OT: ESPN releases Ultimate Standings; Red Wings #8, Tigers #33, Pistons #93 and Lions #112

Submitted by AKMuskie on July 1st, 2010 at 8:48 AM

I thought this was pretty interesting, considering all the things they factor in. Tigers are the 10th baseball team mentioned (Ahead of the Red Sox AND Yankees), Red Wings are the second NHL team mentioned (Oh how I love to hate the Pittsburgh Penguins), the Pistons dropped about 20 spots from last year, and the Lions moved up 7 SPOTS although they did not crack the top 100.

They factor in things like regular season and postseason success, fan relations, ownership, quality of stadium/arena, player effort, coaching, and championships won or expected.

It's safe to say the sports market in Detroit is doing well even in this frightful economy.




July 1st, 2010 at 8:52 AM ^

ESPN is blocked at my office, so I can't open the list for myself. I'm a bit skeptical of any list that has the Yankees outside of the top-10 baseball teams though. I'm not a Yankees fan at all but it seems like a team that averages a World Series every 4 years and has employed dozens of the most recognizable baseball greats in history should be somewhere in the top-third of the league.


July 1st, 2010 at 9:05 AM ^

(last 3 years) + playoffs is only one of the criteria. There's 7 others inlcuding likeability. Once you read their formula it's not hard to deduce why the Bronx Bums aren't in the top 10. That being said, I'm in no way completely agreeing with the list or who's where on it.


July 1st, 2010 at 9:06 AM ^

I agree, anything that ranks the "Ultimate Team Rankings" across sports, Yankees should be near the top of the list. The ESPN rankings are based on the following categories:

"Bang For The Buck (BNG): Wins during the past three years (regular season plus postseason) per revenues directly from fans, adjusted for league schedules.

Fan Relations (FRL): Openness and consideration toward fans by players, coaches and management.

Ownership (OWN): Honesty and loyalty to core players and local community.

Affordability (AFF): Price of tickets, parking and concessions.

Stadium Experience (STX): Quality of arena and game-day promotions as well as friendliness of environment.

Players (PLA): Effort on the field and likability off it.

Coaching (CCH): Strength of on-field leadership.

Title Track (TTR): Championships already won or expected in the lifetime of current fans"

Obviously teams like the Yankees will not fair well in categories like affortability and bang for the buck. Although i find it interesting that one of the things you mentioned, history of the team, is a not a factor in these rankings.


July 1st, 2010 at 9:10 AM ^

I think they are looking at team ownership, Steinbrenner(s) are not exactly a great family to work for. I think the yanks have a real negative profile because they simply buy up good players and spit them out after a couple of years. I think they just grind through the talent and it isn't always a great 'team' atmosphere. I am not all that surprised, yes they have on field success but I am not sure that makes them a great place to be. Winning isn't everything.


July 1st, 2010 at 8:55 AM ^

behind the Spurs and I believe the Patriots.  Man, those were the days.  I am really shocked at the speed and severity of the Pistons demise. 


July 1st, 2010 at 9:03 AM ^

This is one of the stupidest lists I've ever seen.  How can the Tampa Bay Rays be #6?  Their fans literally invest nothing in them.  Even using the ridiculous criteria, this is inane.  They get around 20K people a game and when the Sox and the Yanks are in town the cheers are WAY louder for them than for the Rays.


July 1st, 2010 at 10:56 AM ^

I think you're looking at this list the wrong way.  Think of it more as the best teams of which to be a fan.  Sure, there may be bigger fan bases for the Yankees or Red Sox, but if you are a Rays fan, you aren't paying through the nose for tickets, your players aren't mercenaries, you have an owner that has a good relation with the fans, and the team still wins just as much anyways.  Even if the fan base is relatively small and quiet, those few Rays fan have had a pretty good time following the team for the past few years.


July 1st, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

Where did I say that you had a bad time following the Yankees?  The rankings just show that Tampa Bay fans have been able to follow a team made up of home-grown talent that has been almost as good as the Yankees for the past few seasons without having to pay $10k for front row seats behind home plate.

If your only criteria for an enjoyable fan experience is how the team did last year, fine, whatever, this list isn't for you.  This list is for people who realize there are many factors that can affect how enjoyable it is to follow a team.

My name ... is Tim

July 1st, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

It's patently absurd to claim that being a Yankees fan is below the 50th percentile in fan enjoyability when they're able to sustain so much success AND fan loyalty. I just hate these rankings because they're patently absurd. If it was that much more enjoyable to be a Devil Rays fan than a Yankees fan then presumably there would be more sellouts of Devil Ray games than Yankee games. Also, the idea that revenue generated by fans should count against you is completely absurd. So, because a group of fans buy a lot of merchandise and spend money on tickets because, again presumably, they love their team, inevitably lowers their ranking according to ESPN? That's simply dumb.

