Red Bulls Clinch Supporters Shield:
The New York Red Bulls suffered a heartbreaking defeat to the New England Revolution in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. They saw manager Mike Petke leave the club, as well as super forwards Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill. Not much was expected of new manager Jesse Marsch and his men, but as is so often in sports, the outcome deviated from the expectation. The Red Bulls won the Supporters Shield in 2015, the award given to the team with the best regular season record in the MLS. Led by a group of unlikely heroes, the Red Bulls managed to wrap up the Shield with a 2-1 victory against the Chicago Fire. NYRB went all the way to the Conference Finals, but ultimately fell at the penultimate hurdle for the second season in a row, this time at the hands of the Columbus Crew.
Knicks Knock off the Spurs:
The New York Knicks were 13-53, and going into a matchup with the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, who were 41-25. It was expected to be an easy road win for the Spurs, who were playing against a ragtag group of misfits, rejects, and D-Leaguers who resembled the Knicks roster. The result was an astounding 104-100 overtime victory for the Knicks, led by Alexey Shved and Langston Galloway. Galloway had 22 points, Shved had 21, and Lou Amundson had 12 points and 17 rebounds. That win represented arguably the biggest one for the Knicks in their most forgettable campaign ever. They won only three more times all season, and finished with the second worst record in basketball.
Yankees make Postseason Return:
On Oct. 1, the New York Yankees won their 10,000th game in franchise history with a 4-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox. More importantly, they clinched their first playoff berth since 2012, ending a two year playoff sabbatical, unheard of for the most successful team in the history of American sports. Carlos Beltran, Greg Bird and Rob Refsynder homered for the Yankees, who won their 87th game of the season. That was the last game the Yankees won for the remainder of the regular season. They lost their final three games, before losing to the Houston Astros in the American League Wild Card game.
Mets trade for Yoenis Cespedes:
Aug. 1, 2015. The New York Mets were reeling after their trade to acquire All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez collapsed, but they made up for it by acquiring outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers. The Cuban outfielder was a revelation at Citi Field, hitting 17 home runs and driving in 44 runs in just 57 games with the Mets. His sensational bat led the Mets to the National League East division title, and eventually all the way to the World Series.
Beckham Explodes on Monday Night Football:
The New York Giants had lost three consecutive games when they traveled to Miami to meet the Dolphins on Monday Night Football. At 5-7, the Giants were a half game behind the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins in the NFC East. They needed a victory to keep pace in the division, and they got one, defeating the Dolphins 31-24. They were led by superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who made a ridiculous tip-toe touchdown catch to tie the game, before catching an 84 yard touchdown to win the game. Beckham finished with 7 catches and 166 yards, showing off once again on primetime.
Darelle Revis Returns:
The defending champion New England Patriots lost their best defender to the New York Jets in the offseason. Cornerback Darelle Revis, fresh off a Super Bowl ring during his first season with New England, returned to the Jets after he was traded three seasons ago. Revis has been a focal point of a very strong Jets defense that ranks fifth in the NFL, but the symbolism of a star returning to the Jets, from the hated Patriots, also carried a large significance.
NYCFC Get First Victory at Home:
After an opening day draw at Orlando City, New York City Football Club went to Yankee Stadium to host the New England Revolution in their first ever home game. The defending Eastern Conference champions were certainly a tall task for the new club, but NYCFC managed to come away with an impressive 2-0 victory, their first ever win and first ever home win. Captain, designated player, and talisman David Villa was phenomenal, scoring the opening goal, before assisting Patrick Mullins late to seal the points.
Islanders First Game at the Barclays Center:
Following their move from the Nassau Colliseum in the summer, the New York Islanders hosted the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the first ever home hockey game at the Barclays Center. The Islanders lost 3-2 in Overtime, but regardless, the game ushered in a new era of Islander hockey.
Nets Make the Playoffs on the Final Day:
The Brooklyn Nets went into the final day of the NBA regular season knowing a win was not enough to make the playoffs. The Indiana Pacers would need to lose at Memphis as well. Both results happened. The Nets knocked off the Orlando Magic in Brooklyn, 101-88, and the Grizzles beat the Pacers 95-83. Brooklyn clinched the eighth seed, and a first round matchup with the Atlanta Hawks. As Tim Bontemps of the New York Post eloquently put it, “The Nets did everything they could to miss the playoffs, but the ineptitude of the Eastern Conference proved to be too much to overcome.”
Rangers Force Game 7 vs. Lightning:
The New York Rangers were stunned at home in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals, and went into Tampa Bay with their backs against the wall. A loss would knock the top seeded Rangers right out of the playoff hunt. But, in the most Ranger-like fashion, the team rallied and forced another Game 7. They thoroughly outclassed the Lightning, 7-3, chasing goaltender Ben Bishop in the process. The Rangers had reason for optimism going into game seven– they were 7-0 in those games at home– but they lost 2-0 and fell ignominiously out of the postseason.
Now, on to the big show: