THE NEW YORK STATE SPORTS GRIND

POSTED: 07 Sep 2017 | BY: BERTRAM PROCTOR

Last night's Roger Federer upset at the U.S. Open. (We were in attendance.)

As the summer trails off into fall, the days will start to dim and the nights will grow longer. There will be fewer possibilities for swims and walks along the beach. But not to despair about opportunities to get away from the grind. Our society, in its wisdom, has contrived a solution: sport.

We have built vast arenas and trained heroes to compete in them, all for our own distraction. Fall begins and so does a different type of season for many — the sports season. Or as those in the know describe it, the “regular” season -- though baseball is, of course, coming into its home stretch (and has just gotten more interesting for the Yankees and the Red Sox). For those looking for entertainment or just something to keep from going listless on the weekends, catching a game can be a welcome reprieve. Not for the players, though; this is the beginning of their grind.

Here is our quick guide to a variety of New York State’s sports teams and where and when they will be playing this fall. New York State has just so many teams that we focus here on the big sports in the big leagues (sorry, Albany River Rats). But we are rooting for you all, from grade school, high school, and college to semi-pro and professional.  

First up, Football:

The National Football League begins its regular season today. You know the drill, from this week on, Sundays will take on a new, and often couch-ridden tenor.

One team representing the state will be the New York Giants, who start their season this Sunday, the September 10th, against the Dallas Cowboys at the AT&T Stadium in Texas.

This same Sunday the New York Jets will play the third New York team in the NFL -- and the only one with a stadium in state -- the Buffalo Bills at the Bills’ own New Era Stadium in Orchard Park, Buffalo.

Buffalo Bills' New Era Stadium

The Giants’ first home game is September 18th against the Detroit Lions at the METLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets share this stadium with their Giants’ cousins. While they both still represent New York, their New Jersey base may be too much of a betrayal for some people, in which case you’re better off following the NFL’s only truly New York football team, the Buffalo Bills.

Next up, Ice Hockey:

The National Hockey League starts its regular season on October 4th, and New York state is home to three of its teams:  the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres.

The New York Rangers play their first home game against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on October 5th.

On that same Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres will play their first home game against the Montreal Canadiens at Keybank Center, Buffalo.

The New York Islanders, who recently moved to Brooklyn, play their first home game at of the season against none other than the Buffalo Sabres at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 7th.

New York Islanders preseason training. Photo credit: New York Islanders

The U.S. also has a women’s hockey league, the NWHL. The league only has four teams, half of which are based in New York State: the New York Riveters and the Buffalo Beauts. They don’t play too many games in a season but here’s the NWHL’s schedule if you’re interested in checking out the league.

On to Basketball:

The National Basketball Association’s regular season is the last to begin, with an October 17th start. New York State has two NBA teams representing their honor: the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets.

The Knicks’ first home game is on October 21st against the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden. The Nets’ first home game is on October 20th against Orlando Magic at the Barclays Center.

If you can’t wait that long, the Knicks will play the Nets on Tuesday October 3rd at Madison Square Garden during the preseason.

And while the men’s basketball season won’t start for some time, the women’s basketball season is about to end. The WNBA playoffs happen this month, and New York State has a horse in the race. The New York Liberty have made it through to the playoffs. They play Round 2 on September 10th at 5pm ET at Madison Square Garden.

Photo credit: New York Liberty

Now we come to America’s favorite pastime, Baseball:

Major League Baseball’s season is nearing its end, but there’s still the vital last month left to determine who goes into the postseason.

One team unlikely to make it to the playoffs is the Queens-based New York Mets. But there’s always been a watchable quality to the underdog. (The point of watching Rocky Balboa fight isn’t necessarily to see him win, it’s to see how much of a fight he puts up in losing.) The Mets are playing the Cincinnati Reds today, September 10th, in just a few hours at Citi Field in Flushing, New York.

On the other side of the table, New York State has the more victory-prone New York Yankees to follow. They are currently top of the wild card standings and have a good shot at going into the postseason, if you’re more interested in rooting for the top dog. They play the Texas Rangers in Texas this weekend. But they return to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx next week to face the Baltimore Orioles.

One of us on the New York Makers' team owns this jersey...

Tennis:

Finally and most in need of your immediate attention, the last four days of the US Open Tennis Championships at Flushing Meadows, Queens is happening right now. (This is a very quintessential New York event.)

The women’s semi-finals are happening today, and Americans should look out because the U.S. have been doing extremely well this year. The quarter-finals saw an American contender in every match. Today, the most anticipated game is the veteran Venus Williams playing the recently revived Sloane Stephens. No matter who wins, there will be an American in the final to root for.

Can you tell which sport I actually follow?

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