The sheer joy and sense of community that was expressed yesterday at the celebration of the Giants' Super Bowl victory demonstrates something of significance for the civic life of our city. As Mike Lupica points out, in today's NY Daily News, quoting a beat cop, ("Joy Now Reigns Where Tears Once Fell"): "First time since the attack that we had people down here, at least like this," he said. "This is like a day out of the old New York."
Civic spirit on display, a people brought to gether by a sports team, and an annonymous urban sprawl cohering with the a common bond-this is the full possibility of a sports team, and why sports holds the place it does in our hearts. It is also what, hopefully, the future holds for Brooklyn when the Nets rock in in 2010.
Brooklyn will be energized by the Nets in a way that the football Giants simply can't do. The reason lies with the sport of basketball itself-indelibly ingrained in the asphalt of Broownsville as mush as it is on the sandy courts of Manhattan Beach. It has been labeled the city game, but Brooklyn stands out as something special-from Connie Hawkins and Roger Brown, to Stephon Marbury, Jamal Tinsley and the emerging Lance Stephenson.
When the Nets come to Brooklyn first the borough and then the whole city will, if things break right, be in for a special treat. The team-through the work of the Brooklyn Sports Alliance-will become a part of the communities of the borough in a way that links them all together. And if the rivalry with what Marty Markowitz calls the "Manhattan Knicks" takes off-well, "Fuhgettabout it!"
So we know all about the controversy in the Atlantic Yards development, but it will all soon fade as the reality of the Brooklyn Nets begins to merge into the borough's heartbeat. The Develop Don't Destroy banners will become curios, and the Lebron James lead Nets will waltz down the Canyon of Heroes with the eyes of an adoring borough on them.