 11-5. If you go 1-15 then it's sharks in the water time. Even if the Giants were 14-1 and the Jets were 6-9 there would still be talk about Sanchez.
4. The Knicks. The Knicks are interesting. There's always talk about them, and it usually is found in an article that uses words like "mecca" and "Willis Reed" and rebuilding. There seems to be prepetual speculation about the next coach, however the Knicks never disappear. Now that the Nets won a game, now everyone can harp on how and why the Knicks suck and when is LeBron getting here?
ALMOST NEVER IRRELEVANT
5. The Mets. Yes this is baseball town, and dopey bloggers and WFAN hosts enjoy pouncing on them. They almost always matter, and are almost always in the conversation. However, every now and then there is a confluence of events where the Yankees are heading to the playoffs, the Mets are on their way to something like 100 losses, football starts, and the Mets story in the paper is one paragraph long. The irrelevancy of the Mets doesn't last long but it does happen, and last happened in September 2009.
6. The Rangers. In the 1990's the Rangers would have been in the "almost" category, and there's still lots of Rangers fans around who talk about the team the way we talk about the Mets around here. They have hope, crushing defeats, and the Dolans. However, it's the NHL and nobody cares about the NHL. This league blew it with the 1995 lockout. They had all the momentum in the world...the 1994 cup, the deal with Fox....the lockout blew it. Messier leaving town for a while didn't help even though Rangers fans like to gloss over that one.
THE IRRELEVANT TEAMS
7. The Nets. Actually the order of the teams won't matter here since they are irrelevant. However since they are top of mind and the inspiration for this piece, let's start with the Nets. If you want to complain about a crappy basketball team you have the Knicks. A nomad team with nowhere to move.
8. The Devils. While we're in Jersey, hey how about those three Stanley Cups! How about the greatest goaltender of all time playing in the shadow of the Empire State Building. If all this happened at the Garden there would be a statue of Brodeur on 33rd street and the Rangers might be in category one. However, the Devils could move (back) to Kansas City and most people wouldn't notice.
9. The Islanders. Speaking of moving to Kansas City, here's another franchise that has seen better days. Yeah four championships was pretty cool but I bet half the people who read Mets Police weren't even born when the Isles last won. Rangers-Islanders used to be as much fun as Yankees-Red Sox, you can't say that now.
10. The rest. Here are the teams I either forgot or can't be bothered to write about. Remember when the Redmen/Red Storm mattered? How about those two weeks when people were Rutgers football fans? What's the name of the soccer team again? Do the Liberty still play?
So congratulations to the Nets, and I hope you enjoy your 10-72 season. I look forward to taking the Second Avenue Subway to your new arena in Brooklyn.
That ends our coverage of the NBA for the season, we now resume complaining about team #5.
Check the ticket prices, Shannon. It's the Old Guard in NYC:
---NY Yankees (Boo!!! 'Nuff said!!!) ---NY Giants (Fan since 1970; frequent attendee; intelligent fanbase) ---NY Rangers (Hate them, but they have passionate fans) ---NY Knicks (Yeah, after Reed, Clyde, Bradley, et al., had me swiping quarters to get a $6 blueseat in the early '70s, it's never been the same...)
They sell tickets.
As a "pre-original" fan of Team #9, I witnessed 19 straight playoff victories, 4 straight Cups, and zero-nada-zilch-bupkiss media coverage (but thank you, pre-cable WOR, for showing the Isles on an equal basis with the team that's won one cup in 69 years). The Devils' organization is very much like the "old Islanders," so they have to punished by Rangers-biased and Dolan-controlled media (Cablevision, MSG, MSG 2, MSG+, Newsday, etc.) Team #9, despite tonight's awful showing, is worth checking out. We have a larger fanbase than many imagine, and for Crazy Charlie to consider moving to Nowhere, USA, rather than exploring options in Brooklyn and Willets Point would be a shame. About 35% of male Mets fans appear to be Islander fans...
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This blog aims to be a little different. We're less likely to complain about a pitching change than we are likely to complain about what the pitcher was wearing.
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