The best and worst New York athletes of the decade

Fan Confidence Poll: December 28th, 2009
By the Decade: From a strength to a weakness in center

With just under a week left in the decade*, the lists have started flowing. The Daily News has four of them today: best New York athletes, worst New York athletes, best New York sports moments, and worst New York sports moments. We’ll check in on the Yankees from each list, but as will become evident almost immediately, this is more of a “our favorite New York athletes,” rather than a measure of athletic ability.

Alex Rodriguez checks in at No. 4 on the best athletes list, topped only by Martin Brodeur (who doesn’t play in the Big Apple), Mariano Rivera, and, of course, Derek Jeter. On the worst athletes list, Kei Igawa holds the No. 7 spot, worse than Jerome James, but not worse than Eddy Curry. The list features many Mets, but two Yankees rank worse than any players from New York’s second team. Kevin Brown rates the third worst athlete, while Carl Pavano rates second worst. Only the unassailable Stephon Marbury stands between Pavano and the top spot. Again, the list is more “athletes we hate” than “bad athletes.”

On the best sports moments list, Derek Jeter’s flip play ranks No. 8, the 2001 World Series miracles rank sixth, Aaron Boone‘s walk-off ranks fourth, the 2009 series ranks third, and the 2000 Subway Series championship ranks second. That’s a pretty Yankees-heavy list, though they didn’t own the top spot. That deservingly belongs to the Giants for beating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. On the worst list, Clemens’s bat toss at Piazza rates the eighth worst moment, the 2001 Series ender rates sixth worst, and baseball’s steroids issue rates fifth worst. I won’t even make mention of the decade’s worst moment in New York sports. You all know what it is.

The lists are mostly for fun, but they do underscore just how much the Yankees own this city. They not only dominate the best of lists, but also the worst of lists. Hey, it’s tough to hate something if you don’t care. Also clear: the angst over the Knicks. But that’s a subject for another day, on another blog.

*No, there was no Year 0. If you want to go strictly by the calendar, the decade goes 2001-2010. But guess what? The year before Year 1 was…Year 1. We’ve come to celebrate decades from 0 through 9, so please, no decade bickering in the comments.

Fan Confidence Poll: December 28th, 2009
By the Decade: From a strength to a weakness in center
  • Matt Imbrogno

    A-Rod should be above Brouder and Mo.

    • jsbrendog

      at least brodeur since he plays in nj. same with the jets/giants.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      You could make a pretty good case that Brodeur should be number 1 on that list. The only thing holding him back is that he plays a less popular sport and, within that sport, doesn’t play for the most popular team in town. But based purely on performance and impact on his individual team and sport, Brodeur is arguably number 1. The man set every record in the books and won 2 championships as the single most important contributor, at the single most important position in his sport, on his team.

      • Ghost of Scott Brosius

        But as Joe mentioned, it’s more a measure of “favorite” athletes than “best”. And while I agree that Brodeur has the credentials, Jeter, by virtue of having very similar credentials and playing for a team with a much larger fanbase, is more people’s “favorite” and more deserving of the No. 1 title.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          “But as Joe mentioned, it’s more a measure of ‘favorite’ athletes than ‘best’.”

          Yes, as I acknowledged in my comment, when I said that “the only thing holding him back is that he plays a less popular sport and, within that sport, doesn’t play for the most popular team in town.” I went on to make the point that based on performance and impact on his team/sport, Brodeur is arguably number 1. Your rebuttal, that it’s about popularity and not performance, doesn’t really rebut my point.

          And look… As great as Jeter is, he’s not as great, within his sport, as Brodeur is in his, and it’s not a particularly close competition. Derek Jeter is great, but Martin Brodeur has set just about every record he could set as a goaltender and is much more important to his team and to his team’s championships than Derek Jeter has been. Really, this isn’t a knock on Jeter, but I’d go so far as to call that comparison laughable.

          • Ghost of Scott Brosius

            Well I agree, primarily because the importance of the goalie in hockey is just not comparable to any position in baseball. An your right, I didn’t really rebut your argument, which is a solid one. But I was emphasizing what you mentioned in passing, that as far as this list goes, those issues of real sporting importance are not relevant. Ranking the athletes in New York in terms of “value to their team” would be a far different list.

