Top 10 New York sports stories of the past decade
The 1990s were a decade almost exclusively for the Yankees in New York sports. While they still often dominated the discussion over the last 10 years — since Metro New York began publishing on May 5, 2004 — they shared the spotlight much more.
All nine local teams made the playoffs at least twice and only the NHL’s Islanders failed to win a playoff series.
We take a look at the last decade of sports in Metro New York.
Top stories …
10. New stadiums
A major sports arena hadn’t been built in New York City since the new Madison Square Garden in 1968. But that changed in 2009 when both the Yankees and Mets opened new stadiums — Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, respectively.
9. Super Sunday
When the Giants and Jets opened MetLife Stadium in 2010, they did it with the hope of a Super Bowl in mind. The wish was granted but everyone feared was a snowy mess. Instead, Feb. 2, 2014 was gorgeous. The game — a blowout by the Seahawks over the Broncos — wasn’t.
8. One ‘Mo’ time
The greatest relief pitcher of all time walked off the mound and into the sunset following the 2013 season. Mariano Rivera’s five World Series titles and all-time record 652 saves were celebrated all season with a lap around the major leagues. It’s not something you see often — that is until Derek Jeter anounced the same. But that comes in Metro’s next decade.
7. No sleep till …
It took 55 years (from 1957 to 2012) but Brooklyn finally got another major sports team when the Nets moved into the Barclays Center. The state-of-the-art arena has a competitive franchise and billionaire owner. And in 2015, they’ll add the Islanders to the stadium’s tenants.
We’ll keep this one brief since it was a big moment, but not for a New York team. No one needs to be reminded of the Yankees choking away a 3-0 series lead to Boston in the 2004 ALCS — the first postseason covered by Metro.
5. Giant repeat
The win in Super Bowl XLII will always be remembered more fondly — more on that to come of course — but four years later Eli Manning and the Giants beat the Pats again, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI.
Two years ago, Linsanity swept New York with unheralded Jeremy Lin, out of Harvard of all places, launching the struggling Knicks on a run to the playoffs. The Knicks let him walk just months later, unwilling to meet the contract paid to him by Houston.
3. Tebow time
The name that launched a thousand tabloid headlines. New Jets QB Tim Tebow dominated off-field talk in 2012. It never translated to actual playing time though. He was sent packing by spring 2013 after only seeing the field on a handful of gimmick plays all season.
2. Encore title
It had become accepted as fact that the end of the Yankee Dynasty came with Luis Gonzalez’s bloop single in October 2001. But the Core Four — Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter — took one last ride to a World Series title in 2009. By the end of this year, all four will be retired.
The Patriots entered Super Bowl XLII at 18-0. But the Giants pulled off the biggest upset in title game history, 17-14, thanks to David Tyree’s helmet (and hand) and MVP Eli Manning. One of the most impressive defensive lines of all time, led by Michael Strahan, didn’t hurt either.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.