As 2019 comes to a close, we're reminiscing about the sports moments that affected New York over the past 10 years. So we decided to rank them.
Here are the Top 10 sports moments of this decade...
10) No-Han: Johan Santana throws first no-hitter in Mets history
By: Danny Abriano
When the Mets traded for Johan Santana before the 2008 season, he was supposed to be the missing piece they needed that would help them turn the promise of 2006 and collapse of 2007 into a World Series title in 2008.
While the above didn't happen, Santana's no-no in June of 2012 -- with Gary Cohen punctuating it by exclaiming "It has happened!" -- is one of the most memorable moments in Mets history. And it was fitting that it was Santana who did it after he missed the entire 2011 season due to injury and fought back.
With pitching royalty such as Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, and Pedro Martinez having donned the orange and blue, it was insane that no Met had thrown a no-hitter until Santana pulled it off. But as anyone who lives and breathes baseball knows, it takes a little luck for it to happen.
I'd like to also take this time to debunk a false narrative. The no-hitter (and 134 pitches it took to get it) did not derail Santana's career. He was just fine in his starts following that gem until suffering an ankle injury that ended his season.
9) The Decision: LeBron James chooses Heat over Knicks
By: Alex Smith
"I'm gonna take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat."
With the sports world watching, LeBron James announced his decision to leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and join Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat.
Like most of the items on this list, it's one of those times that you remember exactly where you were when LeBron ended his first run with the Cavs, the team that had selected him first overall, directly out of high school.
There were plenty of teams interested, with the Bulls, Clippers, and Nets among the possibilities, but many Knicks fans were convinced that LeBron would head for the bright lights of Broadway and become the megastar they needed to return to NBA glory.
Instead, James went to Miami, won two championships, came back to Cleveland and won another, and is now hoping to do the same with the Lakers that he could have done with the Knicks in the early 2010s -- win a title and bring one of the NBA's most notable franchises back to the top of the heap.
Meanwhile, since 2010, the Knicks have made the playoffs just three times (none since 2013), and have won just one playoff series. Oh, what could have been.
8) A-Roid: Alex Rodriguez suspended for 2014 season for PED use
By: Scott Thompson
The Biogenesis scandal. If you've paid attention to baseball even a little, you know exactly why this moment has to be on our list.
Alex Rodriguez became the face of this dark moment in MLB history, as he was handed a 211-game ban -- the largest ever given out to a player -- for using performance-enhancing drugs under the administration of the clinic's founder in Anthony Bosch. Rodriguez wasn't the only player to be suspended -- Brewers MVP OF Ryan Braun was among the 13 players -- but his suspension was by far the biggest. Braun also received 65 games while the others got docked 50 games.
Rodriguez would appeal the ruling, but to no avail. In turn, he missed the entire 2014 season, and his MLB legacy would be tarnished forever. That "A-Roid" nickname followed him until he officially called it quits in 2016 at age 40.
A-Rod has since cleaned up his public image, and has been doing well as a broadcaster in his post-playing days.
7) Hello, Melo: Knicks land Carmelo Anthony in blockbuster trade
By: Scott Thompson
Carmelo Anthony, already a three-time All-Star and recognized as one of the best scorers in the game, was on the trade block with the Nuggets during the 2010-11 NBA season. Many teams were interested in landing Melo, but the Knicks were at the top of the pack.
Then, they gave Denver an offer it couldn't refuse.
The package went like this: Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman for Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and a 2014 first-round pick among other cash and draft pick considerations.
New York thought this was the turning point for the franchise that hadn't won an NBA title since 1973. Anthony was the man they needed leading the charge.
However, the Knicks dysfunction continued to run its course, and they only were able to win one NBA playoff series during his time in New York. Through seven seasons, Anthony would average 24.7 points, seven rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 44.3 percent from the field in 412 career games. His time in the Big Apple would eventually end in more dysfunction with Phil Jackson finally granting his wish of a trade, which sent him to the Thunder during the 2017-18 season.
