New York was once the ultimate sports town with winning teams and popular, familiar faces ingrained throughout the many teams in the four major sports leagues and beyond. That is no longer the case.
In baseball, the Yankees and Mets are both competitive but there have been no championships to speak of in recent years. The Mets peeked their heads into the World Series in 2015 only to get spanked by the Kansas City Royals in five games. The Yankees haven’t been to the series since 2009.
In hockey, the Rangers have won one Stanley Cup (1993-94) since 1940. The Islanders, after winning four straight cups from 1980-84, have basically fallen off the NHL power grid. The New Jersey Devils have been to the playoffs once since the 2012-13 season after a string of winning seasons and raising three Cups between 1995-2003.
The local NBA teams, the Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, have primarily been doormats the past quarter-century. The Knicks haven’t raised a championship banner since 1973 and the Nets’ only title is from their days in the ABA in the 1970s.
Our NFL teams are sorrier than ever. Sure the Giants have four Super Bowls, the latest won in 2012, but have only one winning season since. The Jets have been so frustratingly bad, they were the subject of a recent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where a character commits suicide because he can’t take the losing any longer.
The ownership groups are mostly clueless. The Yankees have an excellent business model but the other teams are all dependent on the sports themselves to make them money. Sort of a high tide raises all boats scenario.
At one time, New York had some of the greatest coaches and managers in sports history. These days, its been a revolving door of faces. Take a look at the current roster of coaches/managers leading the local teams in 2020. None has more than 2-plus years on the job per Peter King of NBC Sports:
Length of tenure of each of the managers/head coaches/coaches for the nine pro sports franchises in New York/New Jersey:
Aaron Boone, Yankees: 2 years, 3 months, 9 days
David Quinn, Rangers: 1 year, 9 months, 15 days
Barry Trotz, Islanders: 1 year, 8 months, 17 days
Adam Gase, Jets: 1 year, 1 month, 29 days
Alain Nasreddine, Devils: 3 months, 6 days
Mike Miller, Knicks: 3 months, 3 days
Joe Judge, Giants: 2 months, 1 day
Luis Rojas, Mets: 1 month, 16 days
Jacque Vaughn, Nets: 2 days
Coaches/managers in the job longer than two years: 1.
Average length of tenure of the current New York-area coaches/managers: 10 months, 15 days.
Men you’ve never of or had no idea they coached pro teams: 2 (Nasreddine, Vaughn).
Weird factoid: Gregg Popovich has coached the San Antonio Spurs for 15 years, 5 months and 7 days longer than the combined stays of the nine New York-area coaches/managers.
Marquee names, anyone? There are none. Perhaps some of these guys can become marquee names if they win few championships. Very few had heard of Bill Parcells or Al Arbour back in the day but they forced themselves into the conversation by winning their way.