The parade down Broadway honoring the Super Bowl champion New York Giants makes me feel old.
I have lived and worked in New York City for two decades and it seems that I can mark the years by the sports titles gained by the local clubs (even though I am not a fan of any of them).
By my reckoning, the parade for the 2012 Giants in my ninth since I have been here.
I have watched (generally with passivity) the parades for the World Series-winning Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009; for the Super Bowl-winning Giants in 1991, 2008 and now 2012; and even saw the New York Rangers honored for winning the Stanley Cup in 1994 (their first title in 54 years).
This means that a parade goes down Broadway about once every other year here in New York.
Strangely, the New York Knicks, the New York Mets and New York Jets have never won a championship in all the time I’ve lived in Gotham -- and it’s doubtful any of these ill-starred franchises will even be competing for a title anytime soon.
The Knicks were perennial playoff contenders throughout the 1990s under the leadership of center Patrick Ewing. Although Ewing annually “guaranteed” a title, the Knicks never won (they lost in the finals twice during that span – to the Houston Rockets in 1995 and to the San Antonio Spurs in 1999).
The Mets (who are now in terrible financial straits) were once the toast of the town, before I moved to New York. The Yankees did not always dominate the baseball talk in the city; nor take over the back-pages of the tabloids.
Old-timers who have worked on Wall Street for decades have told me that the parade for the World Series champion 1986 Mets topped any other celebration they have ever seen down Broadway. They claim that the cheers and hysteria for such Mets stars as Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez surpassed any amount of pandemonium directed at all those Yankees clubs.
I also believe that a Knicks championship would create utter hysteria in New York. With the Knicks the only NBA club in the city (that is, before the Nets come over to Brooklyn), they have had a monopoly on the city’s basketball faithful for decades.
The Knicks have not won a title since 1973, when Richard Nixon was president and the team was led by Walt “Clyde” Frazier. The longer the Knicks go without winning a title, the wilder the festivities will be for them along the Canyon of Heroes when they finally do.
As for the Jets, well, they will probably never win anything.