- Last Updated: 5:59 AM, May 13, 2012
- Posted: 12:14 AM, May 13, 2012
Ok, So here’s today’s topic in Advanced Sporting Arithmetic 101:
When does a dry spell officially become a drought?
The Rangers used to be our gold standard. Even someone who didn’t know a forecheck from a tuning fork used to be vaguely aware of the year 1940, because it held some kind of mystical hold over the city. 1940: For years, that was also known, by those who reduce sentences to acronyms for sport, as TLYTRWTSC: The Last Year the Rangers Won the Stanley Cup.
Officially, the wait lasted 54 years, before the Rangers won the ’94 Cup and forced Islanders fans to think of some other way to taunt them. Which begs the question: If the Rangers don’t win the Cup this year, or next year, or the next, at one point can people start chanting “1994”? It doesn’t have all that good a ring to it. And, besides, the Islanders next year engage — and this is almost impossible to believe — in what would be their 30th year without a Cup.
Can someone say, “1983!”
Is there a point of delineation? Is it 20 years? Thirty? No other team of ours has approached the 54-year emptiness of the Rangers (well, unless you count the ’55 Dodgers, but, as you may have heard — ssssshh, don’t tell Fred Wilpon — they don’t play here anymore), but some of them are coming up hard along the outside. Where do they sit on the question? Let’s take a look:
Jets, 43 years — Yes, this is officially a drought, a desert, a barren landscape where hope has gone to die. This is the Sahara of New York sports because since Namath’s index-finger salute, not only has every other area team won a championship, every one has also at least gone to one other championship round. There isn’t enough Gatorade in Manhattan to quench this thirst.
Knicks, 39 years — And if you look around, this has the chance to be the granddaddy of them all soon. Seriously, if you root for the Jets and the Knicks, which team do you think will break through first? Exactly.
Nets, 36 years — Sure, they were ABA titles. But I will risk the scorn of all New England and declare, defiantly: those ’74 and ’76 Nets would have beaten, straight up, the ’74 and ’76 Celtics teams that won the NBA titles. Prove me wrong.
Islanders, 29 years — As we mentioned earlier, the Isles won a Cup in just their eighth year of existence, and it felt like that title run went on forever. Now all that’s left is that whistling chant of scorn at the Garden. God this is depressing. Next ...
Mets, 26 years — I think the Mets offer the best example of when a tough stretch becomes something more: at year 25. Only one World Series appearance since ’86, just four playoff appearances since. Getting. Very. Thirsty.Follow @NYPostsports