          • Captain Bawls

            I agree. As big a Yankee fan as I am, I voted for Marty in the reader poll for this very reason.

          • Evil Empire

            Shot against Jeter!

  • bomber

    I wonder where ARod would be ranked if they hadn’t won it all this year…

    • Omg!Zombies!

      If he had a bad playoffs he would probably be in the worst list

      • vin

        Wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Jordan – Cashman Has No Equal

    Danny Almonte? Anyone? Anyone?

  • jsbrendog

    the jets/giants should not be on any of these lists. they play, train, and do EVERYTHING in NJ. Since the jets have left hofstra and moved their facilities to nj there are now exactly ZERO ties to ny for either football team.

    they are the new jersey giants and the new jersey jets. the only ny team is the bills. god save us all

    • DP

      The Giants train in Albany, New York. The Washington Redskins play in Maryland, the Dallas Cowboys play in Irving, and Tampa Bay isn’t even the name of the city! The horror!

    • johnny

      If the Bills are the only NY football team, how high does JP losman land on the worst list?

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Just a nitpick, but… You didn’t mention the parenthetical “(who doesn’t play in the Big Apple)” after mentioning that the Giants “deservedly” took the top spot for best sports moment of the decade, the way you mentioned it after mentioning that Martin Brodeur appeared on the best athlete list. The Prudential Center is no further from New York than Giants Stadium is.

    • Ghost of Scott Brosius

      I think he was referring to the fact that the Devils are, officially, a New Jersey franchise. The Giants will always be a New York team no matter where they play.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Sure, but that’s just semantics. They both play in the greater NYC sports market. The fact that one has “New York” in their name (without having ANY actual connection to New York) doesn’t mean anything. The Prudential Center is about equidistant from NY as Giants Stadium is… And the Devils used to play, literally, right next door to Giants Stadium. They play in a less popular sport and they’re a less popular team, but they do play in the NY sports market.

        • Ghost of Scott Brosius

          Alright I’ll grant you that, but don’t you think the majority of the Devils fans and regular viewers are Jersey-ites, while the Giants still maintain a very large New York fanbase? I think that’s what this is about. You talk about not having ties, but the most important ties vis a vis this list are who your fans are and how many they are. You can say team name is just semantics, but I’d argue that the team location argument can be more semantics. Thousands of New Yorkers make the trip to the Meadowlands to watch the Giants and Jets every week, and millions more watch the games and buy the jerseys.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I don’t know the demographics of Devils (or Jets or Giants) fans off the top of my head, and while I wouldn’t be surprised if a higher percentage of Devils fans hail from Jersey than Giants fans or Jets fans, I would be surprised if the difference is substantial.

            And team location isn’t semantics, by definition. I’ll address your point, though, regardless… If a team plays in New Haven but calls itself “the New York Bulldogs,” is that team more of a NY team than a team that plays 10 miles from downtown Manhattan?

            Look… Clearly the Giants and Jets have historical ties to NYC that the Devils don’t have. That doesn’t change the fact that the Devils play in the greater NYC sports market, regardless of whether they play in NY state or wear an NJ or an NY on their shirts. This argument against including the Devils as a team in the NY market is silly, it’s an attempt to exclude a team that clearly does play in that market, on a silly technicality. They do exist and they do play in this market, I don’t know why anyone would feel the need to deny that.

            • Ghost of Scott Brosius

              Yeah as far as the Devils go I agree with you. They have a large enough fanbase in the metropolitan areas to merit inclusion. When you start making the “Jets and Giants aren’t NY teams” argument, I find that just silly. But I realize you were just using that to make your point about the Devils.

              As for the team name issue, I still think it’s about fanbase. If the New York Bulldogs played in New Haven and had a large, primarily New Yorker fanbase who attended their games, they would merit inclusion.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Right, I never made the ‘Jets/Giants aren’t NY teams’ argument. Honestly, I think that’s stupid. To the contrary, implicit in my argument is the fact that the Giants and Jets are NY teams.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                And keep in mind that this is all in response to Joe saying that Brodeur perhaps doesn’t belong on the list because he “doesn’t play in the Big Apple.” The distinction he felt the need to make is that Brodeur doesn’t play in NY. By that logic, the Giants and Jets and Isles should also forget about seeking inclusion on these lists, since they don’t play in NYC.