6) Butt Ugly: Mark Sanchez' gaffe headlines awful loss to Patriots on Thanksgiving
By: Alex Smith
The third NFL game on Thanksgiving might be an afterthought for some, as most people end up napping through most of it in a post-dinner food coma. But in 2012, the Jets hosted the Patriots at MetLife Stadium in primetime, and gave the world perhaps the most disastrous play in the history of the NFL.
Already trailing the Pats 14-0 with about nine minutes to go in the second quarter, the Jets lined up in an I-formation. Mark Sanchez dropped back and looked to hand the ball off, but both backs had already sprinted out in different directions. It was a broken play, so Sanchez tried to make the most of it, sprinting back toward the line of scrimmage.
Well... you know the rest.
Sanchez ran directly into the rear end of offensive lineman Brandon Moore, the ball came loose, and Patriots safety Steve Gregory picked it up and ran it back for a touchdown.
The Patriots went on to destroy the Jets 49-19 that night, and while the game eventually came to an end, the Butt Fumble will endure forever.
5) Linsanity! Jeremy Lin's incredible play spurs Knicks
By: Alex Smith
As the only non-New York area native among this trio of writers, I saw many of these moments from afar.
But I happened to be a spry college junior in the Bronx when a sweeping case of Linsanity hit New York. It felt like it was basically overnight that the name Jeremy Lin went from meaning nothing to meaning everything in the New York sports world.
Lin was signed by the Knicks in late December 2011, but he didn't suit up for the majority of his first 21 games with the team. He got a brief six-minute run against the Celtics on Feb. 3, but Linsanity truly began on Feb. 4, when the Knicks hosted the Nets. Lin checked in midway through the second quarter and instantly started lighting up the scoreboard and electrifying the MSG crowd. He finished the night with 25 points and seven assists in 35 minutes.
That began a 10-game span in which Lin scored at least 20 points nine times. Inserted into the starting lineup, Lin led the Knicks to seven straight wins, including a seven-point victory over Kobe Bryant and the Lakers at the Garden, a game in which Lin dropped 38 points to go along with seven assists. In Lin's 12 starts prior to that year's All-Star Game, the Harvard grad averaged 22.5 and 8.7 assists per game, leading the Knicks to nine wins during the stretch.
But Linsanity eventually fizzled out, which reportedly had a lot to do with Carmelo Anthony returning from injury and wanting the offense to run through him. Though many thought the Knicks would bring Lin back at the end of the year, the Houston Rockets offered him a three-year contract worth $25 million, which the Knicks declined to match, ending Lin's run in the Big Apple.
4) The Catch: Odell Beckham Jr.'s propels him to national stage
By: Scott Thompson
This was one of those moments when you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when it happened. For me, it was waiting tables at my local pizza spot, and a catastrophe almost went down because I was so in awe of what I witnessed on the big screen in the dining room.
In 2014 while I was carrying two pizzas, I witnessed Eli Manning launch a ball down the right sideline to Beckham with Cowboys DB Brandon Carr draped all over him. The jersey pull from Carr throws Beckham off balance, but he still has the ball in his sights.
He, then, proceeds to reach behind his head and haul in the football with what instant replay revealed to be just three fingers and fall into the end zone for a touchdown. Like...what?
That was my exact reaction, and in that moment, forgot I was holding the two pizzas and almost dropped them. So forget a jaw-dropping catch. If you remember where you were when Beckham vaulted himself into superstardom with the greatest catch Cris Collinsworth, Al Michaels, and the rest of the world had ever seen, you probably dropped whatever you were holding, too.
3) Captain 3,000: Derek Jeter records his 3,000th career hit in style
By: Scott Thompson
Jeter has always had a flare for the dramatic, and you just had that gut feeling that his 3,000th career hit wasn't going to be a dribbler down the third base line that he beats out to first.
