Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We're ALL Winners!

I figured I'd respond to the slight dig at Buffalo in the post below this one by making sure everyone's seen the results of ESPN's annual rankings of the franchises in the Big Four sports. In other words, WE'RE NUMBER ONE, BABY!

Okay, seriously, I read this article every year so I was pretty excited to see my guys ranked at the top. I know I've said this before, but it was a mere three years ago that our owner was being carted off in handcuffs. The team declared bankruptcy and fell under the ownership of the league. Players were getting checks from different banks every month - and not getting checks at all a few times - and everyone was wondering where the team was going to be the next season because it sure didn't look like it was going to be in Buffalo. To go from there to here in that short amount of time is amazing and as a Sabres fan I can attest that the new ownership has shown an amazing understanding of and appreciation for its fans.

I will put aside my personal pride for a moment and point out that three other NHL franchises finished in the top ten - Anaheim, Nashville, and Carolina. Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Dallas all finished in the top twenty. The criteria used were bang for the buck (revenues directly from fans divided by wins in the past three years), affordability (including ticket prices, parking and concessions), coaching, fan relations (access to players, coaches and management), ownership (honesty and loyalty to the city and players), players (effort and likability), stadium experience (friendliness of environment, quality of game-day promotions), and title track (prospects for winning a championship). If you want to check out the complete rankings, go here. If you want to see how your franchise ranks in the NHL, check it out here. (Sorry Bruins and Blackhawks fans - if you're out there. Better luck next year!)

All in all, a very solid showing by the NHL which is really no surprise to those of us who are fans of the game and its players. We'll discuss the irony of a sport ESPN barely covers doing so well in one of its major annual polls another day...

1 comment:

CapsChick said...

Oh, yeah baby! Caps are 18th in the NHL, 65th overall - let's hear it for being right smack in the middle! WOOOOO! :) (Washington Redskins 108th. HAHHAHAHAHA.)

Oh, and Heather, you know there's no love lost between our two teams but I think there is truly something amazing going on up in Buffalo between the team and the fans. It's great to see, really. Whatever my feelings may be about the team or the fringe group of fans that makes you real fans look bad, I'll grudgingly admit your team is fun to watch. Keep taking care of my Zubie!