Much has been made about how the Phillies' win last night gave the sixth borough their first title since Dr. J’s Sixers won it all in 1983. Which got us to thinking, Wow, we have it good in New York. After all, we’ve won nine titles since then: three Giants Super Bowl victories, a Rangers Stanley Cup, four Yankees World Series wins, and another for the Mets. Here’s the thing, though: Philly only has one team per sport, so a victory for any one of them will likely please the whole city.
But New York has anywhere between six and nine teams, depending on whether you count New Jersey’s Nets and Devils (three recent Cups of their own) or Long Island’s Islanders. In fact, allegiances often break down in groups: Jets-Mets-Islanders fans, mostly in Queens and Long Island, and Yankees-Giants-Rangers fans, whose fandom has been passed down through generations since the Depression, give or take a few years. (We’ll assume that everybody likes and/or ignores the Knicks equally.) Obviously, these aren’t set in stone, but if you’re a hometown fan of the former three teams, the Phillies win brought up a depressing fact: It’s kind of been a while.
The last time one of your teams won a title was in 1986, back when Gooden and Strawberry were surefire Hall of Famers and "Sledgehammer" was in heavy rotation on MTV. There are no more titles to be won in 2008, so it’ll be (at least) 23 years since a Mets title and 26 since one for the Islanders. As for the Knicks and Jets, it may be time to come up with a handy “The Curse of…” shorthand to explain their continued failures. And fans of those teams have it worse, because at least Philadelphians were all in the same pessimistic, vulgarity-filled boat. Jets-Mets-Islanders fans have to deal with their obnoxious, more successful, crosstown counterparts. And now, they’ll have to deal with those high-riding Phillies fans, too.