November 2012 Sports Calendar
by Jonathan Zeller, 10/23/2012
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As Thanksgiving looms, November is positively stuffed with events that even the most casual sports fan is likely to get psyched about. The Nets, owned in (small) part by Jay-Z himself, hit the court in Brooklyn on the first of the month, and LeBron James visits the Knicks the next day. The world's most famous distance race, the NYC Marathon, passes through all five boroughs on November 4, and Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Patrick Rafter and John McEnroe—recognizable even to folks who stopped following sports a quarter-century ago—play tennis at Madison Square Garden on the fifth. Lovable Olympians, including Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber, strut their stuff in Brooklyn on November 18, while Tom Brady (Mr. Gisele) and the Jets' Mark Sanchez (Mr. Handsome) compete for the title of the NFL's best-looking starting quarterback on Turkey Day itself. For details about these marquee events (and, of course, the leftovers), read on.
Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks
November 1, 7pm; Barclays Center
Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and the Nets are set to don their black-and-white jerseys and jog onto the distinctive hardwood at Barclays Center for the first time in a game that counts. Their opponents? Brooklyn-born Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks, naturally. There ought to be a charged atmosphere as newly minted Brooklyn partisans and longtime Knicks supporters—Kings County's own Spike Lee among them—compete for dominion over the arena. For tickets, try ticketmaster.com—or, let's be serious, stubhub.com.
New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat
November 2, 8pm; Madison Square Garden
The Knicks' home opener is a tilt against LeBron James and the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. Carmelo Anthony has vowed to share the ball more this year, and Raymond Felton is back at the Garden, where he performed with aplomb during the 2010–11 season. Plus, forward Marcus Camby personally played a key role as the Knicks knocked Miami out of the playoffs (in 1999—when LeBron James was 14 years old). Coach Mike Woodson and his win-now roster surely hope to start winning (now) in this marquee showdown. For tickets, go straight to stubhub.com.
ING New York City Marathon
November 4, 8:30am; starting on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and finishing at Central Park
This is the participatory sporting event to end all participatory sporting events, during which about 47,000 competitors endure a punishing 26.2-mile journey through all five boroughs. Amateurs run the same route as professional stars and millions of fans cheer them every step of the way. Marathoners compete not only on two legs but also on prostheses and wheels. To learn about Achilles International, which helps people with disabilities race, read our article about the organization and its runners. And for tips on the optimal spectator experience, check out our full guide.
New York Giants Football
November 4, 4:25pm; November 25, 8:20pm; MetLife Stadium
At press time, Big Blue finds itself atop the NFC East standings. A recent blowout win over the 49ers, their opponents in the NFC title game last season, suggests they've really hit their stride. Fans can look forward to still more Eli Manning touchdown passes and Victor Cruz salsa dances during this month's games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or stubhub.com.
NASDAQ Indexes Cup (Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Patrick Rafter)
November 5, 7:30pm; Madison Square Garden
Four old pros—all of whom have won the US Open in this fine City— square off in a Madison Square Garden mini-tournament that's sort of a tennis equivalent of the Pavement reunion tour. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
New York Red Bulls Playoffs
November 7, 8pm; Red Bull Arena
The Red Bulls' hopes of finishing the regular season atop the Eastern Conference table have evaporated, but they still find themselves in the playoffs against their rivals from DC. Once the postseason starts, anything can happen—especially with Thierry Henry, still one of the league's top scoring threats, on the pitch. Can everyone's favorite energy drink–sponsored side capture its first MLS Cup? Stay tuned. For tickets, visit newyorkredbulls.com.
Colombia vs. Brazil (Soccer)
November 14, 7:15pm; MetLife Stadium
MetLife Stadium must be starting to feel like home for the Brazilian national soccer team—this is already the third time they've played at the relatively new facility. Their opponents this time: fellow powerhouse Colombia. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions 2012
November 18, 3pm; Barclays Center
Already feeling nostalgic for the 2012 Olympics, when such gymnasts as Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber won your hearts? Good news: they'll be on hand at Barclays Center—a venue that didn't even exist all those months ago—to perform feats of incredible strength, balance and flexibility. Other athletes include Jake Dalton, relative veteran Nastia Liukin and the Bronx's own John Orozco. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
November 22, 8:20pm; MetLife Stadium
The injury-ravaged Jets, whose season has already seen enough drama to fill several Gossip Girl episodes, have only one home game in November—but fans can take comfort in the fact that the Thanksgiving Day matchup is round two of the 2012 Good-Lookin' Bowl pitting Mark "Mr. Handsome" Sanchez (with backup and fellow GQ coverboy Tim Tebow) against Tom "Bieber-Hair" Brady. Which glamorous quarterback will lead his team to victory in a crucial divisional matchup? If you'd like to find out in person, visit ticketmaster.com or stubhub.com.
Cornell vs. Michigan (Hockey)
November 24, 8pm; Madison Square Garden
Prominent college hockey programs—who faced each other in last year's NCAA tournament—face off at Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving weekend. Don't be surprised if the decibel level rivals Rangers games. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
All month long; various locations
The college basketball season tips off with what is, frankly, a preposterous amount of action this month. Not only are all the local teams in action, but both venerable Madison Square Garden and the shiny new Barclays Center are set to host national powers. For a full roundup of the roundball offerings, check out our season preview.
All month long; various locations
The biggest NCAA football event in November is the New York Urban League Football Classic on November 17*, which pits Morgan State against Hampton University and allows fans to see Yankee Stadium's nifty football configuration again. Of course, the locals are all in action as well: Fordham takes on Lafayette and Colgate, Columbia faces Cornell, Wagner hosts Holy Cross and Duquesne and fights to stay in the Northeast Conference title chase, and Division III SUNY Maritime wraps up its season against Gallaudet.
*The New York Urban League Football Classic has been canceled.
Battle of the Badges: NYPD vs. FDNY Boxing
December 8, 8pm; The Theater at Madison Square Garden
The New York City Police Department and Fire Department are known for protecting the citizenry from felons and flames—but, as the Madison Square Garden website promises, when they step into the boxing ring, "nobody can protect them from each other!" Indeed, this event pits New York's Finest against New York's Bravest in a series of slugfests. Who will win when NYPD gets pugilistic and FDNY fights more than fire? As is the case with their lifesaving work, the answer must be the public at large—it's sure to be an entertaining evening. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
New York Rangers Home Opener
Date TBA; Madison Square Garden
The NHL lockout has put the precise date of the Rangers' home opener in doubt—but fans hope that, sooner rather than later, the focus will be out of the boardroom and back on the ice so that Henrik Lundqvist and company can build on a strong 2011–2012 season and make a run at the Cup. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
December 1: Miguel Cotto vs. Austin Trout (Boxing), Madison Square Garden
December 16: Grapple at the Garden (Wrestling), Madison Square Garden
December 29: New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Yankee Stadium