THE BATTLE OF NY: Yankees/Giants/Rangers vs Mets/Jets/Islanders!

It’s The Battle of NY here at!

Living in New York during my 32 years on this planet, I have noticed there are two major types of allegiances. Usually, the majority of fans either lead to Yankees/Giants/Rangers or Mets/Jets/Islanders. Sure, there are Yankee/Jets/Islander fans out there, and I’m sure there are Mets/Giants/Ranger fans out there as well. But for the most part, if you poll most fans, it’s usually Yankees/Giants/Rangers or Mets/Jets/Islanders.

The reason why many allegiances fall this way is perhaps based on the home base. The NY Giants played at Yankee Stadium from 1956-1973.  The NY Jets played at Shea Stadium from 1964-1983. Former Brooklyn Dodger and NY Baseball Giant fans either followed their teams out west or adopted the NY Mets. The 1969 season featured both the Mets and the Jets winning championships and many fans jumped on those bandwagons. 

The NY Islanders didn’t come into existence until 1972 and really focused on not being a NY team, but being a “Long Island” team. The Mets & Jets, playing only 20 minutes away from Long Island, were easy franchises for Long Islanders to attend home games.  Older fans tended to favor the Yankees, Giants and Rangers because they were around first. Fandom was usually passed down generation-to-generation, and if you were close to your grandfather, you may have tended to go the Yankees/Giants/Ranger route.

In today’s world, front-running is prevalent as ever. It was only 10 years ago that Bulls fans became Lakers fans. 4 years ago, those Laker fans became Heat fans. Today, they are wearing Cav jerseys. Here in NY is no different. The Yankees, Giants and Rangers have been more successful in recent years than their counterparts. The Mets/Jets/Islander fan has suffered nothing but depression and frustration in recent times.

Myself, I have gone down the Yankee/Giant/Rangers path. My grandfather was a diehard Yankee & Ranger fan and passed that on to me. Hockey was always big in my house and I remember Ranger games being on TV more than anything else. Rooting for the Islanders would be blasphemy. 

Growing up, football wasn’t as big, as we watched both the Giants and Jets games. However, I knew I hated the Jets. Ever since I can remember, I hated the Jets. I don’t know why, but my first football memory was hating the Jets. I’m glad that happened to me, for whatever reason, because I feel bad for all my Jet fan friends who suffer with that miserable franchise. I know I was too young to really remember the Giants first two Superbowls. (I was born in 1982.) However, I do remember waking up  on the couch just in time to see Scott Norwood’s wide right kick! Luckily, I knew as I got more into sports, that I was going to root for Big Blue. For some reason, probably because he was a big drinker and I saw his college games,  I was really into Kerry Collins, and when he joined the Giants, I was hooked on the Giants for life.

Before moving on, I know I’m omitting the Knicks and the Nets. Growing up, playing basketball was very popular, not so much as rooting for a team in my house. Rangers and Yankees were the end all, be all for me. However, I do remember watching more NBC and TNT games than Knicks games. I remember being a big fan of Ahmad Rashad and Summer Sanders as they hosted “Inside Stuff.”  I was also around for Jordan’s prime, so Michael Jordan and the Bulls would be on TV everyday through Chicago’s WGN (available through Cablevision at that time) or being the game of the day.

Just like how I hated the Jets, I knew I hated Patrick Ewing. Remember, I am 12 years old in 1994. I witnessed the greatest teams and player ever to play at that point in Michael Jordan. Who didn’t want to be like Mike? What cemented my hatred for Ewing even more, was that Messier and Ewing both guaranteed championships. We all know how that turned out.

Today, I’m more into following the NBA than being a diehard fan of any team. I am fanatic and obsessed with the Yankees/Giants/Rangers. I’ll watch the Knicks if nothing else is on. I rather watch the TNT game and follow the league, especially since the Knicks play a crappy brand of basketball and have played a crappy brand of basketball for a long time.

For as long as I have lived, the Knicks vs Nets rivalry has never even came to close to the intensity of the other three rivalries in NY. I don’t even think the Nets are even one of the Knicks top 3 rivals, as the Pacers, Heat and Bulls have been bigger rivals.  The Nets moving to Brooklyn two seasons ago helps bring some heat to the fire, but with both teams being blah, it is no where as intense as the other rivalries in NY sports. The Knicks vs Nets games haven’t produced iconic moments or trash talking like Ranger/Islanders, Mets/Yankees and even though they only play each other once every four seasons, Jets/Giants. 

For the purpose of this column, we are going to look at the Yankees vs Mets, Giants vs Jets and Rangers vs Islander rivalries, and what they all have in common. When comparing franchises, I’m looking at one thing only, the most important thing – winning championships.

