New York Ready to Return to Prominence

A Giants Win Can Bring an End to the City’s Eight Year Championship Drought


Published: January 31, 2008

I grew up in the era of the “three-peat,” when, from 1998 through 2000, the New York Yankees won consecutive World Series titles, including their last against the New York Mets. In 2003, I saw Tim Wakefield go limping off the diamond as Aaron Boone smacked a homerun into the left field stands late one October night. Then I watched as the following year, nothing could have stopped my Yankees from being horrifically toppled. I have only ever known the word dynasty as applied to the Bombers, and it pains me to see it now used to describe the New England Patriots. And the once “cursed” Boston Red Sox? They’ve secured two championships in four years. When did the world get flipped upside down?

For all of the stereotypes associated with Massachusetts fans, I’ll be the first to admit that the slightly arrogant, superior tone which underscored every sports remark from New Yorkers was a key part of why being a New York fan at the time was so much fun. Though that seems an unfair and unflattering assessment, I challenge any Yankees fan to honestly contend that when New York swept Boston over five games in August 2006 (an event deemed the second “Boston Massacre”), a part of you didn’t swell with knowing pride—“Now that’s how it’s supposed to be: New York a dominant no. 1, Boston a measly no. 2.”

Since 2003, the last year the Yankees were in the World Series, things have only worsened for the team. With the exception of 2004, the Yankees have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs three years in a row. The hit the team took in invincibility in 2004 has only deepened with the Red Sox becoming World Champions again in 2007—at least prior to then, neither team had been able to repeat their success, and a fan could be consoled with that knowledge into believing the teams were playing at an equal level.

But now, the greatest rivalry in sports will be played out in an entirely new frontier—football. With the New York Giants having made it to Super Bowl XLII to take on the “dynastic” Patriots in a match-up clearly favoring Bill Belichick and the boys, perhaps New York is on its way to reclaiming some of the dominance of yore. The Giants will be playing as the underdogs, a title that clearly benefited the 2004 Red Sox, who not only went on to capture the championship but also the hearts of the nation in their quest to take down the “Evil Empire.” The Patriots are not America’s team (though it’d be awfully great for the Giants if the Patriots planned on playing like the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl), and the ever-increasing hostility for Belichick has only strengthened since “Spygate” went down against another New York team, the Jets.

The Giants are vying for their third Super Bowl victory in their second trip to the big game since 2000. Three Super Bowl championships in four years that statistic may not be, but you’ve got to start somewhere. The Canyon of Heroes has waited long enough for an opportunity to host another ticker-tape parade, especially as the Giants were denied that honor after their first two Super Bowl victories. What better way to begin the New Year than by having New York return to the place in sports history that it belongs: on top.