If you haven’t seen them yet, ESPN released its annual “Ultimate Standings” where they rank every professional sports team in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. The list ranks each team based on ownership, title track, coaching, stadium experience, affordability, fan relations, players, and bang for the buck (which is the same thing as affordability if you ask me).
My problem with this list is they don’t admit that it is completely subjective. They try to quantify these rankings with weighted averages, polling, and determining a team’s cost to win ratio, but they completely do all of this rather unscientifically.
So where do the Rangers rank? 85th out of 122. That’s the bottom third…yikes!
Look, I know hockey will never get a fair shake in anything ESPN produces, but what really baffled me about this list wasn’t the fact that the Rangers were behind perennial losers like the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, and Jacksonville Jaguars (who often have home games blacked out), but that NHL teams like the Senators, Flames, Kings, Stars (really, they were bankrupt?), Sabres, and Ducks were all chosen over the Blueshirts.
Hey maybe I’m biased having friends working for teams across all major sports, and perhaps I am aware of too much inside scoop. Still, on what planet do losing organizations that can’t draw, draft, retain core players, or spend anywhere near the salary cap surpass an organization that can do all of the above consistently?
Also, in case you’re wondering, no NY area team cracked the top 50. I’d bet my entire wardrobe that it’s because of this “affordability/bang for your buck” element. How could a NY team ever be an affordable attraction in this day and age? This is the most expensive market on the continent by a pretty wide margin. Ticket prices will always be reflective of that.
Anyway, I hope this didn’t come off as an angry post, I’m actually laughing as I write this.