Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Who Really Runs New York Sports? These Terrible Lists Won't Tell You.

According to the readers of the New York Daily News, these are the 15 (actually 17) most powerful people in New York sports:

This is a terrible list. Richard Todd? "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry? Jason Giambi in fourth?!


In context, it's not that bad a list, because at least there's a good explanation (which we'll get to in a minute) for its contents and rankings. The same can't be said for the Daily News's own Power 50, compiled by the paper's staff and purporting to list the most powerful people in New York sports.

It's a 51-slide slideshow, so I'm not going to make you go through it. Jim Dolan is No. 1, ahead of Roger Goodell and Derek Jeter. I'm not sure how they're defining "powerful," or "New York sports" for that matter—which is probably part of the problem here—but putting the single most influential executive in American sports just ahead of a good baseball player whom most people generally like is telling enough. As is the inclusion, at No. 21, of Daily News columnist Mike Lupica. He is pictured thus:

This is a great photo—a wonderful example of the "Local People With Their Arms Crossed" genre. You find a photo like this in your hometown newspaper just below the headline, "Local Man Fights City Tree-Preservation Ordinance." He looks like the toughest bouncer at Alice's Tea Cup. Twenty-first-most powerful person in New York sports? Please. This is the face of a man who is at least the eighth-most powerful person at Ina Garten's salad party.

Anyway, as I was saying: New York might be the most provincial place in the universe. It would have to be to believe that clowns, non-entities, and d-list celebrities like Lupica, the CEO of Modell's (No. 29), the president of the New York Road Runners (No. 33), and Suzyn Waldman (No. 40) wield anything close to actual power. You get the icons you deserve; it's an upset Mr. Met didn't make the list.


Back to the fan list. Where'd that come from?


I looked at the hashtag and the Facebook post replies, and barely anyone voted. (It's actually a 12-way tie for fourth, with each person getting a single vote.) What little voting there was was dominated by organized Mike Francesa fans, the self-proclaimed mongos, who alternated stuffing the ballot box for their man and offering up troll votes.

In the end, the fan rankings are the more accurate of the two. No force in New York sports is more powerful than Francesa listeners.

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