                My point, from the beginning of this conversation, has just been that the distinction Joe drew, about where they play, doesn’t really make much sense.

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      I figured this was coming. The Giants and Jets are accepted parts of NY sports. They used to play in NY, and still bear the NY name. The Devils have never played in New York, which has the Rangers and Islanders as hockey teams. The Devils are New Jersey through and through, hence not in the Big Apple.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Whatever, it’s irrelevant, really. I get the historical roots thing, obviously. But when I head out to Devils games on the PATH, there are plenty of NYers heading out there… And going to a Devils game from NYC is actually easier than even getting to a Giants/Jets game, since you can take the PATH there. All three teams play in New Jersey, at the same distance from New York.

        Look at it this way… If the Jets had built the west side stadium a few years ago, would that have made them the only NY football team and have made the Giants a NJ team, not to be considered a NY team?

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        PS: I don’t see how you could consider the Islanders an “accepted part of NY sports” but not the Devils. The Isles play 3 times as far from Manhattan than the Devils do, they’re a Long Island team the same way the Devils are a Jersey team. In fact, I’d argue that, today, the Isles are more of a Long Island team than the Devils are a Jersey team since the Devils have been so much better and more relevant for the last 20 years that I don’t think there are nearly as many non-Long Island-based Islander fans as there are non-NJ-based Devils fans.

        If the Islanders are an accepted part of NYC sports, then surely the Devils have to be.

        • Nady Nation

          But Joe said the Isles are a “New York” hockey team, not an “accepted part of NYC sports.” That’s two totally separate arguments. The Islanders play, and always have played, in NY. They’re most certainly more of a NY sports team than the Devils. Using your logic, there are really 0 NY football teams because the Bills play hundreds of miles from NYC.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Are the Bills more of a NYC football team than the Devils are a NYC hockey team? Are the Islanders more of an NYC hockey team than the Devils? Why?

            These lists weren’t about NY State, so don’t tell me the Isles are more of an NYC team than the Devils because they play in NY State. This is about the NYC sports market. If the Isles play in the NYC sports market, then the Devils certainly do, too.

            There are a few different arguments/ideas here that are getting jumbled. Let’s get back to basics here. Joe’s original statement, in the post above, implied that Brodeur didn’t belong on the list because his team doesn’t play its games in NYC.* Forget the Bills and all that other stuff, that’s way off-point. This is about whether a team/athlete plays in the NYC market.

            *I’ll note that in his response here in the comments he kind of immediately abandoned that line of reasoning, that the location of the team is what matters most… So while he’ll reply that it was just a throw-away line, my response to that reply would be that he chose to write it, clearly knew he would get challenged on it (since he admitted as much), and immediately abandoned it… So, all that said, I think it’s safe to say the original statement was wrong.

            • Nady Nation

              I just thought Joe meant that the Devils are not a New York team, as in they have no historical ties or association to New York other than geographical location. All the other teams are either based in New York, or were formerly based in NY while still representing NY in the organization’s name. Whatever, this is obviously just an argument on wording. I get all the points that you’re making.

        • Doug

          this is kind of pedantic imo

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            You’re pedantic.

            • Doug

              no u

          • Doug

            to elaborate, the team’s public identity, stated at the outset in their franchise name, is “NEW JERSEY.” No amount of anecdotal evidence or geographic rationalization can really change this.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              So they’re not a part of the NYC sports market because they call themselves the NJ Devils? It’s as if they don’t play ten miles from downtown Manhattan, because they call themselves “NJ” and not “NY?”

              Why is a team that calls itself “NJ” not a part of the NYC sports market? Northern NJ is part of the NYC sports market. If a team played in southern Westchester or Rockland, or in Long Island (cough Islanders cough), would they not be considered part of the NYC sports market? Of course a team playing in northern Jersey, 10 miles from downtown Manhattan, is part of the NYC sports market.

              The Islanders call themselves the Islanders, clearly identifying themselves with the particular region (Long Island, not NYC) in which they reside. Does this make them not a part of the NYC sports market? Joe doesn’t seem to think so, since he referred to the Isles as a NYC sports team in explaining why the Devils aren’t. Why is the name “Islanders” any different than “NJ?”

