February 2013 Sports Calendar
by Jonathan Zeller, 01/22/2013
- more in nyc sports/
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The NHL's owners and players have worked out their differences after a long lockout, and the Rangers are finally playing hockey again at Madison Square Garden—just one of many welcome homecomings in NYC sports. In Brooklyn, the Rockets' Jeremy Lin makes his second and final visit of the season to the city where he made his name, as the Nets try to win and keep pressure on the Knicks in the Atlantic Division race. In the same arena, Olympian—and nycgo.com's favorite boxer—Marcus Browne tries to stay undefeated as a pro in his hometown. Though he's not yet enshrined in Cooperstown, Mets fans have warm memories of Mike Piazza and will doubtless be glad to see him back in town to promote his new book. Finally, annual traditions from the fast (Millrose Games) to the furriest (Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show) are set to take place once more in the five boroughs. For more on these and the rest of February's sports events, read on.
Tony Hawk: Rad Science
February 2–April 22; New York Hall of Science
The way air resistance makes a curveball break; the geometry of the cuts that make the Princeton offense work; distance runners' battles against lactic-acid buildup in their own bodies: science is part of all the sports we love. This exhibition at the New York Hall of Science examines the role of physics in extreme sports like skateboarding and cycling. One of the minds behind the show is none other than Tony Hawk, one of the best-known skaters ever. Visitors can practice tricks on a stationary skateboard, roll through a simulated skate park in a video game and, on March 23, even build their own skateboards. For more info, visit nysci.org.
Super Bowl XLVII
February 3, 6:30pm; citywide
It's the day the guacamole industry, commercial lovers, Roman-numeral enthusiasts and, of course, football devotees look forward to all year: the National Football League's championship game. If you feel like watching from someplace besides your own home, check out this list of NYC venues showing the game. And just a reminder: in 2014 New Yorkers will be able to watch the Super Bowl live and in person at MetLife Stadium.
Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets. Photo: Adam Pantozzi
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Others
February 5, 7:30pm; February 10, 8pm; February 22, 7:30pm; and various other dates; Barclays Center
The puns may have subsided, the magazine covers may be in the rearview mirror (for now), and he may play his home games far from the city where he made his name, but we still love Jeremy Lin. He and his Houston Rockets—one of the NBA's most exciting young teams—make their sole visit to Brooklyn in February, as do Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and the Lakers (led, as it happens, by former Knicks skipper Mike D'Antoni) and Tim Duncan and the Spurs (unless, we suppose, Gregg Popovich decides to let him stay home). Of course, the story isn't all about the Nets' opponents. Brooklyn's team has caught fire and is trying to establish itself as a legitimate contender, lest they disappoint demanding owner Mikhail Prokhorov. So far, so good—at press time, they're just a game behind the Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead. For tickets to these and other Nets games, visit ticketmaster.com.
Empire State Building Run-Up
February 6, 8pm; Empire State Building
This race, strange enough to merit mention in our roundup of the City's weirdest sporting events, is a sprint from the lobby of the Empire State Building up 86 flights of stairs to a finish line at the Observation Deck. To avoid excessive crowding in stairwells not meant to handle 600 runners at once, the start times are staggered, with elite competitors going first. Thomas Dold of Germany—a sort of Usain Bolt of bizarre races, who also excels at backward running—has won seven consecutive Run-Ups. For information on how to register to run (your best shot is through a charity), visit nyrr.org.
Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Courtesy, MSG Photos
New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders and More
February 7 and 14, 7pm; Madison Square Garden
Sports rivalries don't get much nastier than Rangers vs. Islanders, a grudge match that often produces vulgarity in the stands and—while we would never condone it, we must report it—spirited pugilism on the ice. Chants reference heroes and villains of long ago (Rangers fans frequently use salty language to demean Denis Potvin, who is more than two decades removed from his time as an Islander), and the atmosphere is always charged, regardless of the standings. Let's just say that even with a game scheduled for Valentine's Day, we don't anticipate John Tavares buying roses for Henrik Lundvist. It's possible that these two February games—the only Isles-Blueshirts matchups of the season at MSG—will be even rougher than usual as Manhattan's team defends its territory from the Isles, who plan on packing up and moving from the burbs to Brooklyn in time for opening night in 2015. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com, stubhub.com or the Rangers' official ticket exchange.
Marcus Browne. Courtesy, USA Boxing
Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judah (Boxing)
February 9, 5pm; Barclays Center
This evening of pugilism is headlined by a bout between Zab Judah and defending champion Danny Garcia for the Super Lightweight world title, and a WBO Middleweight world title fight between Peter Quillin and Fernando Guerrero. To most fans, those would be the big stories. From the perspective of nycgo.com, though, an undercard match is bound to steal the thunder from the big guys: our favorite boxer, Staten Island's own Marcus Browne—an Olympian who is 2-0 with two knockouts as a pro—is set to fight an opponent to be determined. We have a distinct hunch that Browne won't be going out like a "sucka". For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com. Update: Because of an injury to Danny Garcia, this event has been postponed.
