It kinda feels like the end of the world here in New York...no, not because of protests in Wall Street or because picking a president for this upcoming election is as miserable as filing taxes...but because hope seems to be lost in minds of all sports fans here in the East Coast.
Let me explain sport by sport-
I don't need to need to look hard to see the disgust with any baseball fan living by the Atlantic...Eamon highlighted in his last post the total embarrassment in the AL East. The Red Sox is living the worst of the nightmares, trumping the Mets in the "worse collapse ever" category. They gave their expected playoff entry to the Rays, who have less fans in attendance than people reading this blog (not unexpectedly, of course). Yet, when the best performance in Tampa Bay comes from a September call-up, it is understandably so that the team flops, the bandwagon fans leave, and management re-starts doomsday scenarios of MLB "vaporizing" your franchise. Then there's the Yankees, the "200 Million-Dollar Underdog". It was the Yankees which took the AL East, only to be cleared knocked out by Doug "Double" Fister and the Detroit Tigers.
Of course that's only half the story...The NL East has as much to cry over. Overshadowed by Boston's epic collapse was Atlanta's last-week fall out of the Wild Card. Their loss leaves the Cardinals with the playoff birth, leaving St. Louis to just eliminate the other "Best Team On Paper": the Philadelphia Phillies, with their Four Horsemen, err, Aces. Granted it was fun bar-hopping along the Lower East Side seeing Yankees and Mets fans unite in joy witnessing the Phillies stumble (pun maybe intended) out of the playoffs. However, now I can confirm there are more fans here lining up to watch "Moneyball" than to sit around and watch Middle America (Detroit, Texas, Milwaukee and St. Louis) hog the playoffs.
It would be a lie to say that pro football is hopeless along the East Coast. All Patriots fans would just point to New England to say they are as good as ever, Giants and Redskins fans would claim they are the team to beat out of the NFC East, Buffalo is playing like they don't remember what a guaranteed miserable team they are supposed to be, the Ravens are still on top of the AFC North, and let's not forget about the Falcons down south.
Granted, it may be peaches now, but there are still much doubt placed throughout the area. The Jets and the Eagles, while still not dead, easily are winning the "Most Overrated Team" awards in their respected conferences. The Patriots don't remember how to win in the playoffs for 7 years now. The Giants are a perennial second-half collapse team. The Redskins don't know who their quarterback or running back is, so why expect them to succeed long term? Remember the embarrassing playoff losses by the Falcons and Ravens last year? And are you actually pin hopes on the Bills?? Do they even count as a East Coast team?? So yeah, it's cool to root for some East Coast teams now, but come Super Bowl time, there's a better shot we will be watching the Super Bowl to watch commercials, another 80s throwback concert, and to give a reason not to show up to work the next day than to root for your team.
Let's face it, the NBA isn't going to have a season this year...and it'll be one more year my Dallas Mavericks will hold on to the title.
Realistically, this sport doesn't exist in New York or Philly. I mean common, this is why the Big East is just counting down days until College Basketball season to show why it is still a legitimate conference. And no, you're not looking for Boston College or Maryland if you're living in Boston or Washington D.C. to find a reason to watch (Yes, Virginia Tech is doing well, but it's also by West Virginia, so try to justify it being a East Coast team...).
Best bet for a lot of East Coast chances of glory...and is holding the only East Coast professional title in the Boston Bruins. And without basketball, what else will you watch during your weeknights? That said, let's face it, I want to convince more people to watch hockey, but I also want to convince more people to watch soccer, tennis, golf and curling...
Without the NBA, I guess the best shot for sports fans to enjoy in the East Coast is to watch college basketball...there's a reason the Big East tourney is played in Madison Square Garden (knock on wood); it, and not college football, is the city sport. And again are East Coast teams bringing title; just look at UConn last year.
So yeah, it's not the greatest time in the East Coast sports-wise, but hang in there my simple friend, and there'll be light in the end of the tunnel (the kind not coming from the 6 train).