              You’re giving entirely too much importance to an arbitrary border. Northern Jersey is part of the NYC pro sports market.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                “You’re giving entirely too much importance to an arbitrary border. Northern Jersey is part of the NYC pro sports market.”

                One might even call your slavish devotion to the meaning of state borders… Pedantry.

                • Doug

                  Oh man, it is not really about sports borders and I have no idea why this means that much to you. You have certainly put a lot of thought into this, bless your heart.

                  “Why, why does no one accept the poor New Jersey Devils as a New York team? Who will console the widow Brodeur?”

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I didn’t make it about state borders, you did when you said it’s all about the location attached to the team’s name. So we agree, it’s not really about borders. Glad we came to that conclusion.

                  You haven’t put enough thought into this to win this argument, but bless your heart for showing up I guess.

                • Doug

                  LOLZ no one ever “wins” an internet argument.

                • Doug

                  Also, I like how you repeat stuff that I say back to me.

                • Doug

                  Actually, the fact that you refer to this as an “argument” that can be “won” is troubling.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “LOLZ no one ever ‘wins’ an internet argument.”

                  One person can certainly be more right than the other person, like how I’m more right than you. It stings, I know.

                  And unless you were using “LOLZ” ironically, then such usage is just embarrassing, man. You might want to rethink ever saying that again.

                  “Also, I like how you repeat stuff that I say back to me.”

                  This didn’t have to get snippy, you were the one who tried to get sarcastically insulting and took this conversation in that direction. You didn’t have to go there.

                • Doug

                  The all caps didn’t tip you off? I don’t know how I can make it any clearer without patronizing you.

                  If you’re going to get “snippy” (whatever that means) at least come up with your own stuff.

                  Also, I don’t think being a little sarcastic is any worse than someone constantly spoiling for arguments, but your mileage may vary.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  So “LOLZ” is clearly sarcastic, but “lolz” or, presumably, “Lolz,” wouldn’t have been. Thanks for the clarification, I don’t know what I was thinking.

                  And you’ve never heard of, and think it’s weird to use, the term “snippy,” but you use the terms “your mileage may vary” and “spoiling for arguments?” We just exist on different planes of reality, you and I.

                • Doug

                  Exactly. If I write “LOLZ”, I’m being sarcastic. However, if I write “lolz” or “Lolz” or perhaps “LoLZ”, then I’m super serious and I am really “laughing out loud” many times in rapid succession (“lolz” is plural; the “Z” is used instead of an “S” (e.g. “lols”) because it better fits the zeitgeist of our modern internet age and is an accepted substitute for the plural “s”, its usage dating back to the early 1990s.)

                  It’s ironic. It’s not that hard.

                • Bob Stone

                  Shouldn’t the plural be lsol or is this like rbis being plural for runs batted in (rsbi which no one uses)?

                • Whitey14

                  People don’t use “rsbi” because it would be improper grammar to write it out as “run’s batted in” the same as it’s incorrect to write it out “runs batted ins” Runs Batted In = RBI, there’s never been anything wrong with it ;-)

              • Doug

                No, I’m saying that the collective consciousness has never embraced the Devils as a New York team, so they’re not a New York team. The relationship is not set in stone, it’s fluid and changes from sport to sport. The Jets and the Giants established their connection to New York by playing there for decades, and that association remained in the minds of fans and sports media when they moved across the river. If the Giants were an expansion team that started in 1998 in East Rutherford and tried to call themselves a New York team, then the association would be artificial and unlikely to be accepted by the public.

                Northern New Jersey may be part of the New York City sports market because of the Yankees, Jets, and Giants, but the territorial overlap with football and baseball has never really applied to hockey. There may be football and baseball fans from New Jersey who support New York teams, but the converse is not true for hockey.

                The brand identity of the Devils does not explicitly include New York. The Jets and Giants firmly established their New York associations, then moved, and those associations stayed intact.

                Also, If we follow your reasoning, the Nets are an NYC basketball team.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “There may be football and baseball fans from New Jersey who support New York teams, but the converse is not true for hockey.”

