New York’s Coolest

1940s

Joe DiMaggio

The guy married Marilyn Monroe for Christ’s sake.  It didn’t hurt he played the most popular sport on most popular team at the time.  He inherited the throne of Gehrig and Ruth, won nine World Series, and three MVPs.  He played with grace and always maintained his cool, calm composure, rarely showing emotions.  Whether it was his slick backed dark hair or the perfectly tailored suit, off the field he always looked sophisticated without comprising his manliness.  And once again, the guy married Marilyn Monroe for crying out loud.

1950s

Mickey Mantle

Another Yankee, if Joe D. inherited the throne from Gehrig and Ruth, Mick inherited it from Joe.  That said, the two didn’t have much in common, other than winning, Mick won seven World Series.  Both cool for exactly opposite reasons, if DiMaggio was Clooney, Mick was Tommy Lee.  Joe personified class. Mick was a rock star in a baseball player’s body.  Mick famously got drunk, got rowdy and got woman.  His teammates loved him as they owned the New York night life.  Of course none of that stopped him from destroying on the baseball diamond, selected TWENTY times to the All Star game.  They say ‘chicks dig the long ball’ and Mick had 536 of them.  Legions of men today walk around with the name Mickey, thanks to the awe he inspired.

1960s

Joe Namath

Before he famously tried to put the moves on Suzy Kolber on nation TV, the media dubbed him as Broadway Joe.  He won the first and only Super Bowl for the New York Jets , which helped merge the NFL and AFL.  He made waves guaranteeing a win over the heavily favored Colts back before guaranteeing a game was played out.  He wore fur coats on the sideline, had long hair and a fu manchu.  He starred in movies and TV and owned his own bar.  My mother still has a crush on him.  If you really want to see just how cool he was, watch the documentary Namath from HBO sports, it shows his entire southern cool persona as he flourishes under the bright lights of New York.

1970s

Walt Frazier

You may know Walt simply as ‘Clyde”.  Frazier got the nickname from his propensity to dress stylishly like that of Warren Beatty in the movie Bonnie and Clyde.  Frazier lead the Knicks to their only two championships in the franchises’ history.  Clyde, another southern gentleman, hailing from the ATL, made New York his town.  He rocked fedoras, three piece suits and more animal prints than Cruella de Vil.  Even president Obama admits to owning Clyde’s book Rockin Steady: A guide to basketball and cool.  You can still experience his radiant cool by tuning into a Knicks game with him on the sideline calling the game.

1980s

Keith Hernandez

A controversial decision, Keith over Lawrence Taylor, both won championships, and both forayed into drugs.  Keith takes this one, because under his ‘bad boy’ image it all seemed good natured while LT just seemed unhinged.  Keith, the captain of the 86 Mets’ championship squad, known for his late night partying assisted in making New York a Mets’ town and stealing the back page from the New York Yankees (even if it was for just a short time).  Whether it was the mustache or the cocaine he symbolized 80s cool.  Thank God the 80s are over.

1990s

Derek Jeter

Let’s run down the list, Mariah Carey(pre-crazy), Jordana Brewster, Vanessa Minnillo, Vida Guerra, Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Adriana Lima, Jessica Biel and Minka Kelly, yea, pretty impressive list.  He hasn’t given any of those women rings but he does have five for himself.  The captain of the New York Yankees has every woman in the tri-state area fawning over him while also having every guy in the tri-state area wanting to be him.  Jeter ranks among the leaders in all most every Yankee offensive category, plays shortstop (the sport’s most glamorous position) and has a first class ticket to Cooperstown whenever he decides to hang them up.

2000s

Michael Strahan

Yea, I know Strahan and Jeter can be flipped but Strahan won his Super Bowl in 2008.  Strahan, the face of the New York Giants, owns the single season sacks record as well as the NFL’s most famous smile.  Now that he anchors NBC’s Sunday football pre show he still owns some limelight.  Strahan stars in a bunch of TV commercials hawking subway sandwiches and SoBe life water.  Strahan distinguished himself as a true leader and notorious goofball

All of these players were cool for different reasons, some had class, some partied hard and others just had a certain flair, but what unifies them is that they all won and New York loves a winner.

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