NYC’s biggest sports stories of the decade
by Noah Zimmerman
Dec 30, 2019 | 1548 views | 0 0 comments | 142 142 recommendations | email to a friend | print
2012 - The Giants win Super Bowl XLVI

Down two points, Eli Manning’s remarkable 4th quarter 88-yard drive resulted in a massive game-winning touchdown for the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, as the Patriots desperate final drive came up empty.

The Giants lifted the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in four seasons, both wins against New England. A win for New York City and a loss for Boston made this Super Bowl particularly sweet for New Yorkers, even non-Giants fans. A second ring bolstered Eli Manning’s wonderful career in New York.

2012 - Linsanity strikes the Garden

Jeremy Lin was signed by the Knicks as 2011 came to a close, but nobody seemed to bat an eye. The Knicks were not having a great year by any means, having lost 11 of their last 13 going into early February.

That all changed when out of nowhere lin erupted for 26 points in 36 minutes against the New Jersey Nets, sparking “Linsanity,” a phenomenon that swept through the league. Lin went on to be a driving force in the Knicks’ sudden success, defeating a large handful of the league’s top teams, including Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

Lin ended up having to undergo surgery after tearing his meniscus towards the end of the season. Nevertheless, Lin propelled himself into a New York sports icon, going on to be a solid member of multiple other NBA teams, even winning a ring with the Raptors in 2019.

2014 - The Rangers put together a remarkable Stanley Cup run

It came up short at the very end, but the 2013-14 New York Rangers remain one of the best teams to play in New York this decade. Finishing second in the Metropolitan Division, the Rangers edged out the Flyers and Penguins in seven games each, before winning the Eastern Conference title in six games against the Montreal Canadiens.

Led by goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist, captain Ryan McDonaugh, and prolific point scorers like Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello, and Derek Steppan, the Rangers captured the hearts of New York, heading to Los Angeles for the Stanley Cup Final.

Unfortunately, the Rangers fell in five games, the first two decided in overtime. It was the closest the Rangers have gotten to lifting Lord Stanley’s cup since the historic 1994 triumph.

2015 - The Miracle Mets win the pennant

In July of the 2015, the Mets record sat at just 40-40, as yet another mediocre season seemed to be unfolding. A trade that would send Wilmer Flores and Zach Wheeler to Detroit left Flores in tears on the field, but fell apart in the 11th hour.

But the Mets went on a remarkable run, finishing 90-72, after adding the big bat of Yoenis Cespedes.

The Mets snuck past the Dodgers in five games with two phenomenal performances by Jacob deGrom, and then proceeded to steamroll the Chicago Cubs, sweeping them in the NLCS without trailing at any point.

The World Series didn’t go too well for the Mets, as a pesky Royals team overcame deficits in each of their four wins, losing just one as they defeated the Mets in the fall classic.

2014, 2017, & 2019 - deGrom, Judge, and Alonso win Rookie of the Year

Three remarkable baseball players were named Rookie of the Year this decade in New York. Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom was the first to do so, recording a dominant 2.69 ERA with 144 strikeouts in his first MLB season, quickly becoming a premiere pitching talent in the year, going on to win back-to-back Cy Young awards in 2018 and 2019.

A few years later, Yankees power hitter Aaron Judge did the opposite; terrorising pitchers while sending out a rookie record 52 home runs and leading the league in both walks and runs scored. The monster performance by Judge easily won him the 2017 AL RoY.

Judge’s HR record didn’t stick around long, however, as just two seasons later Pete Alonso made his debut with the Mets. Alonso hit 53 homers in his first season last year, powering up what was a relatively lackluster lineup. Alonso beat out promising stars like Fernando Tatis, Jr. and Mike Soroka for 2019 NL RoY honors.

2019 - Big names hit the Big Apple in Free Agency

Big names from across multiple major sports found themselves headed to New York in 2019. Perhaps the biggest story of the NBA offseason was the decision made by top free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The pair chose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, changing the landscape of basketball in New York.

With Durant missing the 2019-20 season with an Achilles tear and Irving sidelined with a shoulder injury through most of the season thus far, the pair will look for a big season in the new decade as the Nets move towards title contention.

In the Bronx, big money was thrown around by Cashman and the Yankees. Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole hit the free agency market, and after two months of fielding offer, he jumped at the Yankees lucrative offer of $324 million over nine years.

The Yankees got by far the biggest name in 2019’s free agent class, fixing the one noticeable hole in their team. It’s arguable that the two best pitchers in professional baseball now play in New York City.

Artemi Panarin, one of the NHL’s most-feared forwards found himself on the way to New York as well. The 2016 Calder Trophy winner signed a sizeable contract with the Rangers, as they worked on a rapid and potentially remarkable rebuild.

Panarin has already made his mark in New York, scoring or assisting in almost every game. Through 38 appearances Panarin picked up 51 points and tied Wayne Gretzky for the most points through 30 games to start his time with the Rangers.

Lastly, the Islanders kicked off the 2019-20 season in a big way when the hired Barry Trotz, the coach of the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. Trotz is one of the top coaches in the league, and his wisdom and leadership helped make the Isles, already coming off a big year, a top team in the league. The Islanders have put together a remarkable start to the season, and the coaching has certainly put them in the position to keep themselves near the top of the NHL food chain.
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