New York is one of the largest sports markets in the world. With that in mind, success is something that is demanded from the teams that call the Big Apple home. However, New York teams haven’t exactly achieved postseason glory in recent years… to say the least.
Following the New York Yankees’ exit from the 2021 MLB postseason, it has been more than a full decade since a professional sports team in the New York area has won a championship.
It marks the first time that this has happened since 1905-1921.
The New York Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday night. Yankees starter Gerrit Cole only lasted two innings and surrendered three runs in a 6-2 loss at the hands of their AL East rivals. The Yankees haven’t reached the World Series since the 2009 season, when they won it all.
But it is not just the Yankees who are ice cold in the playoffs. The last New York championship came in 2011, when the New York Giants (… who play in New Jersey) won Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots. So it’s been nine years, which doesn’t sound that terrible. But going back to 1900, this is actually the second-longest length of time the city has gone without hoisting a sports trophy.
With these recent struggles, let’s take a closer look at how New York City’s pro sports franchises have fared when it comes to the postseason in recent years.
Last championship: 2011
The Giants, like the Yankees, have a storied history. After being founded in 1925, the Giants won NFL championships in 1927, 1934, 1938 and 1956 prior to the AFL/NFL merger in 1970. In addition, “Big Blue” also has four Super Bowl titles to their credit, but their most recent one came in 2011 when they defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
Since that championship campaign, the Giants have had just one playoff appearance, which was a Wild Card loss at the hands of the Green Bay Packers during the 2016 season. During that span, the Giants have had four different head coaches in Ben McAdoo, Steve Spagnuolo, Pat Shurmur and current coach Joe Judge. The team is in the rebuilding process and hoping to be able to build around a core that includes the likes of running back Saquon Barkley, quarterback Daniel Jones and wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
Last championship: 1969
The Jets haven’t exactly had an abundance of success throughout the franchise’s history. The team does have a Super Bowl title on their resume from the legendary Super Bowl III in which Joe Namath outdueled fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts. Throughout their history, the Jets have only had 12 postseason appearances and have been absent from the postseason since 2010.
During the 2010 season, the franchise did reach the AFC Championship Game as they were led by Mark Sanchez, but ultimately fell at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over the last nine seasons (not including the 2020 campaign), Gang Green has put together a record of just 57-87 and had three different head coaches during that time. Following Rex Ryan and Todd Bowles, Adam Gase was hired following the 2018 season and had his fair share of struggle before being fired after the 2020 campaign.
Last championship: 2009
The Yankees have only reached the American League Championship Series twice over the past nine seasons. Winning has been a tradition for the Yankees throughout their history and it’s evident by their 27 World Series titles, 40 American League pennants and 19 AL East titles. As impressive as their history has been as a whole, it hasn’t been recently.
Back in 2000, the Yankees won the World Series in a Subway Series against the New York Mets and once again in 2009 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Since then, the franchise has lost in the ALCS on four different occasions.
Last championship: 1986
The Mets have two World Series titles to their credit: 1969 and 1986. Lengthy success is something that has escaped the Mets over the years. The Mets will go several years without qualifying for the postseason, but then will make a deep playoff run when they do qualify. Since losing the 2000 World Series to the Yankees, the Mets have only reached the playoffs on three different occasions.
When Steve Cohen recently took ownership of the team, it was thought that the Mets would compete for a World Series. The Mets made splashes with the acquisitions of Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez, but missed the postseason once again in 2021 after leading the National League East earlier in the year. While that’s not impressive by any stretch, the Mets have reached the NLCS twice, including advancing to the 2015 World Series, where they lost to the Kansas City Royals. After falling to the San Francisco Giants in the Wild Card Round in 2016, the Mets have missed the playoffs the last four seasons.
Last championship: 1973
The Knicks have had periods of tremendous success during their franchise’s history, but are more known for their fair amount of struggles. New York won NBA titles in 1970 and 1973 with teams that featured the likes of Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere and Bill Bradley. In the early 1990s, the Knicks were also a juggernaut that competed with Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls for Eastern Conference supremacy on a yearly basis, but were really the second fiddle. The combination of Patrick Ewing and John Starks helped the Knicks reach the NBA Finals during the 1993-94 season — during Jordan’s brief stint with baseball — before ultimately falling to the Houston Rockets in seven games.
In recent years, they’ve missed the playoffs in 13 of the last 16 seasons. The team had a brief period of success from 2010 to 2013 with Carmelo Anthony being the focal point of the franchise. However, the Knicks appear to be headed on the right track after winning 41 games in the regular season and qualifying for the playoffs in their most recent campaign.
Last championship: 1974 (ABA)
The Nets called New Jersey home for the bulk of their existence as a franchise. Prior to joining the NBA, the Nets won ABA titles in 1974 and 1976 with eventual Philadelphia 76ers great Julius Erving leading the charge. The Nets haven’t exactly had an abundance of success since joining the NBA in 1976. The team made it past the first round of the playoffs in just seven of those seasons since 1976. They did reach back-to-back NBA Finals during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 campaigns, but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, respectively, in those appearances.
In 2012, the team moved to Brooklyn and has made the playoffs in five of their eight seasons in the borough. However, the 2013-14 season was the only campaign in which they made it out of the opening round. The Nets hope that their current core of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant will help bring a championship to the city, but that didn’t exactly come to fruition during the 2020-21 season. The Nets were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.
Last championship: 1994
The Rangers are one of the NHL’s “Original Six” teams and last hoisted the Stanley Cup in 1994 to end a 54-year title drought. The Rangers have only reached the Eastern Conference Finals on four occasions since that championship season. In addition, New York has only reached the Stanley Cup Final once and were defeated by the Los Angeles Kings in five games in 2014. The team is in the process of reshaping their roster around a core group of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere after missing the playoffs during the 2020-21 campaign.
Last championship: 1982-83
The Islanders are responsible for one of the greatest dynasties that the NHL has ever seen. In the early 1980s, the Islanders won the Stanley Cup in four consecutive years with a core group of Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies and Bryan Trottier. In addition, the team reached the Stanley Cup Final for a fifth straight season during the 1983-84 campaign, but lost to the Edmonton Oilers in five games.
Following their dynasty, any type of lengthy postseason success had escaped the Islanders prior to the 2019-20 season in which the franchise reached the Eastern Conference finals in the NHL bubble. However, the Islanders fell to the eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The Islanders enjoyed similar success during the 2020-21 season, as they reached the Stanley Cup Semifinals before being eliminated by the Lightning yet again.
Last championship: Never
The New York Liberty were one of the original eight WNBA teams when the league was founded in 1997. In their 24 seasons, the Liberty have qualified for the postseason 15 times, including in their first six seasons of existence. New York has been to the WNBA Finals on four different occasions, but never has been able to win the title. The Liberty have missed the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, but are hoping to turn the tides after drafting former Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu. However, Ionescu suffered a season-ending ankle injury just three games into the 2020 campaign. The Liberty did qualify for the postseason in 2021 for the first time in four seasons, but were eliminated by the Phoenix Mercury in the opening round of the playoffs.