October 2012 Sports Calendar
by Jonathan Zeller, 09/18/2012
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October concludes with Halloween, and there's plenty of spooky sports stuff going on during the run-up to said holiday. The Yankees hope they'll be able to avert a ghastly late-season collapse and battle for a World Series title; hockey fans want to escape the NHL's terrifying lockout and see the Islanders battle the Devils (named, fittingly, for the lord of the underworld) in the first-ever game at Barclays Center. The Nets make their preseason debut at the 'Clays this month, too, on a hardwood pattern called "herringbone." (Bones. Skeletons. Boooo? Maybe it's our attempt at a unified theme for this paragraph that's truly scary.) Jets fans hope their team wasn't merely in costume as an unstoppable offensive juggernaut in week one against the Bills, while Big Blue's supporters would like their team to win some more early-season games so their route to the playoffs won't be as perilous as last year's (though they'll take the same end result). The Liberty have even come back from the dead and may soon clinch a playoff spot. Also chilling: the prospect of life as a Washington General, condemned to an endless losing streak against the Harlem Globetrotters. For details on these and other bloodcurdling October sporting events, read on.
New York Liberty Playoffs
September 29, 7pm; additional dates TBA; Prudential Center
After a horrid start, the Liberty went 6–3 down the stretch and earned themselves a date with the Eastern Conference's top seed, the Connecticut Sun. Game two of their opening-round playoff series is at the Prudential Center. If Cappie Pondexter and company win this series, there will be more games to come in October. For tickets (which, by the way, start at $13 for floor seats), visit ticketmaster.com. For more info, as it becomes available, check out wnba.com/liberty.
Yankees vs. Red Sox (and, Hopefully, the Playoffs)
October 1–3 (and beyond), 7:05pm; Yankee Stadium
The Yankees have had some difficulties late this season and may or may not find themselves in position to clinch a division title by the time this series rolls around (we stand by our previous assertion that we'd be surprised if they missed the playoffs). The Red Sox, though—they've really had a tough time throughout 2012, so much that their greatest accomplishment was shipping Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez to Los Angeles in an epic salary-dump trade. For Yankees fans, rubbing it in would be plenty of fun; for Red Sox fans, playing spoiler to the Bronx Bombers could offer some solace at the close of a rough season. If all goes according to plan, postseason games will follow soon. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com. And enter the lottery to buy playoff seats at yankees.com.
New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils (Preseason) [Cancelled]
October 2, 7:30pm; Barclays Center
The first-ever scheduled sporting event at Barclays Center is this exhibition tilt between the two area NHL teams that don't play home games at Madison Square Garden. Will it actually take place? That depends on the progress of the league's labor talks. Keep those fingers crossed. [Due to the NHL lockout, this game has been canceled.]
Mayor's Cup Cross-Country Championships
October 6, 2:05pm; Van Cortlandt Park
During this race, 1,500 high school athletes chug along for 2.5 miles in pursuit of the coveted distinction of "Best in the City." Distance runners demonstrate endurance, determination and (perhaps most of all) pain tolerance, and often don't get the recognition with which their football- and basketball-playing classmates are showered. Come out and show them some love. For more info, visit the NYC Mayor's Cup Facebook page.
Red Bulls Soccer (and Battle on the Pitch: NYPD vs. FDNY Soccer)
October 6, 3:30pm; October 20, 7pm; Red Bull Arena
Everyone's favorite energy drink–sponsored soccer squad hits the MLS stretch run in a tight Eastern Conference race; as of press time, Thierry Henry and company are just four points behind leaders Sporting Kansas City and just five points ahead of DC United, who are chasing the last playoff spot. Following the October 6 game against the Chicago Fire, at approximately 5:30pm, New York City's Bravest and Finest take some time off from fighting fires and criminals to tangle with one another on the pitch. For tickets, visit newyorkredbulls.com.
Gotham Girls Roller Derby
October 6 and 27, 8pm; CCNY Nat Holman Gym
The competitors of Gotham Girls Roller Derby skate fast and hit hard. You may not know what a jammer, blocker and pivot are when you enter the gym, but longtime followers can tell you that it won't be long before these ladies turn you into a hard-core fan. And as if the action in the rink weren't enough, the event also features spirit-boosting "jeerleaders." The October 6 match is the league championship, between the Manhattan Mayhem and the Brooklyn Bombshells. The bill on October 27 features two bouts between New York teams and visiting Chicago squads.
