It's the time of year when we all tell ourselves the most fanciful, life-affirming lies and dress them up as "New Year's Resolutions."
Forget about losing weight and being more tolerant, charitable, patient, understanding and as nice as all get-out. That's child's play compared to what I'm proposing. I'm going to try to be a better New York Sports fan in 2020.
Think about my self-imposed, Herculean task, up against the likes of the horrible Giants, the aimless Jets, the tantalizing Yankees, the maddening Mets, the wait-till-next-year Nets, the utterly inconsequential Knicks and the maybe-just-maybe Rangers. (We don't acknowledge the Islanders and Devils where I live.)
Here, then, are my Top Ten NY Sports Fan Resolutions:
1) Give the Yankees Time to Gel: Even with the ballyhoo surrounding the signing of star free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole (for a total of $324 million over nine years) and many players returning from a year of injuries, the Yankees may not steamroll the baseball world right away. Let's give the Bronx Bombers some time to mesh. All right, Bombers – you've got 6 games.
2) See a Silver Lining in Queens: The Mets have once again been crushed in off-season public relations by the Yankees. But the Mets have their own ace in Jacob deGrom, and rookie phenom Pete Alonso, their version of Aaron Judge. Let's give the Mets some time to put the pieces together for new manager Carlos Beltran. They've got 12 games.
3) Overlook the Giants Fiasco: The New York Giants may just be the sorriest franchise in all of professional sports, considering that the team sells its fan base on the memories of past greatness and NFL tradition. Let's not boo them in 2020 until they topple out of playoff consideration, say by Week Three.
4) Believe in Sam I Am: If Jets quarterback Sam Darnold could risk death by enlarged, crushed spleen, surely he can manage to top the New England Patriots. Let's cheer for Sam until he loses to the Pats.
5) Don't Nix the Knicks: Let them flourish in the draft and find someone to play with R.J. Barrett – and let's appreciate their Garden neighbors, the WNBA's hard-working and entertaining local team, the New York Liberty!
6) Savor Kevin Durant at 100 Percent! With the Warriors, Kevin Durant was the most feared scorer in the NBA. In 2020, he will join the Nets after recuperating this season from a knee injury.
7) Let the Rangers Grow Up: About a decade ago, the Rangers wisely decided to build through the addition of young players. The result was a trip to the NHL Finals in 2014. The team is doing it again now,. Let's hope heroic goalie Henrik Lundqvist gets to sip from the Stanley Cup next year.
8) Cheer for Derek! When Derek Jeter goes into baseball's Hall of Fame next summer, let's cheer hard for him. No New York athlete has been as clutch or classy in my memory.
9) Pray for Tom Terrific: Tom Seaver, the best pitcher in New York baseball history, is hurting mightily out there in Wine Country. Let's silently thank him for all he has stood for in this town.
10) Collectively. Be More Patient, Understanding and Tolerant of our Sports Heroes. Hey, I will if you will!