                  Says you. My family’s from NYC, I currently live in NYC, and I grew up mostly in Connecticut. I have never lived in New Jersey, yet I’m a Devils fan… Because they’re a part of the greater NYC sports market and my dad took me to Devils games when I was a little kid, so I grew up a Devils fan. They may be a less relevant, due to a smaller following, part of the NY sports market than the Giants or the Jets, but they’re still part of the NY sports market. And, on that note, I’d be surprised if there are more Islanders fans in NYC or even in the greater NYC area than there are Devils fans… Just because a team might have fewer fans or be less relevant in the market overall doesn’t exclude them from being a part of the market, that’s nonsensical.

                  And yes, the NJ Nets play in the NYC sports market. (Actually… The currently play next door to the Jets/Giants and they used to be the NY Nets and used to play in NY and are soon moving to Brooklyn, so I’m not sure why you’d bring them up as a team with no link to NYC or as a team that’s not part of the NYC sports market.)

                • Doug

                  That’s anecdotal evidence. Your dad took you to Devils games, so you’re a Devils fan? Cool story. My first hockey game was a Whalers/Rangers game in Hartford. My dad took me. We took a Rangers fan bus. But that doesn’t prove anything beyond the personal level. I could say you’re an exception to the rule that I have in my head.

                  That would make it your word against mine. I don’t have any studies to support my conception of what a “New York” team is, and neither do you.

                  The Nets thing: The Nets also play in East Rutherford. Your original complain is that Martin Brodeur unjustly gets no love but he really should because New Jersey is a “New York team.” I say he isn’t embraced by NY fans for the same reason Devin Harris is not.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  It’s evidence that your statement, that “there may be football and baseball fans from New Jersey who support New York teams, but the converse is not true for hockey,” is false. The converse is true for hockey, I’m certainly not the only Devils fan to not have grown up in NJ.

                  It’s not my word against yours. It’s rationality against irrationality. It is irrational to think there aren’t Devils fans who aren’t from NJ. It’s rational to think there are. I just happen to be one example of one of those people.

                  “The Nets thing: The Nets also play in East Rutherford. Your original complain is that Martin Brodeur unjustly gets no love but he really should because New Jersey is a “New York team.” I say he isn’t embraced by NY fans for the same reason Devin Harris is not.”

                  Not once in this thread have I ‘complained that Martin Brodeur unjustly gets no love but really should because the Devils are a New York team.’ I’ve taken issue with people denying that the Devils are not a part of the NY sports market and asserting (or even just implying) that they don’t belong in conversations about athletes and teams that play in this market. All I’ve been arguing is that the Devils are part of the NY sports market and should not be excluded from these conversations.

                  I’m sorry, but you completely misunderstand and misrepresent my entire argument, and this is why you are dripping with fail in this conversation.

                • Doug

                  I never said there weren’t Devils fans not from New Jersey. What, did you think I said that was impossible? That sounds like a… wait for it… straw man. I am not some dude who denies the existence of non-Jerseyan fans of the Devils. These are strange and terrible times, after all.

                  Rationality vs. Irrationality? It’s the eternal struggle of knowledge vs ignorance, wrought on the fields of an internet baseball website! You carry the torch of Descartes and Kant and I’m a howling Sophist! Whatever.

                  Sorry for trying to connect the dots, I just thought that you were giving Brodeur’s lack of recognition as an example of how New Jersey is not accepted as part of the NY sports market by some people.

                  You may consider the Devils a NYC team because the economic and media reach of New York reaches East Rutherford. Cool. Good for you. But as someone from upstate New York, I don’t see myself ever accepting the Devils as a “New York” team. It’s an idea, an existential concept.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “There may be football and baseball fans from New Jersey who support New York teams, but the converse is not true for hockey.”

                  “I never said there weren’t Devils fans not from New Jersey.”

                  Don’t blame me for your lack of eloquence. You put the words on the page, I responded to them. If you said something you didn’t mean, maybe you (a) shouldn’t have said it in the first place, and (b) should just admit as much when you realize the mistake you made.

                  “Sorry for trying to connect the dots, I just thought that you were giving Brodeur’s lack of recognition as an example of how New Jersey is not accepted as part of the NY sports market by some people.”

