Another year has come and gone in New York. In the sports realm, 2022 brought one of the more successful years in recent memory for New York and its 10 sports teams.
Multiple teams made the playoffs, multiple players won key awards and the faces of one of the largest sports cities on earth chose to either stay or go.
Not every moment was excellent. Some left fans wondering if their health could take another roller-coaster season while others left their fandom entirely behind in search of greener pastures.
Here are the top 15 sports moments in New York for 2022.
15. Matt Barzal stays on Long Island
For years, the Islanders had been the team that couldn’t retain or bring in big-time players. Even John Tavares, a player who had become engrained in the culture of the Islanders left for greener pastures. Artemi Panarin and Johnny Gaudreau also declined to come to the Island.
Yet one player alone chose to stay and in turn, changed the course of what the Islanders are perceived as. Matt Barzal signed an eight-year, $73.2 million deal to stay with the Islanders. His deal was a massive move for the Islanders to show that not only are they considered contenders in a loaded division, but also that they are more than capable of keeping high-priced talent on the roster.
14. Mets 7-1 comeback over the Phillies
Rarely are regular season games highlighted in a year-in-review, but the Mets’ historic comeback over the Phillies last May takes the cake. Trailing 7-1 in the top of the ninth in Philadelphia, the Mets erased a six-run deficit entering the final inning for the first time since Sept. 13, 1997. It was one of the most improbable comebacks in sports in 2022.
New York would end up winning over 100 games for just the fourth time in their history thanks to this comeback win.
13. Ionescu sets triple-double mark
Sabrina Ionescu has been a superstar since joining the WNBA but her 2022 season was even more incredible than one could imagine.
The Liberty star recorded the first 30-point triple-double in WNBA history. She is also tied for the most triple-doubles in a career in WNBA hist
ory back in July of 2022. While the Liberty made the playoffs this year, Ionescu has shown she’s one of the best players in the league and will only be getting better.
12. The Brooklyn Nets
I said not all moments were great. The roller coaster the Nets have been on in 2022 is one of the more fascinating stories in all of sports. First, they trade James Harden to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons. Then Simmons doesn’t suit up at all while the team gets swept in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
THEN the debate about if Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant return takes center stage during the offseason with both requesting trades and both rescinding them to come back and play for Brooklyn.
EVEN AFTER THAT, the Nets stayed in the tabloids by firing Steve Nash and backing out on Ime Udoka taking over only because the circus that was Kyrie Irving posting an anti-semitic video was too much negative publicity for a team to handle.
What a year to be a Brooklyn Nets fan.
11. Steve Cohen becomes Vito Corleone
Mario Puzo’s 1974 masterpiece “The Godfather” has nothing on Steve Cohen in 2022. After failing to get out of the wild card in the 2022 season and watching Jacob deGrom leave for Texas, Steve Cohen spent money to bolster the roster.
When I say Steve Cohen spent money, I mean he spent over a billion dollars on free agents like Justin Verlander, Brandon Nimmo, Kodai Senga, and now Carlos Correa. He’s made the offer that so many players couldn’t refuse and has become the modern “evil empire” as the Met look to win a title.
10. New York Jets 2022 Draft Class
Some teams use free agency to build their roster into a championship contender. The lucky ones have a draft class that changes everything for them.
For the Jets, their 2022 class has been one of the best in modern history, as well as franchise history. Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson, and plenty of others have changed the culture of the Jets franchise and have them on the cusp of a playoff berth.
This is a franchise-altering class that is on the cusp of stardom.
9. Brian Daboll is hired by the Giants
Speaking of franchise-altering moves, while the Jets have changed their outlook because of their draft class, the Giants have changed their outlook thanks to one man. Brian Daboll was hired in January of 2022 and has completely altered who the Giants are.
New York, for the first time in over seven years, is in great shape for a playoff berth even with all the injuries they have suffered. Brian Daboll’s hiring seems eerily similar to that of Bill Parcells and it makes it one of the most important and memorable events in New York sports for 2022.
