Lately it seems as if there's a black cloud hovering above the bar for fans of sports teams that call Third and Long their home away from home.

It all started with the NY Mets, who limped into the season dealing with off-the-field issues (Madoff) which rolled over onto the field, leaving a team in a state of disarray.  They never recovered and sank like the Titanic.

The NY Yankees, on the other hand, sailed through most of the season looking like the team to beat going into the playoffs... only to get slapped with a dose of reality from a team that no one really thought about (Detroit Tigers).  So much for a long post-season.

Then we have the NY Jets and Giants.  While both teams are having respectable seasons at the moment, neither team are making their fans feel confident about making a big run in the post-season.  Plus the on-off field drama is starting to accumulate a bit too much for the fans' liking (see Rex Ryan). Will the NY teams get it together in time to make a legitimate post-season push?  We'll see once the bye weeks are completed but I'm personally not feeling that confident in their chances.

We can't forget about the Miami Dolphins, who are making their loyal DOLFANS NYC followers suffer with each passing week.  One of three teams without a regular season win, the Dolphins continue to defy logic, week after week.  Whether it be poor execution by the players on the field, inept coaching, or not enough support from the front office (or all of the above), the current team is slowly crushing the spirit of its rabid fan base, especially here in NY.

I give the DOLFANS NYC members credit for continuing to show up week after week to cheer their team on.  But I have to admit, it would be difficult for me to make the trek into Manhattan each Sunday only to find that I show up each week more than the team.  I hope the team finds a way to bounce back from last week's loss to Denver, which was particularly crushing in the fact that they HAD the game WON!  It was their game to put away and they found a way to give it away.  Simply frustrating to watch.

And finally,  there's the Montreal Canadiens.  The NY Yankees of the NHL with 24 Stanley Cup titles under their belt (but none since 1993) and a fiercely loyal fan base, have found themselves in a bit of a hole to start the season.  With a current record of 1-5-2*(overtime loss), and with only the Columbus Blue Jackets having a worse record than the Habs, the natives are getting restless.   Heads could roll as early as this weekend if the team doesn't right the ship and quickly.  As a Habs fan myself, I'm mystified as to why the team has struggled this season.  A lot of the blame has gone on the shoulders of the coach and some of the higher-priced talent on the team.  Injuries have added to the team's current woes.  And with all of this taking place at the beginning of a long season, Habs fans have become a bit antsy.....

My prediction: If the Canadiens don't turn things around QUICKLY (like in the next week), look for a coaching change and soon after that, some bodies being moved out of town, regardless of contract ramifications.  Some players being moved will surprise some people, others, not so much.  One thing is certain: Change is imminent.  At this point, there's no other course of action.

The one bright spot in all of this (so far):  The NY Rangers, fresh from the roadtrip from hell, which included stints in Europe and the West Coast, will finally have their home opener on Thursday night, vs the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Fans will get to see the newly renovated, nearly completed MSG and not a moment too soon.  They are playing very well and to come back from a long road trip on with a winning record, it's a nice way to kick off the home opener.  Well done guys!

The NY Islanders & NJ Devils, both with nearly identical records are struggling a bit to start the season (thanks to the "Injury Ninja");  However, at least they can say that they are doing better than the Habs.

As for the NBA.. (crickets... crickets...crickets....)

At this rate, unless fortunes change for many of these teams, it's going to be a long winter here at 3 & L.  In the meantime, we'll still be here pulling for all of the teams and pouring the cold ones, whether it be for the thrill of victory... or the agony of defeat.


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