                  Don’t blame me for your lack of understanding of the clear meaning of the words I put on the page.

                  “You may consider the Devils a NYC team because the economic and media reach of New York reaches East Rutherford. Cool. Good for you. But as someone from upstate New York, I don’t see myself ever accepting the Devils as a “New York” team. It’s an idea, an existential concept.”

                  Fortunately, whether or not you, Doug from upstate, consider the Devils a “‘New York’ team” is irrelevant to whether they play in the NYC market and should be included in lists of players/teams by NYC media outlets.

                • Doug

                  No, I think what we are disagreeing on is whether the Devils should be accepted by everyone as an “NYC team.”

                  You seem to say that based on economic factors and fans in the city, the Devils should be. If that’s not it, then feel free to correct me.

                  What I am trying to say is that since the Devils’ very identity as a team, a franchise, is tied to the state of New Jersey, they will never be accepted as a New York team as a matter of general consensus.

                  NYC teams represent New York State in addition to Northern NJ and parts of Connecticut and wherever their media influence goes. The New York Yankees are not the New York City Yankees. The reach of the Devils’ influence doesn’t go into the state of New York beyond NYC. If you say that the Devils are an NYC team, then I, not being from the city, will take your word for it and see how that could be possible. But what bothers me is that, since NYC teams also represent New York state, embracing the Devils as an NYC team seems to imply embracing them as a team that represents upstate New York. The city is the state and also its own thing, it’s always been this way. The “New York sports market” goes beyond the city because of the city’s outsize influence on the rest of the state.

                  The Times and the Daily News don’t cover the Devils, the Post, however, does. The Post also covers the Nets, however, so it could just be targeting the largest audience possible. It’s not a consensus in the local media on what is an NYC team, either. So it sounds like what you are really asking for is that the Times and the Post begin giving equal coverage to the Devils. You can judge for yourself how likely that is.

                  Again: What about the Nets? The reasons you have given for the Devils being recognized as an “NYC team” also apply to them. They play in East Rutherford, the Devils also used to play in East Rutherford. I’d like to know if your views are consistent or if this is about a chip on the shoulder you have as a Devils fan. And if is your Devils fandom shining through, THAT’S PERFECTLY FINE. Irrationality is an integral part of being a fan. It doesn’t have to be consistent or pass any truth tests.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  What you think we’re disagreeing about and what this conversation/thread have been about are different concepts. I hear you that you’re arguing that the Devils aren’t a NY team in a sense, but this entire conversation spawned out of the question of whether Devils players or the Devils as a team should be considered when compiling these lists of NY athletes/teams. I’m not arguing that the Devils are based in NY or consider NYC their home, I’ve only been arguing that they should be considered when compiling these lists because they play in the NY sports market. I stipulated from the start that the Devils aren’t as popular in NY as the other local teams (Isles/Nets excluded), but I feel that the Devils should be considered for these lists, as should the Isles/Nets, because they do play in the local sports market.

                  All of this stuff about upstate NY… Frankly, I find it irrelevant. I’m not arguing that the Devils represent you, the upstate NY resident. I’m certainly not telling you the Devils are your hometown team. They play in a market that includes NYC and spreads mostly into Jersey/Rockland… The same way the Isles play in a market that includes NYC and spreads mostly into Long Island… And the same way the Yankees play in a market that includes NYC and spreads into all of the neighboring areas. The Yankees reach further and more successfully into outlying areas, but that doesn’t mean part of the Devils’ market isn’t NYC or that the Devils aren’t a local hockey team that is covered by the local media (it is) and should be considered/included in these lists.

                  The Times and the Daily News covered the Devils until recently, and the fact that they no longer do has more to do with the implosion of the newspaper industry than it does with whether the Devils play in the NY sports market.

                  You ask “again, what about the Nets?” But I already answered this question, above. You seem to think I’m being inconsistent and arguing that the Devils belong in this discussion while the Nets do not, but I said nothing of the sort and, in fact, clearly said the opposite. I’m not sure why you keep going back to this question, I already answered it.

                  Look… You seem to be arguing that the Devils aren’t a NY team… That you, as an upstate NY resident, don’t consider the Devils to be a team that represents you. I don’t argue with that assessment, and I never did in this conversation. You’ve just been talking past the point of this conversation and trying to make it into something it’s not.

