As part of New York Magazine’s 40th Anniversary, a number of NYC sports-thinker types of considerable repute were asked to select their Top Ten New York Athletes of the past four decades. Along with expert testimony from the likes of Mike Lupica and Christopher Russo, another Big Apple fixture, former Deadspin editor Will Leitch — when you think of Gotham, you think of Will — contributed the following :
1. Reggie Jackson
In his first game back in the Bronx after he signed with the Angels, Yankee Stadium chanted his name. They wouldn’t even do that for Jeter.
Really? If Darryl Strawberry, Patrick Ewing and Mark Messier all received standing ovations the first time they returned to New York in a different uniform, why is it so hard to believe a 4 time World Champ like Jeter wouldn’t receive similar treatment?
2. Lawrence Taylor
Dominating, gruesome, monstrous, awesome, and would have been even better if he weren’t high so often. That he was makes him even more of a terrifying, otherworldly force of nightmares.
We’ve already established that Will has some issues with black people, but with all due respect to L.T.’s defensive prowess, it’s kinda fucked up to describe him as “gruesome, monstrous” without acknowledging he might’ve been pretty sharp, too. Did Mark Gastineau have the presence of mind to send hookers to opponents’ hotel rooms?
7. Dwight Gooden
Hard to separate him from Darryl Strawberry; they were the only two people who could make you forget anyone played baseball in the Bronx.
Actually, Will, Straw and Dr. K were very easy to separate. For instance, one played right field and hit monstrous (whoops) home runs, the other was the most exciting young pitcher since Mark Fidyrch or Fernando Valenzuela. “The only two people who could make you forget anyone played baseball in the Bronx?” For the first time, someone has the guts to claim Fritz Peterson’s star power overshadowed Tom Seaver.
When he entered Studio 54, the place actually went quiet with awe.
The same could be said of Lillian Carter. When she wasn’t wearing panties, anyway. But I’ve got to stand up for Leitch’s credibility on this one. He’s not old enough to have attended the original Studio 54, and while I’m not either, I’m certain a past-his-prime Pele being recognized in a nightclub is a far greater testament to his iconic status than any of his accomplishments on the soccer pitch. Had I been asked to compile such a top ten, Anthony Mason would’ve ranked high simply because someone told me he tipped well at the China Club.
10 thoughts on “The Man From Mattoon’s Take On NYC Sports History”
I was going to email you this fine slice of sports writing when I read it today but I didn’t want it to seem that I would do anything to diss Will’s writing. I usually take a gander at New York once a week and Will Leitch’s entries to that venerable rag usually make me want to start a bad sports blog so that I could parlay that into a very easy writing gig too.
Frankly, it’s more than fair to question the authority (or accuracy for that matter) of a guy who did not grow up here but who can only contribute to the 40th Anniversary special as someone who saw some of these folks play on nationally televised games. He didn’t fucking grow up watching Billy Martin’s Yankees or LT’s Giants or even Mike Piazza’s Mets from what I can gather. The PelÃ© entry seriously left me scratching my head (I got the bald spot to prove it). So, he read about the Studio 54 anecdote in someone else’s book and incorporated that into an article that screams for insight and authority. Splendid. I just think he’s out of his element. His submissions really stuck out in that roundup (for all the wrong reasons).
I bet your cock is really small.
I’m talking microscopic.
Pork & Bean Buffet, I told your mother not to tell anybody.
how much time, typically, do you spend thinking about other people’s cocks?
If he’s a Deadspin troll, the answer is: every waking moment.
all day long kt, shit consumes my every thought. is that odd? on another note, how much time do you spend thinking about how much time other people are thinking about other peoples cocks?
on another note, how much time do you spend thinking about how much time other people are thinking about other peoples cocks?
only when people make multiple posts centered on cocks. it kind of makes me wonder “why is this person so concerned with everyone else’s junk?” because i can go, like, years, decades even, without thinking about some other guy’s stuff. others can’t. whatever gets you through the night.
The lists compiled by all of these people that include outsiders and supposed insiders shows they really suck at making lists. As a Mets fan I have to say Jeter is the biggest star. He’s friggin’ teflon and somehow a poor man’s Paul Molitor becomes the model of the perfect player. Keith Hernandez post-career definitely became a bigger superstar IMO, mostly because endorsement companies were far too afraid to attach their company with a coke addict. Ewing from his Georgetown days was already a hit on the streets of Harlem but the Knicks were a perfect match. Reggie was great but it was such an overrated five-year period mostly based on Steinbrenner and Reggie putting on a campaign to get him in Cooperstown as a Yankee, not rightfully an Oakland A.
to author (not will leitch):
jesus christ you sound like a pussy