2006_11_sbushpitch.jpgWhen the dust cleared after the elections on Tuesday, the Democrats were the last party standing. Even in a blue-leaning state like New York, Democrats had to play hard in their quest to dominate the old boys' club known as the Republican party. As Dems claimed victory in every state race, Republicans retreated and joined the ranks of some other New York losers.

Sort of like the 2006 New York Yankees and Mets. Focusing on offense to overpower a league where pitching wins games, the Yankees took their AL East Division title as far as Detroit. Though they were heavily favored, the exit polls told a different story, and the underdog Detroit Tigers went on to the next round. The Mets followed suit; the best team in baseball for the entire season couldn't hold it together at the end. The St. Louis Cardinals pulled out a final-hours victory, and their campaign manager, Tony LaRussa, led his well oiled machine all the way to a championship.

While the Yankees and Mets set out to reorganize and prepare their next campaign, New York sports fans are left searching for their own Democratic party. Jets fans, like Green Party candidates, still have hope, but their team is competing with New England, Baltimore, Indianapolis and Denver for a playoff spot. And with football season half over, another mid-term election of sorts will take place tomorrow night when the New York Giants (6-2) face the Chicago Bears (7-1). The winner will not only gain bragging rights in an intense league rivalry, but will also dominate the NFC.

A must-win for both teams, Sunday night's game is huge for New York. Democrats had to work harder for the win but they were sick of waiting until next time, and the results proved that this country is ready for a change - much like how New York sports fans want change. In a city that all but demands championships, the underdog New York Giants are playing for an even greater glory. It's been a year of unexpected losses and New York sports fans don't want to keep hoping for next season. Having watched the beloved Yankees and Mets either leave too soon and suffer a heartbreaking loss, on top of having no faith in the Knicks, New York needs a winner. Badly.

Photo of President Bush throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium in the 2001 World Series by AP/Roberto Borea