New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Clippers and More
February 10, 1pm; Madison Square Garden
The Knicks, fueled by their high-scoring offense, remain near the top of the Eastern Conference standings. While they've been less consistent of late and have experienced one notable incident of strange trash talk between Carmelo Anthony and the Celtics' Kevin Garnett, at press time the 'Bockers are still just a game and a half behind the Miami Heat for the top playoff seed in the East. The marquee matchup this month is a nationally televised tilt against the Los Angeles Clippers, currently near the Western Conference lead and—let's just go ahead and jump the gun here—a potential finals opponent for Carmelo, Amar'e and company. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com and stubhub.com.
February 11, noon; Barnes & Noble
New York Mets legend Mike Piazza didn't get voted into the Hall of Fame this year—perhaps because he hit for power during the steroid era, perhaps because the BBWAA doesn't always look favorably upon first-time candidates anyway—but, barring solid evidence that he juiced, one has to assume that the best-hitting catcher in major league history is bound to find himself in Cooperstown sooner or later. He'll appear at Barnes & Noble to promote his new book, Long Shot, which addresses the PED issue and tells the story of Piazza's rise from 62nd-round draft pick to 12-time All-Star. For more info, visit barnesandnoble.com.
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Photo: Joe Buglewicz
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
February 11–12, 8am–6pm; Piers 92/94; February 11, 8pm; February 12, 7:30pm; Madison Square Garden
Many athletes engage in a figurative battle to be named "top dog," but this is the real thing: about 3,200 dogs representing 187 breeds and varieties cram into Madison Square Garden in pursuit of fame, fortune and fancy ribbons. Spectators are welcome in the backstage benching areas at both Madison Square Garden and Piers 92 and 94, where they can see the dogs up close and even talk to breeders. For chats with breeders, the piers are the best bet—only breed finalists advance to the Garden. For more info, visit westminsterkennelclub.org.
Bernard Lagat. Photo: USATF/Errol Anderson
February 16, 4pm; New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory
For the second consecutive year, the Millrose Games—which have taken place in New York City since 1909—are set to be held uptown, at the Armory. The field is again headlined by Bernard Lagat, who's scheduled to race two miles in an attempt to reclaim his indoor record, now held by Galen Rupp. Also scheduled to compete are 2012 Olympic gold medalists Jenn Suhr (pole vault) and Brittney Reese (long jump). For tickets, visit armorytrack.com.
February 18, 7pm; Madison Square Garden
We don't want to make any accusations here, but does it look from this video like the Washington Generals aren't even trying? Regardless, having read the words "Harlem Globetrotters," chances are you already have "Sweet Georgia Brown" (their whistled jazz theme music) in your head. Such is the indelible impact of the Globetrotters. The team—known for its irrepressible tomfoolery (most basketball teams don't dump colorful confetti on the opposition) and outlandish winning percentage—seldom fails to elicit oohs, aahs and smiles from its adoring public. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Brandon Thompson of Long Island University. Photo: Mike McLaughlin
All month long; citywide
While we're not yet in the throes of March Madness—which will have more of a New York flavor than ever as the Atlantic 10 Tournament and what may be the Last Classic Big East Tournament Ever take place within the city limits—February's games are bound to be important in setting the stage for the epic battles to come. Columbia hosts key opponents including Harvard, Princeton and Penn during a stretch that could determine whether they're in the mix for the Ivy League title; Fordham faces Butler—a team that defeated then top-ranked Indiana earlier this season—at Rose Hill Gym on February 16; intraborough rivals LIU–Brooklyn and St. Francis (NY) (the latter of which is in the mix for a regular-season NEC title) square off at Barclays Center on February 10; Manhattan fights for MAAC Tournament seeding; St. John's hosts UConn in a Big East game for the last time; and Wagner tries to stay near the top of the NEC.
In Division III, those famed [Fightin'] Violets of NYU finish the season with five of seven conference games at home as they strive to make a second consecutive trip to the "Little Dance," while CUNY schools from all around the City battle for their conference title.
March 9: Bernard Hopkins vs. Tavoris Cloud (Boxing), Barclays Center
March 12–16: Big East Men's Basketball Tournament, Madison Square Garden
March 14–17: Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament, Barclays Center
March 16: New York Red Bulls home opener, Red Bull Arena
March 17: Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic, Citi Field
April 1: New York Mets home opener, Citi Field
April 1: New York Yankees home opener, Yankee Stadium
April 7: WrestleMania, MetLife Stadium
April 13: Jordan Brand Classic, Barclays Center
June 17: Staten Island Yankees home opener, Richmond County Bank Ballpark
June 18: Brooklyn Cyclones home opener, MCU Park
July 16: Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Citi Field
February 2, 2014: Super Bowl XLVIII, MetLife Stadium
March 2014: NCAA Tournament, Madison Square Garden