New York, a city that has long prided itself on its sports teams, can no longer do so; after years upon years of success across a multitude of sports, we have slowly slipped into the dreaded phase of rebuilding. Don’t believe me? Just look at recent playoff history: the Giants, Jets, Knicks, and Mets have shockingly only made the playoffs a combined three times since 2013, while the Yankees and Rangers have had much less success in recent years than they are accustomed to. I hate to break it to you, New York, but we are in a full-fledged phase of rebuilding. Although New York is no Cleveland, this overhaul in every New York team’s roster certainly is a harbinger of changing times.
Where better to look for change than at the New York Giants, who are recently New York’s most abysmal team. Sitting at 2-9, the Giants are among the worst teams in football and can’t even lose right, as they have picked up wins against the Chiefs and Broncos. With an onslaught of criticism, Coach Ben McAdoo decided to bench Eli Manning this past week, ending his NFL-record streak of 210 consecutive games started and certainly signaling a sign of change in New York. Manning, once the face of the franchise, has been replaced by dynamic playmakers Odell Beckham Jr., who has tallied at least 1300 yards and ten touchdowns in every year that he has been healthy, and Evan Engram, who has 470 yards and five touchdowns through 11 games. We have seen a very similar theme with the New York Yankees, who were also at one time, one of the best teams in the league, but have slipped in recent years. The days of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are long gone and have been replaced by the likes of superstar Aaron Judge, who finished second in the majors with 52 home runs last year, as well as his sidekicks, Greg Bird and Clint Frazier, and newly acquired superstar Giancarlo Stanton.
With direction but maybe less hope than the Yankees, the Rangers and Knicks haven’t been quite as successful in years’ past, but have a solid foundation and plan for the future. After a disastrous misallocation of resources and contract money during their run a couple of years back, the Rangers have traded Derek Stepan, Derek Brassard, and Carl Hagelin, and have let Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman walk over the past year and a half. These skilled players were once the backbone of the team, but have been replaced with rising young stars in Pavel Buchnevich, Mika Zibanejad, and Jimmy Vesey, who can take the franchise back to where it once was. The Knicks followed a similar model, as over the past two seasons, they have done a complete franchise overhaul by drafting one of the best players in the NBA in Kristaps Porzingis and by trading Carmelo Anthony, once the face of the franchise, for Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott.
While the Giants, Yankees, Rangers, and Knicks at least have some direction concerning the future success of their franchises, the Jets and Mets, on the other hand, do not. After purging their team of any source of talent during this past off-season, the Jets have been surprisingly competitive this season, but have done little to ensure future success. Aside from breakout rookie Jamal Adams and emerging receiver Robby Anderson, the Jets have little to look forward to in the future. The Mets have followed a very similar path, as their once “killer” rotation has been marred by a plethora of injuries as well as poor performance.
While things might not be looking pretty now, the future is certainly looking up for New York. Staying patient isn’t a strength of most New Yorkers, but once the rebuilding process comes to fruition, the payoff will be well worth the wait.
Thanks for reading! Data courtesy of ESPN, Baseball Reference, Basketball Reference, Hockey Reference, and Football Reference.
Article written by Jason Platkin
Cover Photo Credits: New York Post