Shed a tear for New York baseball and give a cheer for New York football.
The Big Apple is experiencing a remarkable role reversal that occurred in what seems to have been the blink of an eye.
Everything was going swimmingly for the Mets and Yankees, winners of 200 regular season games between them (101 for the Mets and 99 for the Yankees). Both teams spent most of the regular season in first place.
There they were when the Jets and Giants began practicing for the NFL season. Both baseball teams had sizable division leads. Until they didn’t.
The Yankees suffered a post-All Star Game swoon that chewed up most of their American League East lead. They recovered just in time to win the division and then, just like that, they became very ordinary, barely surviving the Cleveland Guardians (which is what the Indians call themselves these days) in the first round of playoffs and then disappearing in a four-game sweep against Houston in the American League Championship series.
The Mets’ anguish was worse. They were licking their chops over a soft September schedule against some also-ran teams. But trouble surfaced when they were swept in a three-game series at home against the woebegone Chicago Cubs. It deteriorated from there and Met fans, who have been down this path before girded themselves for another disappointment. The team came through. Needing one win in the end-of-season three-game series against Atlanta and with their three best pitchers ready, the Mets were swept again and it cost them the National League East title. They followed that by losing the wild card playoffs in the same fashion to San Diego.
Meanwhile, the Giants and Jets were preparing for their seasons with no particular anticipation. It had been a decade or so since either of them was competitive and there was no reason to believe that would change anytime soon.
And then, until both lost last Sunday, it did.
Both teams charged into the NFL regular season, the Giants winning six of their first seven games and the Jets going 5-2 over the same stretch. There were four Sundays when both teams won their games which served as a shock to their fans.
Suddenly, New York (or maybe New Jersey, where both of them play) was in a football frenzy and the disappointment of the baseball season was in the rear-view mirror.
Sports is funny that way. You just never know what tomorrow will bring.