Everyone has their stories on why they root for whoever they root for. Every story is special for everybody. However, it is no denying that in NY, the Yankees/Giants/Rangers have been more successful than the Mets/Jets/Islanders. What do all these rivalries have in common? What is the one thing you can look at and say why one team has fared better than the other? Bottom line, if you had to find just one reason to say why one team was better than the other, what is it? 

The answer: OWNERSHIP.

Let’s take a look at it, sport-by-sport:


The Jets, currently owned by a clown, one Woody Johnson have seen nothing but one step forward, three steps back during his tenure. The Giants, owned by The Tisch and Mara families, have arguably the best ownership in all of sports.

The Jets have had a history of clumsy owners and that has produced only one Superbowl win. The best and most famous player in Jets history is known for getting drunk and trying to bang Suzy Kolber like she was a cheap cocktail waitress. The Jets are known more for their mishaps than their success. From butt fumbles to Brett Favre texing out dick pics to fans flying “FIRE IDZIK” banners, the Jets have been, are and always be a complete mess.

On the flip-side, the Giants have always been a classy organization and that starts from the top. The Giants have always made solid key coaching, GM and player hires.  There is a reason why the Giants have had success prior the NFL era and have won 4 Superbowls. 

The Giants are the only team in the NFL to win 2 Superbowls in the last 7 years, a very impressive feat in the salary cap era. Teams are punished when they win Superbowls due to the extraordinarily low salary cap. You can bet the Giants still wish they had Bradshaw, Tuck, Osi, and Nicks. But sports are money first, everything else second.  The Mara’s and Tisch’s have always found the right people for the job, where Woody Johnson was a trust fund baby.

Perhaps, therein lies the problem. Where the Mara’s and Tisch’s were self-made, Woody Johnson had life handed to him on a silver platter. Johnson has proved to be a horrible business man as owner of the Jets and that has trickled down. The Giants would never allow the controversies and just pure bullshit that comes out of “Gang Green Nation”. 

There is no denying that the Giants are a better franchise than the Jets, and that doesn’t look to change any time soon in the forseeable future.

Do I even have to write anything here? The Yankees vs the Mets rivalry is a joke. The Yankees have been around since the beginning of MLB, while the Mets didn’t come along since 1969. But even if you compare the Mets from 1969 to the Yankees from 1969 on, it’s not even a competition. Put it this way, the Florida Marlins, a NY Mets divisional rival and  a 1993 expansion team, only needed 10 years to win as many championships as the NY Mets.

The Yankees are sports. The Yankees are the richest American franchise in all of the world. There are people wearing Yankee hats in China to Canada to Thailand right now. The history of baseball runs through Yankees, just like how cocaine runs through the noses of the 1980’s Mets. When you talk Yankees, you talk Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Joe D., Munson and Jeter. When you talk the Mets, you talk about Vince Coleman throwing firecrackers and Keith Hernandez doing blow. Two of the more famous Mets, Strawberry and Gooden, achieved more championship success with the Yankees than they did with the Mets.

George Steinbrenner, for all his nuances and quirks, believed in one thing – winning. Money was never a thought. Whatever it took to win. Steinbrenner would rather lose a million dollars and win a championship than make ten million and be in last place. Fred Wilpon, the bumbling owner of the NY Mets is most famously known for as being conned by Bernie Madoff. His teams have not won anything during his tenure, due to penny pinching, horrible GM hires and bad managing.

To even continue this argument is insulting your intelligence. You can not compare the Steinbrenner family and the Yankee machine to the clueless Mets. The Yankees made more money selling dirt and old toilet paper from Yankee Stadium than the Mets did for their “Sleep Under the Stars” promotions. Ownership here is night and day, and that is why the Yankees are the most successful team in all of sports, while the Mets are the Mets.


Out of the three major rivalries featured here, this is the closest rivalry of them all, despite both teams having completely different histories. The NY Rangers, an original 6 team, were born in 1926, while the Islanders entered the NHL in 1972. The Rangers had the displeasure of being around the strong teams of the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Redwings of the day and only managed a measly 3 championships by the time the Islanders came around. Sure World War 2 hurt the Rangers big time, but you would figure they would be able to win more than 3 championships in 46 years, as there weren’t as many teams around as there are today.

The Islanders possess one of the greatest feats in all of sports, 19 consecutive playoff round victories, that equated to 5 straight Stanley Cup appearances. The Islanders won four cups in a row, and perhaps could’ve won more, if they didn’t encounter the Edmonton Oiler dynasty, featuring Hall of Famers like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr. By 1983, the Islanders had already won more Cups than the Rangers. However, that would be the last Cup they ever won.

