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This year has provided a rare occurrence for New York: both baseball teams did not make the playoffs. Now, despite the recent increased competitiveness of the Mets, their fans are more used to failure than Yankees fans are. So for their fans, switching focus to something else in October or watching the Yankees would not be unusual.
However, practically the whole state is now faced with a lack of a positive light at the end of the baseball season. Instead, there’s been more of an odd focus away from sports.
Sure, the economic downturn is part of that. And the fact that all other major sports are in the early portion of the season or the preseason. But, we have a defending Super Bowl champion (Giants) and Brett Favre in town. The Knicks are garnering a little attention with all the Stephon Marbury drama, but I don’t hear a lot of talk about it. College football is not big in NYC, so there’s no focus on that either.
Now, that’s not to say there hasn’t been any sports buzz. There was some for whether Yanks GM Brian Cashman would return or not. A lot of Mets fans are displeased with the roster construction for their team. The baseball playoffs, even without the Yankees or Mets, do have some interesting story lines, including the silly people who think Torre would’ve gotten the Yankees to the playoffs while watching him take the Dodgers to the NLCS. But, the presidential race, local politics involving Mayor Bloomberg wanting a third term, and the MTA being seriously underfunded have grabbed far more attention in the city.
I think people are either in a state of shock or are reassessing their priorities without the distraction of playoff baseball. Whatever it is, it just is not like anything I’ve experienced as an adult. If the Yankees or Mets make the playoffs next year, it might even feel refreshing, especially after how this October has started.
Maybe I’m wrong and it’s just my circle of friends, families, and people I know who are affected in this manner, but it sure is odd when you see bars advertising the debates and not showing a playoff game.