October 2010 Sports Calendar
by Jonathan Zeller, 09/22/2010
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New York City is an exciting destination for sports fans all year long. Below you'll find a list of standout events happening in and around NYC throughout October. Visit our team schedules page for the complete lineup of New York's major and minor league teams, including the New York Red Bulls, New York Mets, New York Yankees, New York Giants and New York Jets, along with the New York Rangers and New York Knicks, whose seasons begin this month.
Battle of the Badges
October 1, 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 and Bravest against one another in a series of slugfests. Who will win when the police get pugilistic and the 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.
Mayor's Cup High School Cross-Country Championships
October 2, 10am; Van Cortlandt Park
When we were in high school, distance runners didn't receive the same fanfare as, say, football players and basketball stars. While crowds packed the bleachers to watch the more coordinated athletes with rapt attention, runners plodded ceaselessly onward—negotiating the bitter cold, lactic-acid buildup and their tolerance for pain—applauded only by their teammates, coaches and the occasional parent. So if you show up to Van Cortlandt Park and offer your support on October 2, these talented, determined competitors will, without a doubt, appreciate it.
New York Yankees Playoffs
Potential home games scheduled for October 9, 10, 18, 19, 20, 30, 31 and November 1 (schedule depends on series length and how far the Yankees advance); Yankee Stadium
Few sporting events can match the intensity of a playoff game in the Bronx, and we heartily recommend that even the most casual fan head for Yankee Stadium as Derek Jeter and Company strive to win a 28th World Series championship. Next up, they compete in the American League Championship Series—home games are scheduled for October 18, October 19 and, if necessary, October 20. For more detailed schedule and ticket information, visit yankees.com.
Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
October 8, 5pm; October 9, 8am; October 10, 10:30am; Draddy Gymnasium
Take someone to a wheelchair basketball game for the first time, and they may be surprised by what they find—a fast-paced, physical battle that could be described as NASCAR meets the NBA. The smell of burnt rubber, the sound of screeching tires and the sight of determined athletes jostling for position under the boards usually makes fast fans out of newcomers. Even better, it's free to watch all of the weekend's action at Manhattan College's Draddy Gymnasium.
New York Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
October 15, 7pm; Madison Square Garden
Rangers fans—among the most rabid in the National Hockey League—hope that the 2010–2011 campaign brings the Blueshirts back to the playoffs after the team missed the postseason by a single point last year. Led by stellar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, dangerous scorer Marian Gaborik and battle-tested captain Chris Drury, the Rangers aim to get off to a fast start in their home opener against their Original Six rivals from the Great White North.
Army vs. Rutgers, October 16; Notre Dame vs. Navy, October 23; New Meadowlands Stadium (Check team websites for other game dates and locations.)
This October is a busy month for college football in the New York City area. The two biggest games take place at New Meadowlands Stadium, where local favorites Rutgers and Army square off on October 16 and gold-helmeted rivals Navy and Notre Dame battle a week later. That's far from the only action, though—local squads including Division I Football Championship Subdivision members Columbia, Wagner and Fordham as well as Division III SUNY Maritime play games within the five boroughs all month long.
New York Open Judo Championship
October 17, 7:30am; Hunter College, West Building
Rise, shine, grab a tall cup of coffee and head for Hunter College to watch skilled judokas compete in pursuit of bragging rights and the $1,000 prize that comes with the top slot in each weight class. In the modern martial art of judo, which means "gentle way" in Japanese, competitors strive to throw opponents to the ground, pin them or otherwise score an "ippon," or a full point. The key tenet of judo strategy is to use an opponent's strength and momentum against him or her, rather than trying to generate all the force yourself. For more information, visit newyorkopenjudo.com.
Tour de Bronx
October 24, 9:30am; starting at Grand Concourse and East 161st Street
The Tour de Bronx is not only the largest among Transportation Alternatives' popular Tours de Boroughs, it's also the largest free bike ride in New York State. Participants pedal 25 or 40 miles depending on the route they choose, and as with Transportation Alternatives' other big events, this is not a race—so there's no need to channel your inner Jan Ullrich. Just relax, keep pace with your fellow riders and enjoy some of the City's most scenic greenways. For more information, visit tourdebronx.org.
New York Road Runners Races
Norwegian Festival (Grete's Great Gallop/Norway Run/Troll Stroll), October 2, first race: 8:15am, Central Park; NYRR Harry Murphy Cross Country Classic, October 3, 11:30am, Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx; Staten Island Half-Marathon, October 10, 8:30am, check-in at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, Staten Island; NYRR Kurt Steiner Cross Country Classic, October 17, 11:30am, Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx; Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff, October 31, 8:30am, Central Park
This month's New York Road Runners events give local athletes of all ages the chance to stay in shape and run distances ranging from 1.7 miles to a half-marathon of 13.1 miles. Running the 5-mile Marathon Kickoff on the morning of Halloween should make a nice, healthy prelude to gorging on fun-size Twix bars later in the evening.
New York Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers
October 30, 7:30pm; Madison Square Garden
LeBron who? The Miami Heat may have scored the off-season's biggest prize, but the Knicks are still an improved team with the additions of perennial all-star Amar'e Stoudemire and point guard Raymond Felton, who figure to make Coach Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo offense more effective than it's been in recent seasons. At the very least, the Knickerbockers should be in contention to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Plus, if you attend the home opener against the Blazers, you'll have plenty of people to talk with about how much you want the team to sign Carmelo Anthony next summer.