Where the Rangers won the Cup in 1994, ironically featuring many players from the Edmonton Oiler dynasty, they also went on to compete in a close Stanley Cup series with the LA Kings in 2014.  The Islanders haven’t gotten a whiff of the Cup since the early ’80’s. What changed? Management.

This is the closest battle when it comes to ownership. Both franchises have been mismanaged since the 1990’s. However, I will have to say the Dolan family gets the edge here because the Islanders have just been so terrible in every facet possible.

For example, the Islanders let John Spano, a complete fraud own the team for nearly a year. On an aside, check out the “BIG SHOT” ESPN 30/30 documentary on him, completely fascinating stuff. John Pickett, who owned the team during the glory years, wanted to sell so bad, that a broke fraud like Spano was able to swoop in. After realizing he was fugazi, the Islanders finally sold to Howard Milstein and Steven Gluckstern. That barely lasted, and with the stench of failure of the Islanders getting too much for them, they flipped the team to Charlie Wang.

Wang, who I feel bad for, has been a victim of disgusting Long Island politics. The guy really wanted to make a difference and make the Islanders a destination attraction, but got so much red tape up the ass he decided to move the team to  Brooklyn, starting next year.  Wang recently sold the team to Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Milkin, as he couldn’t bare any more losses, financially and on the ice, that the team cost him.

However, despite being sold and sold again, the Islanders can not get out of the first round of the playoffs, if they are even lucky to make it. On the flipside, the Rangers have made several strong playoff runs in recent years, but still haven’t won it all since 1994. However, ownership has been consistent, for better or for worse, which is why I give them the edge here. 

It is no secret that James Dolan, the current majority owner of the Rangers is a buffoon. The way he killed the Knicks franchise and ushered in the Isiah Thomas era is unforgivable. He’s been more hands-off with hockey, letting Glen Sather run things for the last 15 years, as it seems that all of Dolan’s hockey knowledge is based on the Edmonton Oilers of old. However, he signs the checks, his franchise is super-profitable and recently, MSG underwent a major renovation, while there are still piss stains and water leaking at the Nassau Coliseum from the 1980’s. I gotta say, Rangers ownership is superior to that of their Island counterparts.


I don’t expect everyone reading this to be as obsessed with sports as I am, to the point where I have a diehard rooting interest between two radio hosts, but I know there are some of you out there. In one corner, we have the YES puppet known as Michael Kay, and in the other we have NEW YAWKS NUMBAH ONE, Mike Francesa.

Recently, there has been an all-out war between the two hosts. If you google Francesa vs Kay, several clips will come up of the two hosts taking shots at each other.

It all started really when Francesa allowed A-Rod to lie on his show, on the YES network, a year ago. A-Roid lied for nearly 45 minutes about his PED usage. Shortly after, it was announced that Francesa was leaving YES at the end of January. 

As time went on, it was announced that YES pitchman, Michael Kay, was taking Francesa’s old time-slot on YES with his ESPN radio show that no one listens to. Francesa announced he was going to Fox Sports, which has been a complete debacle since he went there.

Due to A-Roid being just a cancer, it was reported this week that, SHOCK, A-Roid lied about his PED usage to Mike Francesa. Also, it was reported that A-Roid likes to go to people’s houses and pee on the floor like a bad puppy.

Francesa was questioned by callers about A-Roid, and in answering, took shots at Kay’s poor program. Kay fired back with an 8 minute crybaby rant, that made him look like an impetulant child. The next day, the high and almighty king of sports radio, said the following:

“I’m not worried about people who are petty, jealous or whatever. Let the record show, if they’ve accomplished what I’ve accomplished, God bless them. They want to match resumes? They can match three things: resumes, longevity, ratings, paychecks. And when I look at any of those areas, I’ll match them anytime. Bring it on. We’ll look at all those areas and we’ll see who’s winning.

[ESPN New York Radio has] never even been on the landscape as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never even seen them. I can’t even find them in the rearview mirror. Never have in 20 years. Still can’t find them, so what am I worried about? . . . I’ve been on the same show 28 years. I was No. 1 in 1989 with Dog [Chris Russo]. I’m No. 1 today. Last time I looked, it’s 2014. I’m still No. 1. I’ve got a long-term contract, beautiful family. I’ve got Mink [update announcer John Minko] here. What else would I want? Here’s the Mink Man.”

While Michael Kay makes sleeping jokes and plays around with Diet Cokes like a court jester, there is only one KING, and that’s the sports pope Mike Francesa. Back Aftuh Dis.

Thanks for reading!
Feedback, comments, hate mail can be sent to:
Sean McCaffrey
@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter

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