Matthew Sapolin Memorial Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
October 6, 9am and October 7, 8am; Draddy Gymnasium, Manhattan College and Horace Mann High School 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's like a cross between NASCAR and the NBA. The smell of burnt rubber, the sound of screeching tires and the sight of determined athletes jostling for position under the boards often make fast fans out of newcomers. Plus, it's free to watch all the weekend's action. For more info, visit the event's official Facebook page.
October 7, 5pm; Barclays Center
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.
October 7 and 21, 1pm; MetLife Stadium
Eli Manning and the defending Super Bowl champs had a rough start to the season, falling to their bitter rivals from Dallas—but given the team's recent run of success, Giants fans will probably have to endure a bit more misfortune to start complaining. In any event, Big Blue turned things around in week two against the Bucs, and could really be rolling by the time they face Cleveland and Washington this month. The official channel for tickets is ticketmaster.com, but you'll almost certainly have to buy through StubHub instead.
October 8, 8:30pm; October 14 and 28, 1pm; MetLife Stadium
Mark "Mr. Handsome" Sanchez and Tim Tebow, the most photogenic quarterback tandem in the NFL, sure looked good on the field in their opener against the Buffalo Bills, during which Tebow disoriented the Bills defense and Sanchez put up gaudy numbers. The following week, against the Steelers? Not so much. Can Gang Green sustain success over the long haul this season? It would be a big help to clean up in winnable home games against Houston, Indianapolis and Miami. Either try to get tickets at ticketmaster.com, or just go straight to StubHub.
New York Yankees Playoffs
October 10 (and 11–12, if necessary), Times TBD; Yankee Stadium
The Bronx Bombers wrapped up another American League East championship by sweeping their beleaguered rivals from Boston (whose then-manager, former Mets skipper Bobby Valentine, finished his own miserable season by falling off a bike in Central Park while reading a text message), setting up yet another autumn of postseason baseball in the Bronx. Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and company now await the winner of the Wild Card play-in game between Baltimore and Texas, and stand just 11 wins from a 28th World Series title. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or StubHub.
Emelec vs. Barcelona Sporting Club
October 10, 8pm; Red Bull Arena
Another international professional match comes to the New York City area as Ecuadoran sides tangle at the home of the Red Bulls. For tickets, visit redbullarena.us.
Tour de Bronx
October 14, 9:30am; starting near Yankee Stadium
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 info, visit tourdebronx.org.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Washington Wizards (Preseason)
October 15, 7:30pm; Barclays Center
Have you seen photos of the hardwood at Barclays Center yet? The distinctive herringbone pattern looks pretty fancy, we must say. On October 15, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and their fellow Nets hit said court for the first time in an exhibition against the Wizards of Washington, DC. For tickets (available starting on September 24), visit ticketmaster.com.
Danny Garcia vs. Erik Morales (Boxing)
October 20, 6:30pm (main bout begins at 8pm); Barclays Center
In the first night of boxing at Barclays Center, Danny Garcia defends his collection of super lightweight titles against the formidable Erik Morales; the undercard includes a WBA welterweight championship bout between Paulie Malignaggi and Pablo Cesar Cano. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
All month long; various locations
New York City's not about to be mistaken for College Station or Ann Arbor when it comes to college football fervor, but the five boroughs' local teams are all in action throughout October. Check out schedules for Division I FCS squads Fordham, Columbia (whose homecoming game is on October 20) and Wagner (whose homecoming game is on October 27), as well as Division III SUNY Maritime.
November 1: Rangers home opener vs. Dallas Stars, Madison Square Garden
November 1: Nets home opener vs. Knicks, Barclays Center
November 2: Knicks home opener vs. Miami Heat, Madison Square Garden
November 5: Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Patrick Rafter, Madison Square Garden
November 9: Battle of the Badges (NYPD vs. FDNY boxing), Theater at Madison Square Garden