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Going, Going ... Gone

The Sports Section launched in September of 2009, and an awful lot has happened on the local sports scene since then. A Yankees World Series title. A Giants Super Bowl victory. Linsanity. The Summer of LeBron. The emergence of the Rangers as a Stanley Cup contender. The ongoing Mets struggles. The ongoing Jets circus. The relocation of a pro sports team to Brooklyn.

That doesn’t even cover the really important stuff, like all of the wonderfully insane catchphrases that John Sterling has introduced.

This is the Sports Section's final post. »

On the Eve of the Season, the Last of Glen Sather’s Expensive Mistakes Is Gone

It’s sort of fitting that as the Rangers prepare to kick of their most highly anticipated season in more than a decade, the team has cut ties with the final reminder of past mismanagement. Yesterday, as expected, the team bought out the contract of Wade Redden, after the league and players union agreed to allow that sort of thing to happen now instead of after the season. Redden, who spent the last two seasons on the Rangers' AHL affiliate, was hardly the only expensive mistake Glen Sather ever made. But the others were already gone: Scott Gomez, for instance, was shipped away to Montreal after just two seasons, while Chris Drury, as well liked as he was, was bought out in 2011.

Optimism now abounds. »

Your NFL Championship Weekend Preview

By Sunday night, we will know who will meet in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Of the four teams left, only one — the Patriots, of course — has been to the Super Bowl in the last twelve years. (The Patriots have gone five times this century. The Ravens were last there in 2001, the Falcons in 1998, the 49ers in 1994.) Hockey starts this weekend, and we've got the two conference championship games. Should be quite the grand weekend. Let's make some picks. If you'll forgive the pat on the back, our preseason Super Bowl prediction is still in play. (Playoff record: 6-2.)

Park in front of the couch at three on Sunday, and don't move. »

Carmelo Anthony Is an All-Star Starter

Carmelo Anthony has played a remarkable enough two and a half months that serious mentions of his MVP candidacy get dismissed not with raucous laughter but with "LeBron and Durant are still better." That's a compliment. So it came as no surprise that when TNT revealed the final returns on the voting for NBA All-Star starters, Anthony finished behind only Durant and James (and Kobe Bryant, who led the voting because that's just what he does) with almost 1.5 million votes. He will start for the Eastern Conference alongside a couple of friends and a couple of ... not quite friends.

Hi, Kevin. »

The Knicks Remain Undefeated in London

In a rare weekday afternoon game -- and by "rare," we mean "the last one they'll play until Monday, their next game" -- the Knicks outlasted the Pistons 102-87 today in London. The game wasn't exactly the most glorious display of American basketball to show the Brits, but it was an efficient win, especially considering all the Knicks had to drive on the wrong side of the lane. Carmelo Anthony was the leading scorer with 26 points, but the real story of the day was the return of Iman Shumpert, high-top fade and all, playing nearly 15 minutes and almost instantly increasing the Knicks' defensive pressure. Interior defense when Tyson Chandler is out remains a problem -- Amar'e Stoudemire scored 17 points, on 11-of-12 free throw shooting, but boy howdy is he bad on D -- but the Knicks clearly have needed Shumpert, however gingerly he went today, to shore matters up. It was a nice breezy win, something the Knicks haven't had in a while and definitely welcomed. They'll fly back to New York tomorrow morning before the final Nets game of the season (until the playoffs?) on MLK Day, Monday afternoon. As for today, though: Jolly good!

Why the Rangers Aren’t Begging Their Fans to Return

The NHL published a full-page apology to fans in newspapers today, thanking them for their patience and saying that the league is "committed to earning back your trust and support the same way it's earned on the ice: with hard work and unwavering dedication." It's a relatively empty gesture, as far as these things go, but it's telling that the league is still in apology mode with opening night just two days away. It knows there are certain types of fans it's in danger of losing, and the league desperately doesn't want to be seen as anti-fan after a lockout in which the league's supporters were the undisputed losers.

Dolan: "As far as remorse goes, no one wanted to play hockey more than the NY Rangers." »

If Esquire Defended Manti Te’o’s Girlfriend

Last night, Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o's beautiful, tragic, cancer-dead girlfriend was revealed to be a hoax: Lennay Kekua does not exist. Two days prior, Esquire magazine revealed that Megan Fox is endangered: In a world overrun with "thoughtful" females, true hotties no longer exist. Hoax hotties, however, have yet to be defended. Until now.

"It's not Lennay Kekua's fault. Today, unfettered fakeness is an impediment. To be serious or respected, it is better to be real." »

Will Rasheed Wallace Return Soon? Ever?

I should begin by noting that today is mostly a day of celebration and promise for the Knicks, injury-wise. Iman Shumpert is set to debut in London tonight (three o'clock EST), and Raymond Felton will hopefully be back within a few games. Barring other injuries — which you can never really bar, but still — those returns will replenish New York's backcourt in full, and that's great.

Not so much for the frontcourt. »

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