Sun. Dec 5th, 2021

The 2012 Giants were the last New York team to bring home the gold.

Leen Amin

When the New York Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox in the AL Wild Card game in 2021 on Tuesday, New York sports teams have now gone a decade without winning the championship in their respective leagues.

And ESPN was thrilled to remind us how long it’s been.

No team has won since the New York Giants won the Super Bowl in 2012. This marks the state’s longest drought in about a century.

Given that New York is home to historically great teams, this comes as a surprise. And what a coincidence it is that all 10 teams have fallen on hard times at the same time.

Only two teams have even reached their league championship game since the Giants in 2012: the New York Rangers in 2014 and the New York Mets in 2015.

So when’s the last time New York teams won their respective championships?

How long?

The Mets are the last of New York’s teams to make their sporting finals, but they have not won the World Series since 1986, when they defeated the Red Sox.

The Yankees won in late 2009, which was also the last time they made the World Series.

The Brooklyn Nets have never won the championship. Their last appearance in the final came in 2003, when they lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

The Knicks won in late 1973 when they beat the Los Angeles Lakers. Their last appearance in the final came in 1999, when they also lost to Gregg Popovich’s Spurs.

The New York Jets have never won or even made the Super Bowl in the NFL era.

The New York Islanders won in late 1983 when they beat the Edmonton Oilers to bookmark one of the greatest eras of a sports team ever.

They won four Stanley Cups in a row and advanced to the Stanley Cup final again in 1984, this time losing to the Oilers. This is the last time the islanders played in a final.

The New York Rangers won in late 1994, beating the Vancouver Canucks and ending a 54-year drought.

The Buffalo Bills have never won the Super Bowl. Their last appearance was in 1993, when they lost to the Dallas Cowboys. By that time, they had made the Super Bowl for four consecutive years and lost each time.

Playoffs?

What about playoff appearances since 2012?

One season after making the World Series, the Mets lost the NL Wild Card game to the San Francisco Giants. They have not reached the playoffs since.

The Yankees were swept by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS 2012, losing the AL Wild Card 2015 to the Houston Astros, 2017 ALCS to the Astros, 2018 ALDS to the Red Sox, 2019 ALCS to the Astros and ALDS 2020 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Nets lost to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2013 playoffs, the conference semifinals to the Miami Heat in 2014, the first round to the Atlanta Hawks in 2015, the first round to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019, were swept by the Toronto Raptors in the first round in 2020 and lost the conference semifinal to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021.

The Knicks lost in the first round to the Heat in 2012, the semifinals to the Indiana Pacers in 2013 and in the first round to the Hawks in 2021.

Since winning it all in 2012, the Giants have just made the Wild Card game in 2016, but lost to Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers.

The Jets have failed to reach the playoffs in the last decade. Their most recent appearance came in 2010, when they lost the AFC Championship game to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Islanders lost in the conference quarterfinals to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2013, first round to the Washington Capitals in 2015, second round to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2016, were swept by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round in 2019 and lost to lightning in the Eastern Conference finals in 2020 and 2021 .

One of the most successful teams in New York as well as their respective sports in the 2010s, the Rangers lost the 2012 ECF to the New Jersey Devils, the semifinals to the Boston Bruins in 2013, the ECF to Lightning in 2015, the first round to the Penguins in 2016, the second round to the Ottawa Senators in 2017 and was swept away by the hurricanes in what was referred to as the qualifying round of the 2020 playoffs.

The Bills lost the 2017 Wild Card game to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Wild Card game in 2019 to the Houston Texans, and the AFC Championship game in 2020 to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Like the Jets, the Sabers have failed to reach the playoffs since 2012. Their last appearance came just a year before, in 2011, when they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the quarterfinals of the conference.

Nor is it the case that New York has lacked stars during this time.

The Mets’ captain David Wright struggled to stay healthy, but is one of the greatest players in franchise history and could even have reached the Hall of Fame if he had not been so exposed to injury. There are worse players to have as the cornerstone of a franchise.

They failed to win with pitcher like Matt Harvey who was one of the best in the game during his day and have not been able to get to the playoffs with the best pitcher on the planet in Jacob deGrom and a supporting cast consisting of guys like Noah Syndergaard.

The Mets have seen solid hits come up over the last couple of seasons with guys like Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and then traded for Francisco Lindor before the 2021 season.

It is worrying that they have not been back in the mail season since 2016, but this core is more than capable of winning.

The largest franchise in any sport, the Yankees have been in a tight spot. They only won a ring with Alex Rodriguez and could not get enough out of their aging core after 2009.

The end of an era as well as the subsequent reconstruction was followed by the advent of Aaron Judge and “Baby Bombers”, but the results have not been great.

The Yankees are always favorites to win the World Series, but have not been able to win more than ALDS since hiring Aaron Boone in 2018. Is there a problem with the roster? The front office? Or both?

The Nets were not good after moving to Brooklyn from New Jersey, but all that changed when youngsters like D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen came on the field.

Much of the young core is no longer with Nets, but they opened the door to some of the game’s biggest names.

Brooklyn became an attractive destination and is now home to three of the NBA’s most prominent superstars: Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

If the Nets can figure out Irving’s vaccination situation, and if at least two of the big three can stay healthy all season, the Nets have no reason not to bring Larry O’Brien home this year.

Their path to the championship is clearer and smoother than any other New York team at the moment.

The Knicks were considered an embarrassment until Tom Thibodeau took over in 2021.

He took the Knicks to their first playoff appearance since 2013, and even though they lost in the first round, this team is incredibly promising and should only get better.

Julius Randle played basketball at MVP level last season, RJ Barrett proved why it was the right decision to draft him for third place the year before, and Immanuel Quickley became one of his draft’s biggest stealers.

Their recent past has been ugly, but the future is bright for these Knicks.

The Giants and Jets have both been NFL laughs in recent years. It’s been ugly and we do not even know it will change any time soon.

The Giants did not reach the playoffs last season, but ended up on an extremely high note while becoming one of the best defenders in the game.

Unfortunately, their start to the 2021 season has not been fantastic, although quarterback Daniel Jones has looked quite decent.

The Jets thought it was the beginning of a new era when they drafted Sam Darnold in 2018, but that experiment failed miserably and they are now trying their luck with Zach Wilson.

The islanders are in a boat similar to the Nets. They could not do much with their captain and face on franchise John Tavares, but became one of the best teams in the NHL shortly after he left.

John Tavares New York Islanders
(Photo by Abbie Parr / Getty Images)

If they can just get past the dangerous lightning, their time can come.

Rangers have been a heartbreaking team for their fans to see over the last decade. They came so close in 2014, but ultimately could not get it done. The next year, they were without a doubt a Mats Zuccarello head injury away from going all the way.

They were lucky with an elite goalkeeper in Henrik Lundqvist, who became the face of the team as well as one of the best netminders ever and built around him, but clearly did not do enough.

Lundqvist will be remembered as an athlete in New York who deserved a ring more than most but never got it. Rangers fell short in a heartbreaking way, yes, but their future is bright.

They have the best LW in hockey in Artemiy Panarin, the reigning Norris Trophy winner in Adam Fox, as well as one of the best expected pipelines in the game. Oh, and Lundqvist’s heir, Igor Shesterkin, does not look too shabby in the net either.

Who’s next?

Their next window is already opening. Can they get it done this time?

The last decade has historically been bad for New York sports teams, but the present and the future are bright for several of them.

The hope is that the teams that are doing well now will actually be able to take advantage of and win their respective championships to put an end to this prolonged drought.

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