As many sports fans will tell you seeing the team you root for win a championship is one of the best feelings in the world. I have been told it is a mixture of so many good emotions that it is hard to put the feeling into words. Unfortunately, being a Jets, Mets, Knicks and Rangers fan, I have never been able to experience that feeling.
However, although the title might be deceiving, I am here to share a list of memorable moments I have had watching my favorite teams since I can remember. (I even threw in some soccer!)
2006 World Cup: Italy
OK, I guess you can say I have seen a sports championship, but it was Italy in the World Cup when I was eight years old. I don't remember completely but coming from an Italian family I do remember how serious it was. I remember being at a private pool with all my aunts and cousins because my dad uncles and older brother went to Little Italy to watch the final. I was too young to go, and I was pissed. Being that I was that young I do not remember how great it felt that one of my teams won a championship... there was no parade and nobody in the US really cared.
2006-2015: New York Rangers Playoff Runs
Perhaps my most memorable moments have come thanks to the New York Rangers. Although they never won a Stanley Cup, they consistently made the playoffs and had deep playoff runs. I was lucky enough to go too many playoff games and see many great moments. Perhaps my favorite, a mother's day game with my mom in which the Rangers won. It was game six of a series versus the Penguins in which the Rangers were down 3-1. Mary St. Louis who lost his mother that Monday scored the first goal right in front of us, the Garden was literally shaking. It was amazing. The Rangers made three Eastern Conference finals and one Stanley Cup final in those years.
2009-2010: New York Jets
Although ending in heartbreak back to back years, the Jets did make it to two AFC Championship games while I was in middle school. Those two football seasons were amazing. Going to all the home games and watching a young team with a charismatic head coach in Rex Ryan making two deep playoff runs which included wins of QB's like Carson Palmer, Phillip Rivers, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning was amazing. Each year had its share of amazing comebacks as well. Perhaps my favorite, back to back weeks the Jets won on the last play of the game. First, they beat the Cleveland Browns with 14 seconds left in OT on a Santonio Holmes slant, and the next week down 4 with 50 seconds left and no timeouts, Mark Sanchez lead a 75-yard TD drive. It included a 40-yard throw down the sidelines to Braylon Edwards, followed up by a game-winning back of the end zone fade route to Santonio Holmes.
2015 New York Mets
Probably the happiest losing seasons I have ever experienced as a sports fan. The Mets were a mediocre at best baseball team before the trade deadline of 2015. They had a week in which they had a player crying on the field because he thought he was traded when he really wasn't just to blow a 4-run lead in the bottom of the ninth of the following game. Then everything changed on July 31st when they acquired Yoenis Cespedes. The Mets went on a tear winning the NL East marching into the playoffs. They then went on to beat the Dodgers in a crazy five-game series. After that they swept the Cubs in four games and all of a sudden, I was finally seeing my favorite baseball team in the World Series. Even crazier their unlikely hero, Daniel Murphy who hit 14 home runs all year had eight home runs in eight straight playoff games! A postseason record. I was lucky enough to witness their only win in the World Series that year, game three of a series they lost four games to one.
2012 New York Knicks
A year in which the Knicks went 54-28. Yes, you read that right. The Knicks have been so bad my whole life that this is the only year I can remember actually enjoying. It was the first full-year with then 26-year-old superstar Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks were the second team in the Eastern Conference and beat the hated Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. They went on to lose in the second round to the overachieving Indiana Pacers, but besides that, the season was a ton of fun. They had some quality minutes out of aging vet Jason Kidd and had big wins like a big fourth-quarter comeback vs the Bulls that included a game tying and game winning three from Carmelo. But let me tell you something out of all the experiences I just laid out for you guys, this one seems to be the one that feels so long ago. That is how bad they have been.
I guess it is safe to say I do not have many enjoyable moments with my teams but the ones I do were truly special. I know one day I will see a sports championship, attend a parade and celebrate non-stop. Until then it is still 7,665 days and counting without a championship.