It's been a rough week to be a New York sports fan.
Two days, two missed opportunities — opportunities so close that they could taste the victory. However, at the last second, those chances were yanked away, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of the entire city. And it's a widely known fact that New Yorkers are not accustomed to losing.
First, it was LeBron James. After the months of hype and excitement, the "C'Mon LeBron" campaign, led by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to bring the All-Star to the New York Knicks came to a screeching halt. On Thursday night, the King followed the sun to South Beach to make his home with the Miami Heat. Burns a bit, doesn't it?
Then, to add insult to injury, it was reported on Friday morning that the New York Yankees were this close to signing the MLB's most sought-after free-agent-to-be, Cliff Lee … only to have the rug pulled out from under them at the last minute, this time by Texas.
I repeat, what a week.
New Yorkers aren't used to getting the short end of the stick, and in both situations, they were blindsided by the fact that another organization got the better of them. The Texas Rangers beefed up their offer for Lee very quickly after the report on Yankees' offer was released earlier on Friday. Lee wasn't aware of the change himself and was preparing for a New York departure before the news came early Friday evening that he'd be heading to Arlington.
Steve Hunt of FoxSportsSouthwest said what every baseball fan outside of New York was thinking when the Rangers swooped in and snagged Lee:
While it's debatable whether or not the Bronx Bombers would have or wouldn't have gotten the deal done to put Lee in Yankee pinstripes, it's still nice to know that at least for once, one of the top players in baseball won't be going to the Big Apple, at least not this year. … So, any time the Yanks fall short of consummating such a deal, it makes the majority of baseball fans smile just a little. And how does one properly mourn the loss of a King? Luckily for the Knicks, they were on top of their free-agent signing game and made the first big move of the offseason when they signed Amare Stoudemire on Monday. It may have been done as an attempt to build a supporting cast around James, but at least they weren't left empty-handed when LBJ opted to fly South for the winter.
"He chose the weak way out," one New York fan said of LeBron's decision to move to Miami. "That's Dwyane Wade's team, and it will always be Dwyane Wade's team … featuring LeBron as the sidekick."
One fan even described the situation with James as "soul-breaking" but continues to have faith that the Knicks' administration will bring the Big Apple another superstar. Only time will tell how the Knicks will recuperate from the loss of James.
So New York finally knows how it feels to be outside of the winner's circle, and we can't help but feel twinges of sympathy for the city. But knowing New York, it will have a new deal brewing in days to continue its supremacy as one of the most successful cities in the world.
To watch more fan reaction to the loss of LeBron James, check out the video courtesy of ESPN.com.
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