                  Forget all this stuff about whether the Devils are a NY team, or whether you feel like they’re your hometown team… The only relevant question here is: When compiling a list of the decade’s best local athletes, athletic achievements, best teams, and other similar topics, should the local media outlets consider the achievements of the Devils? That’s all this conversation is really about. If you answer in the negative, then I disagree with you for the reasons that have been stated ad fucking nauseum in this thread.

                  With that, I’m done. This conversation was tedious when it started, and is beyond awful at this point. I yield the floor.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          Where does Joey Chestnut’s 2007 defeat of Kobayashi in the “Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest” rank?

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Not since the Miracle on Ice have we had reason to feel as much national pride.

            Number 1 with a bullet.

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona


  • Ghost of Scott Brosius

    Robbie Alomar should make the worst list

    • Thomas

      He did. He was like number 6.

      Also as much as people love to bomb Robbie Alomar, in the end the Mets still gave up next to nothing on that trade.

      They got Alomar and Danny Peoples for Royce Ring, Billy Traber, Alex Escobar, Jerrod Riggans, and Earl Snyder.

      So while it didn’t work out for the Mets, it certainly wasn’t any big loss for the franchise.

      • Ghost of Scott Brosius

        Good call didn’t see that.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    I love Mo to death but I don’t think I’ll put him in a top athlete list. Most definitely for favorite but not necessarily best. Oh well.

    • AndrewYF

      Are you kidding me? Rivera is an incredible athlete.

      • Nady Nation

        +1. Haven’t several Yankees said that Mariano could be an outfielder b/c of his athleticism?

    • Amy

      Are we joking with this?

    • johnny

      off the top of my head I would guess that 90% percent of humans on earth, athletes included, would blow thier arm out in one way or another after throwing a half seasons worth of pitches. Mo has been doing it for 15 years better than any other reliever to pick up a baseball.

  • Jimmy

    Brodeur is the most under-rated athlete in the New York area. He is the Cy Young of goalies who goes almost unnoticed in this market. If you are any kind of sports fan and haven’t seen this guy play in person yet, you should make the effort just to be able to say you did in fifty years when the guy is a legend.

    • steve s

      Let’s not overrate Brodeur. In the same way pitchers were overrated in the mid to late 60’s because the game was out of balance in favor of pitching today’s hockey is out of balance in favor of defense (imagine Brodeur having to play with the equipment Eddie Giacomin played with including no mask for a portion of his career).

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I don’t know how big a hockey fan you are, but this sounds like a relatively uneducated opinion to me. Brodeur has had sustained greatness for almost 20 years, through different eras, rules changes, team changes and all the rest. Yes, he played during a time when defense was better… And then the league changed the rules in order to add more offense to the game, and his performance didn’t suffer at all. They even created a rule directly aimed at restricting his game (they might as well re-name the trapezoid rule the “Brodeur Rule”). As far as his equipment, Brodeur is known to play with relatively small pads for a goaltender and has led the charge to impose more restrictive standards on the size of goaltender equipment. If you want to complain about equipment or the pace of the game… Let the goalies of the past face 100+ MPH slapshots from Zdeno Chara’s composite stick with forwards receiving 2-line passes and mugging them in front of the net as they attempts to make saves. The comparison between eras goes both ways – there are things that make being a goaltender easier today (or safer, might be more accurate) and things that make it harder.

        Martin Brodeur is arguably the best goalie ever and is, at the very least, in the conversation. I don’t really see how there’s an argument on that.

        • jsbrendog

          Martin Brodeur is arguably the best goalie ever and is, at the very least, in the conversation. I don’t really see how there’s an argument on that.

          there isn’t. everything you said is spot on. and yes, you can say “arguably” the best of all time but Ihave yet to find anyone who can make an argument for another goalie that can match brodeur’s track record and accomplishments.

          whereas a good amount of athletes compile their stats as they get older and their skills diminish by hanging on (coughcoughpeterosecoughcough and to a lesser extent a guy like shanahan or brett hull his last yr or two in the league) brodeur is breaking all these records while continuing to be one of the best goalies in the nhl.

