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Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

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

Leen Amin

With the New York Yankees losing to the Boston Red Sox in the 2021 AL Wild Card game 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 of exactly 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 tough times at the same time. 

Only two teams have even made it to their league’s championship game since the Giants in 2012: the New York Rangers in 2014 and the New York Mets in 2015.

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

 

How Long?

The Mets are the last of New York’s teams to have made their sports final, but they haven’t won the World Series since 1986, when they defeated the Red Sox. 

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

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

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

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

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

They won four Stanley Cups in a row and went on to make the Stanley Cup Final again in 1984, this time losing to the Oilers. That marks the last time the Islanders played in a Final. 

 

The New York Rangers last won in 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. At that point, they had made the Super Bowl in four consecutive years, losing 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 made the playoffs since. 

The Yankees were swept by the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 ALCS, lost the 2015 AL Wild Card to the Houston Astros, the 2017 ALCS to the Astros, the 2018 ALDS to the Red Sox, the 2019 ALCS to the Astros, and the 2020 ALDS 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 semifinals to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021. 

The Knicks lost in the first round to the Heat in 2012, the conference 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 make 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, the first round to the Washington Capitals in 2015, the second round to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2016, were swept by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round 2019, and lost to the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final in 2020 and 2021. 

One of the most successful teams in New York as well as their respective sport in the 2010s, the Rangers lost the 2012 ECF to the New Jersey Devils, the conference semifinals to the Boston Bruins in 2013, the ECF to the Lightning in 2015, the first round to the Penguins in 2016, the second round to the Ottawa Senators in 2017, and were swept 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 2019 Wild Card game to the Houston Texans, and the 2020 AFC championship game to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Like the Jets, the Sabres have failed to make the playoffs since 2012. Their last appearance came just a year prior, in 2011, when they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the conference quarterfinals. 

It’s not like New York has been lacking in stars during this time, either.

Mets’ captain David Wright struggled to stay healthy, but is one of the greatest players in franchise history and may even have made it to the Hall of Fame had he not been so injury-prone. There are worse players to have as cornerstones of a franchise.

They failed to win with pitchers like Matt Harvey, who was one of the best in the game during his day, and have been unable to make 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 hitters come up over the past few seasons with guys like Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and then traded for Francisco Lindor before the 2021 season.

 

It’s worrying that they haven’t been back in the postseason since 2016, but this core is more than capable of winning. 

The most storied franchise in all of sports, the Yankees have been in quite the predicament. They won just one ring with Alex Rodriguez and couldn’t get enough out of their aging core after 2009.

The end of an era as well as the subsequent rebuild was followed by the emergence of Aaron Judge and the “Baby Bombers”, but the results haven’t been great.

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

The Nets weren’t great after moving to Brooklyn from New Jersey, but all that changed when youngsters like D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen came onto the scene.

Much of that young core are no longer with the Nets, but they opened the door for 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 throughout the season, the Nets have no reason to not bring home the Larry O’Brien this year.

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

 

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

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

Julius Randle played MVP-level basketball last season, RJ Barrett proved why drafting him third the year before was the right decision, and Immanuel Quickley became one of his draft’s biggest steals.

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

The Giants and Jets have both been the laughing stock of the NFL in recent years. It’s been ugly and we don’t even know that that’s going to change any time soon.

The Giants didn’t make the playoffs last season, but ended on an extremely high note while becoming one of the best defenses in the game.

Unfortunately, their start to the 2021 season hasn’t been great, although quarterback Daniel Jones has looked quite excellent.

The Jets believed it was the dawn of a new age when they drafted Sam Darnold in 2018, but that experiment failed miserably and they’re now trying their luck with Zach Wilson. 

The Islanders are in a similar boat to the Nets. They couldn’t do much with their captain and face of the 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 could be coming. 

The Rangers have been a heartbreaking team for their fans to watch over the past decade. They came so close in 2014, but ultimately couldn’t get it done. The next year, they were arguably a Mats Zuccarello head injury away from going all the way.

They lucked into an elite goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist, who became the face of the team as well as one of the best netminders of all time, and built around him, but evidently didn’t do enough.

Lundqvist will be remembered as a New York athlete who deserved a ring more than most, but never got it. The Rangers came up short in heartbreaking fashion, 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 prospect pipelines in the game. Oh, and Lundqvist’s heir, Igor Shesterkin, isn’t looking too shabby in net, either.

Who’s Next?

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

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

The hope is that the teams that are doing well now are actually able to capitalize and win their respective championships to put an end to this lengthy drought.