ESPN The Magazine is out with its annual 'Ultimate Standings' for every professional franchise.
The rankings measure how much "franchises give back to the fans in exchange for all the time, money and emotion the fans invest in them."
There are eight major categories: Bang for the Buck, Fan Relations, Ownership, Affordability, Stadium Experience, Players, Coaching and Titles.
The Birds come in at No. 12 in the NFL and No. 44 overall in all four major sports.
Here's the writeup:
Thanks to Cole Hamels & Co., Philly no longer anticipates losing. Great for Philly; not so much for the Eagles. Even after eviscerating the Cowboys 44-6 to make the playoffs, then sending the Vikes and Giants home, the Eagles still didn't get as much brotherly love (up 22 places) as you might have expected. Sheesh, tough crowd. What gives? Well, for one, the Linc has grown stale. "When it opened there were big open concourses near each end zone that were a great place to hang out, have a drink, commune with fans and still have a great view," says JasonB of Bleeding Green Nation. "However, two years ago they started selling standing room only tickets. Now the concourse is mobbed because people camp out there for a good spot the moment the stadium opens." Not stale are the crab fries ($7), which are still are a must. And bird fans find the sight lines of the city and field much more impressive than Andy Reid's decisionmaking (cough, benching McNabb, cough). Plain and simple: The way to please these fans is to win, damn it. Because we now know ties (13-13 against the Bengals) don't cut it.up.
The Eagles scored best in the Players, Bang for the Buck and Fan Relations categories. Their worst rankings were in Affordability and Stadium Experience.
There's a difference between Bang for the Buck and Affordability, in case you were confused. The first category is based on wins over the past three years per revenues directly from fans.
In other words, how much on-the-field success are fans seeing, compared to how much money they're putting into the product.
Affordability relates to price of tickets, parking and concessions.
The Phillies predictably ranked ahead of the Eagles at No. 24. The Flyers came in at No. 54, and the Sixers at 99.
The category that was most interesting was Stadium Experience, defined as "quality of arena and game-day promotions as well as friendliness of environment."
Per the rankings, there are 14 better stadium experiences than going to a game at the Linc.
Because of our weekly online chats, I didn't get to attend any home games last year for the first time since the stadium opened. But I always thought the Linc provided a solid stadium atmosphere. Granted, it's not as rowdy or raucous as the Vet, where I pretty much learned the game of football. But most games I've attended over the years at the Linc have felt like a party. Playoff games and prime-time matchups reach a level of their own.
So I'm interested to hear what you think about the overall rankings, but specifically the stadium experience. Do you agree with Jason of BGN that the atmosphere has declined over the last two years? Or do you think it's definitely better than 14th in the NFL?
We'll re-publish some of the better comments in a future post.