COMMENTARY | Professional sports teams located in the New York City market have admittedly seen better days.
An article posted on the Wall Street Journal website on Tuesday asked if New York sports have ever been as bad as they are right now. Accompanying that story was a rather humorous picture that depicts New York sports personalities and mascots displaying glum expressions while sitting around a shared table. While it should be pointed out that none of the New York teams currently competing are yet mathematically eliminated from winning a title, those in the NYC/NJ area shouldn't expect to see a championship side anytime soon.
Neither the New York Giants nor the New York Jets are at .500. The Giants started the 2013 NFL season at 0-6, and their playoff hopes dwindled away this past Sunday after New York lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Gang Green are set to enter another holiday season believing that they don't have a franchise quarterback.
Both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are awful. The Knicks can't play defense to save their lives. Brooklyn is sinking under head coach Jason Kidd, to the point that more than a few fans are calling for the team to make a switch and soon in order to save the campaign.
Far from Amazin' are the New York Mets. The Mets, anymore, are essentially a small market team that happens to call New York home. On the other side of town are the New York Yankees, who continue to get press for off-the-field issues - Alex Rodriguez - more so than for anything else. Oh yeah. The Yanks also just watched their hated rivals the Boston Red Sox win a World Series.
But wait. It isn't all doom and gloom for New York sports. A championship team is but a short train ride from midtown Manhattan away.
I give you the New York Red Bulls, 2013 Major League Soccer regular season champions and holders of the Supporters' Shield. The Red Bulls, who will take part in CONCACAF Champions League next year, should again compete for a title next season. Thierry Henry is coming back for what is expected to be the final year of a tremendous career. Tim Cahill will, if he stays healthy, be a Most Valuable Player candidate. RBNY are also expected to bolster the roster over the next several months.
The Red Bulls aren't simply the only champions New York have at the moment. They also provide what is the best value in NY/NJ professional sports. Matchday RBNY tickets can be obtained for $20 a pop from supporters groups or via the Internet. Red Bull Arena happens to be a tremendous venue in which to watch a sporting event, arguably the nicest outdoor arena in the region.
New York's lone active MLS franchise not getting any love from the local press is hardly a new event. Neither the New York Post nor the New York Daily News posted pictures of Dax McCarty or Mike Petke hoisting the Supporters' Shield on the back pages of those newspapers the day after RBNY won the franchise's first significant trophy.
Ignore all you want, New York sports fans and New York press. The Red Bulls are undeniably the best you've got at the moment. Instead of complaining that neither the Giants nor Jets will host the Super Bowl in February, or that you, as a Rangers fan, have forgotten what the Stanley Cup looks like, give your champs some of your time starting next March. Sure, the Red Bulls have been more Mets than Yankees over the past two decades.
It's a new day for a club that isn't So Metro anymore.
Zac has been covering the USMNT, Holland, Tottenham Hotspur, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer and other soccer leagues for Yahoo Sports since 2010.
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