Each home team’s most memorable moment of a long-awaited successful year

This Christmas morning, I would like to confide to you, dear and faithful readers, a little secret:

We’re really not looking for the locals to lose.

Honestly. Truly. The only thing that makes most of us laugh in the athletic department is when we write something negative about one of our teams and are told “it’s just clickbait”. or “you’re just trying to sell newspapers”.

Well, two things, and again I won’t lie to you, certainly not on Christmas morning:

1. We plead guilty to wanting you to click on our stories on the web or pick up the newspaper at your doorstep or newsstand. It’s our business, after all.

2. Nothing – truth be told, nothing – sells more items or generates more clicks than winning teams. When are the Yankees or Mets in the World Series? You can’t find a newsstand that isn’t already sold out. When the Giants or Rangers win a playoff game, our site is like a pinball machine.

Winning is good for business. It’s the truth.

So 2022 was actually good for everyone, especially after so many years of gruesome and brutal seasons piled on top of each other. Think about it: Until about 11 p.m. Thursday night when the Jaguars beat the Jets, every one of our teams had or finished with at least a 2022 record of .500 or better.

Aaron Judge hits his record 62 homers on October 4.
PA

It’s good for the teams. Good for fans. Good for La Poste. Good time!

Even better, each of our nine teams had at least one memorable moment that resonated in 2022. It doesn’t happen every year. Here are my personal favorites for the nine, listed in alphabetical order.

Devils: They’ve been chilling lately, but they were the biggest surprise of all for a while. And on December 9, Jack Hughes played the final 6 minutes and 2 seconds of a 5-3 loss to the Islanders at the Prudential Center. It’s the longest-recorded change in NHL history, and it’s surely helped reinforce the idea that hockey players, unless they’re declared dead, will do anything to get in. and stay on the ice.

Giants: It’s been a fun season, but probably the brightest moment came in Week 1, when the Giants drove the field late for a seemingly even touchdown against the heavily favored Titans. With the exception of Brian Daboll who made the brash decision to go two up, Daniel Jones found Chris Myarick in the end zone and a whole new tone was set.

Chris Myarick catches a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Chris Myarick catches a touchdown in the Giants’ season opener win over the Titans.
PA

Islanders: Sadly, both moments were due to franchise players dying forever, but the tributes the team — and their fans — paid to Clark Gillies on January 22 and Mike Bossy on April 19 provided welcome reminders of one of the truly glorious moments any New York team has ever enjoyed. Watching the two on YouTube always brings lumps to the throat and warm smiles of memory to the faces.

Jets: It was important to remember this as the season progressed, but when the Jets beat the Bills on Nov. 6, so were the smiles the players, coaches and fans showed as they left MetLife Stadium. bright and as wide as we are. have seen green for years.

Knicks: We can look back to when Jalen Brunson signed his free agent contract last summer when the Knicks officially started to look like a team with a plan again. He was so good and so important.

Jalen Brunson speaks during Knicks media day.
Jalen Brunson speaks during Knicks media day.
USA TODAY Sports

Food: Yes, fans loved Steve Cohen’s December spending spree. But it was hard to top the sentiment at Citi Field on the afternoon of Sept. 1, when the Mets beat the Dodgers, 5-3, were 84-48, three over the Braves and looked like, for a while anyway , like the best baseball team.

Nets: New York City has gone 53 years without an NBA MVP, since Willis Reed won it in 1969-70, so it’s wise to savor every game Kevin Durant plays in what has so far been a almost perfect season for him.

Rangers: If you were inside the Garden on the night of June 3, saw the Blueshirts beat Tampa Bay, 4-3, to go up 2-0 in the Conference Finals, you could literally taste the Stanley Cup, just six wins away. .

Yankees: We may never see a season like the one Aaron Judge hosted this year, and if we don’t, that’s okay. During the second half, Judge made you believe he might very well be the best baseball player alive. And it was exciting to see, beyond the 62 circuits.

Vacuum strokes

Honestly, Taylor Sheridan can keep throwing “Yellowstone” origin stories at me, and I’ll devour them whole like the peanut butter chocolate balls my grandma made me. I was hooked on “1923” the moment Helen Mirren reloaded her gun.


If the Yankees still played at Yankee Stadium and the Mets still played at Shea, there’s a very good chance baseball attendance in New York would be approaching 9 million this season. The record will still be that of 2009 with 8,340,700 since the new stadiums are all the smaller.


Rangers look fiery again.

The Rangers celebrate their win over the Islanders.
The Rangers celebrate their win over the Islanders.
Getty Images

This holiday season, I am especially grateful to the team of coach Jorge Vargas and coaches Bob Paul and Dan Feeney, who moved quickly and expertly to revive a basketball player named PJ Kellachan at my alma mater, Chaminade a few weeks ago when his heart stopped in training after suffering a seizure. Merry Christmas, gentlemen.

Return to Vac

Jonathan Sigel: Rooting for the Knicks is like rooting for a hamster on a hamster wheel to win the Kentucky Derby.

VAC: That Friday night loss was really the equivalent of finding six lumps of coal in your basketball stocking.


Stu Ladd: Is it just me, or does Zach Wilson look like the “Mayhem” guy from insurance commercials? Their results are similar, anyway.

VAC: I prefer to think of Dean Winters as Cassidy from “Law & Order: SVU” or Ryan O’Reilly from “Oz”…but the comparison still applies to those two characters as well.


@bcbean13: Mike, you murder a 22-year-old kid. I get beatwriters, but can you imagine being Zach Wilson’s parents listening to that crowd? I felt bad for him.

@MikeVacc: Thank you for showing that there is still compassion among the faithful. Although all professional athletes have parents, siblings, children and attract a lot of bile. Cynically, Don Draper once told Peggy, “That’s what money is for.”


Francis Rushford: Steve Cohen recalls Roman Abramovich, the former owner of Chelsea in the British Premiership. When asked if he feared Chelsea would lose between $35m and $50m a year, his response was: “Maybe in 200 or 300 years.”

Vac: Do the Mets already make Ohtani jerseys?

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