8. Giants beat Washington to cement a playoff berth
The last time the Giants were in the playoffs, Eli Manning was still the face of New York City. Since then, it’s been one bad season after another for the G-Men. That all changed in 2022, even if it certainly didn’t seem like it at times.
New York hadn’t won in over a month and yet faced off against Washington for a chance to be in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth. Instead of crumbling with the lack of talent around them, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Daniel Jones carried the Giants to a 20-12 win, and a changing of the guards in New York football.
7. Igor Shesterkin wins the Vezina Award
Islander and Ranger fans will argue which Russian goaltender of theirs is better, but in 2022 Igor Shesterkin reigned supreme. He led the league in goals-against average and save percentage on his way to leading the Rangers to their first Eastern Conference Finals berth since 2014.
Shesterkin won the Vezina trophy awarded to the league’s best goaltender and cemented himself as one of the top athletes in New York sports.
6. Bills win the East, blow out New England in NFL playoffs
The 2021-22 NFL season may have ended with difficultly for Josh Allen and the Bills, but that doesn’t take away from their second straight AFC East title. To make matters even better, they not only beat their rival New England Patriots in the playoffs, but they destroyed them so badly that New England has yet to recover.
For years the Patriots owned the AFC East with bravado and overconfidence that made fans around the league sick. Their 47-17 win over Bill Belichick was not just incredible but incredibly helpful for the rest of the league.
5. Mets throw a no-hitter
The Phillies may have gotten the last laugh as pennant winners, but the Mets made quick work of their NL East rivals all season. The highlight for New York came when they threw a no-hitter against Philadelphia’s vaunted lineup in April.
In just the second no-hitter in team history, the Mets used five pitchers to make history as New York won 3-0 and sent the rest of the fans at Citi Field into a frenzy.
New York is a baseball town and when history is made, it means just a little bit more.
4. Serena Williams retires in New York
The US Open was the sight of incredible performances in 2022. None so more than Serena Williams in her final competitive match in the US Open over the summer. Williams lost to Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round of the Open and seemingly ended her dominant career as the greatest women’s tennis player of all time.
She is not a New York athlete but her curtain call coming in New York City on one of tennis’ biggest stages is enough to put her in a top-five spot here.
3. Yankees win Game 5 against Guardians
For a while, it appeared the Yankees were on pace to complete one of the greatest seasons in MLB History. But a cold second half of the season ended those dreams even with New York still winning 99 games. In the playoffs, they were locked in a tense divisional series against the Cleveland Guardians.
Cleveland even had a 2-1 series edge with one more win sending them to the ALCS in an upset win. The Yankees quickly responded though and in a winner-take-all Game 5, blew through Cleveland’s questionable pitching choices to win 5-1.
It was one of the biggest playoff games of the year for a New York team but wasn’t the biggest win though.
2. Rangers beat Carolina in Game 7 to move to ECF
We mentioned earlier that Shesterkin and the Rangers made the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2014. How they did it was even more impressive.
Carolina, winners of the Metro division during the regular season led the seven-game series 2-0 and later 3-2 before New York would respond every time. In the winner-take-all Game 7, the Rangers would bury Carolina by a 6-2 final with Shesterkin making 37 saves.
The win solidified New York’s place as one of the best teams in hockey and also showed how bright a future they truly have with their young core.
1. The Year of Aaron Judge
Every other athlete or team pales in comparison to the year Aaron Judge has just put forth. Judge set the AL home run record with 62 homers and an AL MVP to boot. It was one of the greatest regular seasons of all time that had networks changing their regularly scheduled programming to follow his run.
On top of that, Judge decided to stay in New York with a nine-year, $360 million deal and became just the 16th captain in Yankees history in December to cap off one of the greatest years in baseball history.
To think the year began with a contract standoff is even more incredible when you think of how far Judge and the Yankees have come. There isn’t one particular moment with Judge that is highlighted above all else, as New York’s top athlete, Judge reigns supreme as the top moment in New York sports.