Favorite Major League Baseball team:
New York Yankees..........44%
New York Mets.............23%
Favorite NFL team:
New York Giants...........39%
New York Jets.............18%
Favorite NBA team:
New Jersey Nets...........28%
New York Knicks...........16%
Favorite NHL team:
New Jersey Devils.........37%
New York Rangers..........15%
Favorite college team:
Notre Dame football.......15%
Penn State football.......11%
Greatest athlete who ever lived in or played for a college or
pro team in your state:
State's biggest sports rivalry:
More a fan of college or pro sports?
Favorite sports to play:
ENEMY OF THE STATE
New Jerseyites may root for the Yankees, but the only Boss they
love is Springsteen. Who are the state's most hated sports
opponents? The Dallas Cowboys (18%), the New York Rangers (16%)
and the Boston Red Sox (14%).
*Harris Interactive poll, conducted online, of 402 New Jersey
residents who identified themselves as sports fans. Margin of
error +/- 4.9%.
WHO & WHERE
1 Paul Tagliabue
The Jersey City native and high school basketball star at St.
Michael's in Union City is now NFL commissioner.
2 Bill Parcells
Born in Englewood, the Tuna coached the Giants to Super Bowl wins
in 1986 and '90. He brings his new team, the Cowboys, to the
Meadowlands for the first time on Sept. 15.
3 Dick Vitale
The over-the-top ESPN broadcaster from Elmwood Park coached his
alma mater, East Rutherford High, to state basketball titles
('70, '71) before moving on to jobs with the University of
Detroit from 1973 to '77, then the Detroit Pistons for one-plus
4 Troy Vincent
The Trenton native and anchor of the Philadelphia Eagles'
secondary was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2002.
5 Al Leiter
The Mets' ace and Toms River native led Central Regional High in
Bayville to a state championship in 1984; he has pitched for two
World Series winners ('93 Blue Jays and '97 Marlins).
6 Yogi Berra Museum
The museum is on the campus of Montclair State (Yogi has lived in
Montclair for more than 40 years) and is next to Yogi Berra
Stadium, home of the minor league New Jersey Jackals.
7 Waterfront Park
The 6,440-seat stadium is home to the Trenton Thunder, the
10-year-old Double A club that in June became the fastest
franchise at that level of the minors or below to draw four
million fans over its history. The Thunder was a Red Sox farm
club before switching to the Yankees this season.
8 Al Harrington
The 6'9" forward jumped from St. Patrick High in Elizabeth to the
NBA in 1998 and was the 25th overall pick by the Indiana Pacers.
9 The Clark Family
The track clan from Maplewood includes sisters Hazel and Joetta
and sister-in-law Jearl, all of whom made the 2000 Olympic team
at 800 meters while being coached by Hazel and Joetta's brother,
10 Shaquille O'Neal
A military kid, Shaq was born in Newark and also lived in Jersey
City before moving to Texas, where he played his high school ball.
11 Tony Meola
The Kearny native was the starting goalkeeper for two U.S. World
Cup teams ('90, '94) and later played for the MetroStars.
12 Anne Donovan
The 6'8" Hall of Fame center from Ridgewood won gold medals at
the 1984 and '88 Olympics.
The city of 52,000 is New Jersey's SI Sportstown for having the
state's best community sports programs. It is also the site of
Rutgers' basketball arena (the RAC).
14 Atlantic City
Since its first casinos opened in 1978, the city has been a
regular venue for world championship fights.
15 Pine Valley
The 85-year-old golf club has the No. 1-rated golf course in the
"This is a great state with so much to offer, but it sort of
doesn't have an identity," said Devils center Jim Dowd, a Brick
native, after scoring the winning goal in Game 2 of the 1995
Stanley Cup finals. "That's like our team. We don't have much of
an identity either." The Devils began forging one by sweeping the
favored Detroit Red Wings and winning their first of three Cup
Major sports in which New Jersey claims to have hosted the first
game: baseball (1846, Hoboken) and college football (1869, New
Playoff wins for the Nets since Jason Kidd joined them in 2001;
the team had nine postseason wins in its 25 previous NBA seasons.
Division I men's and women's basketball teams that ran the
Princeton offense last season.
Age of the U.S.'s oldest annual cycling event, a 50-miler in
Somerville, home of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.
Year in which a sports event was first filmed--a boxing match
staged in Thomas Edison's West Orange lab.
For New Jersey's top 50 homegrown sports figures, go to SI.com/50
Carl Lewis, Sprinter, long jumper
Arguably the greatest Olympian ever, he won the long jump four
times and the 100 twice. He shares the Olympic record of nine
golds with three others. Lewis was born in Alabama but grew up in
Rick Barry, Basketball player
The only player to lead the NCAA, NBA and ABA in scoring, the
6'7" forward from Elizabeth made 90% of his career free throws
(shooting underhand), second best alltime, and led the Warriors
to the 1975 title.
Franco Harris, Football player
Born in Fort Dix and raised in Mount Holly, the 6'2", 230-pound
running back starred at Penn State and won four Super Bowls with
the Steelers. In 1972 the Hall of Famer was on the receiving end
of the Immaculate Reception.
Amos Alonzo Stagg, Football coach
The gridiron pioneer from West Orange is credited with
popularizing the forward pass and inventing the T formation, the
man in motion and the fake punt. He won 314 college games over 57
Marty Liquori, Middle-distance runner
The Cedar Grove native ran a sub-four-minute mile as a senior at
Newark's Essex Catholic High in 1967 before going on to a
brilliant career at Villanova. He is the last American to be
ranked No. 1 in the world in the 1,500 ('71).
Goose Goslin, Baseball player
The Hall of Fame outfielder from Salem batted .316 in an 18-year
career that ended in 1938. He helped the Washington Senators and
the Detroit Tigers win five pennants. After his playing career he
ran a fishing resort in Delaware Bay.
"The only bowl Rutgers is going to is the one I just got off of."
--BOSTON COLLEGE QUARTERBACK AND CHERRY HILL NATIVE GLENN FOLEY
IN 1992 AFTER A 37-20 SEASON-OPENING WIN OVER THE SCARLET
KNIGHTS, WHO HAD BEEN CONSIDERED A BOWL CONTENDER. RUTGERS
FINISHED 7-4, DID NOT GO TO A BOWL AND HAS SINCE HAD A RECORD OF
To see a gallery of every New Jersey cover, read SI stories from
the Devils' Stanley Cup championships or vote for the Garden
State's greatest basketball player, go to
COLOR CHART Enthuse-o-meter On a scale of 1 to 100, how would you rate your state's enthusiasm for sports, relative to other states'? COLD --- 75.9 - HOT Ranked 4th (of 1st 5 states polled)
COLOR PHOTO: STUART RAMSON/AP (STEINBRENNER)
COLOR MAP: MAP ILLUSTRATION BY JOE ZEFF TRENTON
COLOR PHOTO: BRIAN BRANCH-PRICE/AP (TRENTON THUNDER BATDOG) Chase, the Trenton Thunder's trusty batdog
TWO COLOR PHOTOS: DAVID E. KLUTHO (DANEYKO, BRODEUR) KEN DANEYKO (FAR RIGHT) AND MARTIN BRODEUR (INSET) HELPED THEDEVILS WIN THE '95 CUP.
COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JR.
COLOR PHOTO: BETTMANN/CORBIS
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN IACONO
B/W PHOTO: UPI/BETTMAN
COLOR PHOTO: JAMES DRAKE
B/W PHOTO: UNDERWOOD & UNDERWOOD/CORBIS
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER (FOLEY)