ESPN – The method to our ultimate madness
First: Consulting firm Maddock Douglas surveyed 1,002 North American fans to form 25 criteria for what you want most in return for the emotion, money and time you invest in the 122 MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL teams.
Second: Teaming with NetReflector, an opinion research firm, ESPN.com asked fans to rate their home teams in each area; more than 101,000 of you did! We grouped grades into the categories below. Royals fans, for example, ranked Kauffman Stadium much higher (29) than owner David Glass (112).
Third: Our final measure, bang for the buck, uses calculations developed with Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center to figure how well teams turn fans’ money into wins. FINALLY We combined each team’s score across all categories into a weighted average. For example, since fans ranked players as more important than ownership, the former counted for 13.9 percent of a team’s final score versus 11.3 percent for the latter. The result? Fan opinion combined with an objective gauge of the cost of winning. Ultimately, everything counts.
Price of tickets, parking and concessions
122. Maple Leafs
Strength of on-field leadership
122. Panthers (NHL)
Courtesy by players, coaches and front offices toward fans, and how well a team uses technology to reach them
Honesty; loyalty to core players and the community
Effort on the field, likability off it
Quality of venue; fan-friendliness of environment; frequency of game-day promotions
1. Giants (MLB)
Bang for the buck
Wins in the past year, per fan dollars
122. Maple Leafs
Championships won or expected within the lifetime of current fans
1. Cardinals (MLB)
Number 113, 116, 118 and 121 out of 122. Is that good? What? No? Its actually the worst scenario you can possibly imagine? Oh ok then.
You know who’s surprised by this right now? Everyone who’s not a Mets, Jets, Knicks and Islanders fan. Those are the people going “Wow I knew it was bad, but I didnt know it was that bad.” The people who are fans of these teams arent fazed by this one bit. I’ve been telling you how bad it is for years. Ive been telling you the city of Cleveland cant hold a candle to us when it comes to misery. Ive been telling you that when you take everything into consideration being a fan of the Little Brother teams in NYC is as bad as it gets as a sports fan. Now you have it all quantified for you.
But its also why I think the Mets Jets Knicks Isles fan base are the greatest fan base in all of sports. You know how easy it would be to jump ship and join the Yankees/Giants/Rangers bandwagon? You know how easy it would be to just walk the fuck away? Just give up on sports all together and go be some hipster or something? So goddam easy. Yet here we are. Die hard fans of 4 (three, really) of the worst 10 franchises in all of sports. The most expensive, unlikeable, poorly run teams in all of sports and we’re still here – day in and day out – waiting with bated breath for championships that are never coming. Not only that, but we’re still calling sports radio and columnists are still writing about us and idiots like me are still blogging about us. The Mets can lose a game in May and be on the back page. The Jets are still one of the most talked about teams in the city. The Knicks havent been a contender in ETERNITY and they still are the most beloved franchise in the city. The day that one of these teams win a title will be the single most rewarding moment in sports history.
PS – That day is never coming.
PPS – And you guys wonder why I’m not a ball of sunshine.