The New York Sports Scene in 1999 and 2000
New York Sports in 1999 and 2000 was a special time. It is arguable one of the best periods of sports because each of the four major sports experienced success from a local team.
Hockey ( 1 Championship 3 Finals appearances)
The New York Rangers and New York Islanders failed to make playoffs but the Buffalo Sabers and New Jersey Devils experienced some success.
The Buffalo Sabers went to the finals in 1998-1999 but lost in 6 games to the Dallas Stars.
I know this could be up for debate. The New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup in 1999-2000 season and were one game away from repeating in 2000-2001.
***The Devils play in New Jersey (obviously) but are counted as a metro team because they are covered by the local papers. The New York Giants and New York Jets both hold the New York title but play their games in New Jersey. So the argument can be made that the Devils shouldn’t count as New York but I wanted to add them just cause they are covered by the New York sports media.***
Basketball (1 Finals appearance)
The New York Knicks had a cinderella run in the strike shorten 1999-2000 season. They were in danger of not making the playoffs and barely got in as an 8th seed. Being the 8th seed they played the top seeded Heat in a memorable first round that saw the series end on an Allan Houston shot. They swept the Atlanta Hawks easily and beat the Indiana Pacers in a tough fought 6 game series. Unfortunately the magic would run out as the Knicks would lose to the Spurs in 5 games.
The Knicks would make the playoffs the following year. After the 2000-2001 season the Knicks would go on to become the laughing stock of the NBA and would not experience any type of real success for around 10 years.
The New Jersey Nets failed to make the playoffs during those seasons.
Football ( 1 Super Bowl Appearance)
The New York Giants had a memorable run to the Superbowl in 2000. No one expected them to even make the playoffs that year but the Giants shocked everyone by going 12-4 and beating both the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs. The Giants would go on to lose to the Baltimore Ravens 34-7 in the Super Bowl. It was one of, if not the most, lopsided Super Bowl ever. The Giants would miss the playoffs the following year.
The New York Jets came within a half of making the Super Bowl in 1998 but failed to make the playoffs in 1999, Parcels final year as coach. The Jets were 9-4 at one point in the 2000 season but lost their last 3 games of the season to miss the playoffs.
The Buffalo Bills had a great year in 1999 going 11-5 but losing a heart breaker in the first round of the playoffs against the Tennessee Titans. The Bills lost on a last play desperation kick return that was dubbed the Music City Miracle. The Titans would go on to the Super Bowl and lose to the Rams but Bills fans were stuck wondering what could have been. The Bills have yet to make the playoffs since that year.
Baseball ( 2 World Series Championships 3 World Series Appearances)
Baseball was the high point for New York sports during 1999 and 2000. Both the New York Yankees and New York Mets had excellent teams. In 1999 it felt like both teams were on course to play each other in the first subway series since 1956. The Mets would lose to the Braves in a hard fought 6 game series in the NLCS. The Mets were down 0-3 and almost tied the series in an exciting back and forth Game 6. The next year the Mets made it to the World Series to play the Yankees. The Yankees limped into the playoffs and looked vulnerable for the first time in years. Although the Yankees would win in 5 games the series was very close, as no game was decided by more then 2 runs and and three of those games decided by only one run.
Along with the success there was some heartbreaking failure but all in all it was a great time to be a New York sports fan.
Overall here is a time line summary of the key sporting events of 1999 and 2000.
Team Date Year
New York Jets January 17 1999
New York Knicks June 16 – June 25 1999
Buffalo Sabers June 8 – June 19 1999
New York Yankees October 23 – October 27 1999
New York Giants January 28 2000
New Jersey Devils May 30 – June 10 2000
New York Yankees/Mets October 21 – October 26 2000