Clarence Beeks

July 1st, 2010 at 9:05 AM ^

Red Wings are the second NHL team mentioned (Oh how I love to hate the Pittsburgh Penguins)

Hate to break it to you guys, but the Red Wings won't be passing the Penguins on that list any time soon (just based on the evaluation criteria they used) once the new arena opens this fall.  Note: I'm not commenting at all on the respective franchises, but rather on the evaluation criterial alone.


July 1st, 2010 at 9:20 AM ^

You might be right, but from looking back at the list from the last 4 or 5 years there seems to be a ton of movement in NHL teams. Lone exception is the Wings in this case. Three years ago, Buffalo was #1...on the entire list (not just NHL). Four or five years ago, Edmonton was ahead of the Wings. Just have to see how consistent Pitts can be I guess (hopefully not very). Not easy to keep a loaded team together these days....see Chicago 2010.


July 1st, 2010 at 12:45 PM ^

You're exactly right. This list is a brief snapshot and nothing more. Only three years ago the Penguins were on their way to Kansas City, ready to abandon their entire fanbase and now they're the top NHL franchise on this list. Funny stuff.

The Wings have been up there a while and will probably stay, with a new arena (likely) within the next five years...

Clarence Beeks

July 1st, 2010 at 7:44 PM ^

Chicago is a horrible example and even making the comparison is a bit silly.  Chicago didn't wouldn't have had a problem keeping a "loaded team" together if they had taken on the right component parts at the right price.  The problem with Chicago's cap situation was not that they were loaded, but rather that they paid too much money for non-essential parts.  That's a large part of the reason why Dale Tallon is now in Florida.


July 1st, 2010 at 10:03 AM ^

Twins at #14 is pretty good.  The Vikings are being killed by their stadium experience rank, which they should be.  And the Timberwolves just plain suck. 

I also find the Stadium Experience rankings pretty revealing as to how MN does things.  When they do decide to build a Stadium, they go all out and do it right.  The Twins and Wild have arguably the nicest stadiums in each of their respective leagues, and are the #1 and #3 stadium experiences on that list.  The Vikings and Timberwoves however really need new places to play, but the state doesn't want to pay for it.  I don't think many people will disagree with their rankings of #118 and #112, respectively, for stadium experience.  Hopefully the state will get their shit together and build the Vikes a stadium worthy of a top 10 ranking before they decide to leave town.


July 1st, 2010 at 10:04 AM ^

The Tigers and Red Wings are owned by the same person, but they ranked the Wings with a 1 and the Tigers with a 29. They must be saying that the ownership doesn't have a loyalty to players, but then how do you explain payinghand over fist for Robertson, Willis, Bonderman, Damon, Magglio, and Inge,  and giving huge contracts to the Cabby and Verlander? Doesn't add up.


Maybe it could be them trading away Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson after they had success here?


July 1st, 2010 at 2:01 PM ^

That or Ken Holland > Dave Dombrowski.

If you think about it, the Red Wings have had players leave through free agency, but the Tigers have traded away lots of homegrown talent for other players.  not that it was wrong to do so, but they've been pretty active with trades.


July 1st, 2010 at 4:55 PM ^

the GM, not Illitch.  The Tigers actually done well in trading away Grandy and Jackson.  They got a potential ROY candidate in Austin Jackson, a solid reliever in Phil Coke and a potential solid starter in Scherzer(who played better after getting called down to Toledo).

Verlander and Cabrera contract aren't that bad compared to relative value of positional player.  In fact, Miggy is underpaid if you compare it to 1B and the production level. He's a bargain at his current contract status.  I am pretty sure that we'll re-structure his contract to increase his salary down the road.


July 1st, 2010 at 11:21 AM ^

6 of the bottom 7 teams are in the NBA.  Not sure if it means that those teams are just that bad or a reflection on the parity of the NBA compared to the other leagues. 


July 1st, 2010 at 11:37 AM ^

Very interesting - to think the Saints rose from the ashes several times over the past 3 decades to such a spot says a lot and gives a lot of hope to teams like the Lions

My name ... is Tim

July 1st, 2010 at 11:44 AM ^

So these rankings I guess are telling me that there's a whole group of Padres fans out there going, "Screw the yearly postseason appearance and frequent World Series titles, I'll take our constant NL doormat status in exchange for tickets in the bleachers that are $5 cheaper than at Yankee Stadium!"


Yeah, ESPN just creates these lists using an arbitrary selection of categories/stats that produce results that won't put the most successful franchises automatically at the top so it stirs controversy and creates readership. I hate when ESPN does these things. How about some interesting columns from anyone that isn't Bill Simmons instead? ESPN.com is dead to me.