(Long Island, NY) Thanksgiving time conjures up memories from all walks of life. And sports are no exception. Although none of our local teams won their respective championships, many of them did well and give us reasons to go to the game, watch it on television, and read about it in the newspaper the following day.
In baseball, the hot stove heats up the cold. Both the Mets and Yankees figure to be busy during the winter months retooling already strong squads. What’s not to be thankful for when Gotham’s two baseball teams shared the major league’s best regular season record? A division championship for each and a post-season spot. Unfortunately, a dream of a Subway Series did not happen. But it was an exciting summer regardless if you wore pinstripes or blue and orange.
On the football side of town (or river, if I want to be geographically correct), the Giants won their division last season and are currently tied for first place in 2006. The Jets cleaned house after the 4-12 disaster that was 2005, and have been one of the NFL’s surprise teams this year at 5-5. Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum have showed a lot of poise for first timers, and are ahead of schedule in the rebuilding project.
The Nets were their usual successful bunch last season, winning the Atlantic Division, but they were ousted from the playoffs by the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat. They are playing similar this season. The Knicks? Let’s be thankful that Larry Brown is gone. That’s about it.
The Rangers finally made the playoffs after a seven-year drought, but made only a brief appearance before being swept by the Devils. They have looked inconsistent so far. New Jersey won the division and played well, but fell short of a quest for another Stanley Cup. When it’s all said and done, both should qualify for the post-season. The Islanders were terrible last season and had their own shake up. Questionable front office personnel moves and a 15-year contract for an unproven goalie makes this team second to the Knicks as having the least to be thankful for as far as our sports teams go.
What will the next year have in store for us? Probably much of the same. Baseball teams that will be there and competing for a championship, one football team in the playoffs, two hockey teams and one basketball team extending their seasons.