        • steve s

          Well the argument is Brodeur, with his lifetime 2.21 GAA, is scarcely ahead of goalies who played without the equipment and defensive advantages Brodeur has enjoyed (for ex. Jacque Plante (2.38) Glenn Hall (2.49) and Terry Sawchuk (2.51)). Do you think staring down a Bobby Hull slapshot isn’t as frightening as Chara’s? While it’s not Brodeur’s fault that he plays in an era that “defense is better” on the other hand it’s not fair to rate his achievements without due consideration to how the game and equipment has changed in favor of goaltenders and defense.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Ok, but those guys didn’t face the level of offensive competition that Brodeur faces. Like I said, these arguments cut both ways.

            Was Hull’s shot as frightening as Chara’s is? Zdeno Chara is a 6’9″ behemoth, using the best modern equipment (including sticks that add velocity to shots), who holds the record for fastest shot ever recorded in the NHL All Star skills competition at 105.4 MPH. I feel pretty safe saying Chara probably shoots harder than Hull did.

            You’re also using only one stat and questioning the meaning of that one stat. Brodeur has a better GAA than the guys you mentioned, and yes, that’s partly a function of the era he (and they) played in. But I never said Brodeur is arguably the best goalie ever because of his GAA. I think it’s more the sustained dominance, the 3 Cups, the assault on the all-time record books… The body of work, in total.

            The fact that Martin Brodeur gets to wear a nice mask doesn’t mean he’s not one of the best goalies ever. He’s been as good as he could be over a very long period of time (and is still going strong, I might add). Compared to the historical record as well as looked at in the context of the era in which he has played, he’s one of the best goaltenders, if not the best, in the history of the game.

  • I’m Sorry But…

    If we go based on when Jesus was born there has to have been a year 0. Babies are not 1 year old at birth, they are no years old until their first birthday.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Who cares?

    • ColoYank

      Read the caveat in the post.

    • Doug

      You’re not actually sorry SO DON’T SAY IT.

      People who say this irritate me to no end, no part of you is apologetic and you’re just being passive-aggressive.

      • Evil Empire

        I’m sorry but maybe he said he was sorry because he was sorry for you and thinks you are actually the one who should feel sorry.


    • Accent Shallow

      If you’re going to bust out the pedantry, at least bother to be correct. Seriously, go look into Google.

  • jddzip

    I love how 3/4th of these comments aren’t even about the top 10

    Carl Pavano was awful, but #2? Really?

    • Bronx Blogger

      he’s been the goat of the media since he first got here, no surprise there.

    • jsbrendog

      youd almost rather have someone actually pitch and be terrible because the there is at least a chance of them not being terrible. pavano sat home and collected his checks. the dude couldnt stay healthy. how athletic can he be when he strains his buttocks doing something routine? and as for the liked part…well…we know we all cried the day pavano left town

  • Captain Bawls

    The good news, Joe, is that there hasn’t been any bickering about the decade. Just the border of NY and NJ

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      During the years 2001-2010, the Devils played in the NYC sports market and their players/teams deserved to be on these lists.

      • Whitey14

        To The Honorable Congressman Mondesi, we’ve certainly had our disagreements in the past and I’m fairly certain nobody here would mistake us for being buddies, but credit where credit is due, you are on your A game today. Nice work :-)

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Heh, thanks. I’m just stubborn. Sorry, forgot who I’m talking to… Wicked stubborn.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            (PS: We may have disagreed in the past but I think you come around here and argue your points in good faith, I hope you don’t think I have some personal problem with you or anything. Other than the B.O., of course.)

            • Whitey14

              You and I are okay…and I’m working on the body odor, I mean Christ, if you can smell me in New York and I’m in Maine, I’d better be doing something about it. At this rate they wouldn’t let me donate my body to science due to the stench ;-)

    • MikeD

      That’s because only a Red Sox fan would argue that point as they’re still trying to figure out some way to be the team of the first decade of the 21st Century. So if they were to win in 2010, they’d claim that as their third championship of the decade…that is until the end of 2019, when they’d try claiming it as a championship in the second decade.

      No matter. Red Sox aren’t winning it all in 2010.

      • binky the klown


  • Isabel Lee

    body odor is nasty that is why i always take a bath twice a day.”-~

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