No, this career moment was one that fit Jeter's Hall of Fame career.
After collecting hit No. 2,999 on a single in the first inning off Rays LHP David Price during their July bout at Yankee Stadium in 2011, the big lefty hung a slider over the middle of the plate in Jeter's next at-bat and he put a fine swing on it. When Jeter tossed the bat toward the Yankee dugout and stared it down, you knew it was going out.
The camera turned and the ball continued to travel, eventually finding its way into a flower bed. The crowd went wild as Jeter rounded the bases, with Rays players tipping their cap to The Captain. Jeter was met at home plate by Jorge Posada, who embraced him with a big hug. The rest of the team followed, and Jeter paid respects to the crowd, still on its feet cheering with a memorable curtain call.
Jeter would go on to collect three more hits, going 5-for-5 with the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the eighth that afternoon as well. Have a day, Jeet.
2) Amazin': Mets sweep Cubs to advance to 2015 World Series
By: Danny Abriano
Before the Mets dealt for Yoenis Cespedes at the 2015 trade deadline, they were plodding along. After they got him, they caught fire. And that they didn't ride that wave -- including Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard at the height of their powers -- all the way to a World Series title was both painful and surprising.
But the happy stuff first.
Cespedes and the Mets took down the Nationals to win the NL East, including a late-season sweep in Washington, D.C. to cement things. They took the Dodgers out in the NLDS in five games after Chase Utley's illegal "slide" led to Los Angeles stealing Game 2. In the NLCS, Daniel Murphy and the Mets' pitching staff ensured the Cubs had no chance as they were swept. And then came the World Series.
The Mets should've had Game 1 in Kansas City, but let it slip away. They should've had Games 4 and 5 at Citi Field and let those slip away, too. Amidst the bitterness of defeat, though, was David Wright's home run in Game 3 at Citi Field -- a moment when the new place sounded like the old place. That the 2015 season didn't end with a third World Series title in Queens will always hurt, but what a ride it was.
1) Super Again! Giants upset the Patriots once more in Super Bowl XLVI
By: Scott Thompson
The road to Super Bowl XLVI was a tough one for the Giants, but they are no strangers to needing to win games on the road after their miraculous Super Bowl XLII run that ended in a win over the Patriots.
New York won the NFC East at 9-7, and began its journey with the Falcons in the Wild Card Game at home. That was an easy 24-2 victory, but the challenges would unfold with the Packers on the schedule next.
It was a frozen tundra in Green Bay, but the Giants had a statement 37-20 win in the end. The last step in the NFC was against the 49ers in San Francisco. An overtime muffed punt by Niners return man Kyle Williams set the Giants up for Lawrence Tynes to punch his team's ticket to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
And, of course, the Patriots would be waiting for them there, seeking revenge for the Giants ruining their perfect season the last time they saw each other in the championship game.
It was the Giants striking the first blow, with Tom Brady having a brain fart and throwing the ball to No Man's Land while he was in the end zone. It was ruled intentional grounding thus giving the Giants two points on a safety. Victor Cruz would then make it 9-0 after his touchdown grab, but Brady would charge down the field at the end of the first half in a 9-3 game and give his team the lead with a touchdown.
Fast forward now to the fourth quarter: the Pats are up 17-15 and the Giants are deep in their own zone with less than four minutes to go. The play of the game ensued when Eli Manning launched a ball down the left sideline into a sliver of daylight for Mario Manningham to catch it and keep two feet in. A few plays later Ahmad Bradshaw would literally sit in the end zone to give the Giants at 21-17 lead.
Still, Brady had some time to work with before the game ended, but the Pats needed a touchdown for the victory. Brady would get his offense down the field enough for a final Hail Mary, but Rob Gronkowski couldn't haul in the deflection and the Giants stunned New England once again on the biggest stage in football.
Manning is also your Super Bowl MVP once again after showing his late-game leadership. As we come to the end of this decade, it's also the end of an era for Manning moments like this.