By Steve Lichtenstein
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It’s holiday time in New York, which means pundits from across all media platforms have been compiling their “relevant” lists from the past year.
So, in keeping with tradition, here’s my list, in reverse order, of the top 25 items of 2012 related to my favorite teams (sorry, no Mets or Rangers here) that I’m thankful for:
25. The RedZone Channel, so I can see how an offense is supposed to function in the NFL instead of being stuck watching the Jets.
24. The Giants bringing all those faux Cowboy fans in our area to tears with their New Year’s Day victory to clinch the NFC East.
23. That the NHL owners and players’ association haven’t yet canceled another season—there’s still a little bit of hope.
22. The Yankees’ winning expectations. Would you rather root for the Marlins?
21. Lou Lamoriello still calling the shots for the Devils.
20. Tom Coughlin still providing a more mature message at the Giants’ helm (as compared to their co-tenants).
19. New Jersey’s fight to allow sports gambling at its casinos, which in the process would not only raise revenue but has also exposed the NCAA’s hypocrisy.
18. Tyson Chandler’s defensive mentality consuming the once-porous Knicks.
17. Steve Lavin on the sidelines at St. John’s.
16. Mikhail Prokhorov finally taking a crowbar to his wallet to upgrade his product as it moved to its new Brooklyn address.
15. Robinson Cano’s swing.
14. Billy King’s bargain pick-ups of Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans and C.J. Watson.
13. That, though the dilapidated Nassau Coliseum is doomed, the Islanders chose to relocate to Brooklyn in 2015 instead of to a distant city.
12. That I can still remember the Islanders’ four consecutive Stanley Cups and unbreakable 19 consecutive playoff series wins after all these years of horrible hockey.
11. Rutgers controlling its Orange Bowl destiny.
10. Derek Jeter playing shortstop all summer long.
9. Jason Kidd back in the New York metropolitan area, swishing and dishing for the Knicks.
8. Martin Brodeur backstopping the Devils to the Stanley Cup finals.
7. Martin Brodeur not ready to hang up the skates.
6. Deron Williams’ commitment to the Nets.
5. Eli Manning breaking New England’s hearts (again) in the Super Bowl.
4. That the Jets haven’t traded away their 2013 first round draft pick.
3. The short-lived Linsanity, which offered further proof that basketball can be as beautiful through the lens as a team sport as it is for the remarkable individual athletic feats performed by its stars.
1. That I have a wonderful family who indulge me in my illogical passions for my favorite teams. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Sports fans, what are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments below…