A Beautiful Depression: The Knicks as sung by the Mountain Goats

knicks moutain goats

It’s never been easy being a Knicks fan.

There are many mem­o­ries, but the last­ing ones are always the trau­matic ones, those that did the most dam­age, that scarred the deep­est: Charles Smith, Partick’s finger-roll, Starks miss­ing three after three, the Lebron Snub, Amare’s unin­sured knees sign­ing for 100 mil­lion. In fact it seems empir­i­cally jus­ti­fied to say that Allan Houston’s run­ner against the Heat has been the one aber­ra­tion among the many near misses. Other than their glory days of the early 70s, the Knicks have been a fran­chise built on soul crush­ing defeats and unfath­omable gut-wrenching pain.

John Darnielle (of the Moun­tain Goats) knows pain all too well, and sings about it bet­ter than any­one. New York Knicks Fans, meet your troubadour.

Darnielle often sings of the alpha cou­ple, who, to quote from the Pop­mat­ters review, “are in love, per­haps, but it’s a love filled with bit­ter­ness, anger, sad­ness and alco­hol. It’s a rela­tion­ship that con­tin­ues as much out of spite as any­thing else.” — This is the con­di­tion of the Knicks fan­base: dys­func­tional, code­pen­dent, sado-masochistic, artistic.

Though writ­ten for very dif­fer­ent con­texts, it often seems like his words could strangely be an apt sound­track to the team, city & fanbase.

Let me illustrate:

amare signing






And if the Moun­tain Goats are the mas­cot band, the spokes­men, No Chil­dren has to be the anthem.

I can just imag­ine a bar full of fans drink­ing away the mem­ory of another 4th quar­ter col­lapse or dec­i­ma­tion at the hand of a role player look­ing like an MVP, while singing these words in a drunken chorus.




But with James Dolan, imple­ment­ing his own ver­sion of the Deus Ex Machina and reset­ting the nar­ra­tive by sign­ing Phil Jack­son, things will change and maybe even get better…


…but I wouldn’t bet on it just yet.


Dev Kabir Malik has a clinically alarming dependence on basketball and spends most of his time watching, analyzing, writing and even playing a little pickup (and some 2K too). In the little time he has left, he dabbles with design, art & music.