OK, so 31st place isnít the kind of ranking a sports franchise usually aspires to. But for the Columbus Blue Jackets, landing in the top third of ESPNís Ultimate Standings isnít half bad.
The report, in this weekís ESPN The Magazine, ranks 122 franchises in the four major sports leagues from top to bottom -- the L.A. Angels are No. 1 overall, the L.A. Clippers bring up the rear at No. 122. The standings, based on fan polls, measure how the teams give back to their supporters in categories like stadium experience, affordability, title track, ownership, coaching and players.
The Cleveland Cavaliers came in at No. 5 overall, and was ranked the No. 5 team most committed to winning and No. 1 for quality of players. (Did you catch that, LeBron?)
After the Blue Jackets at No. 31, the Reds ranked No. 36, the Indians No. 67, the Browns No. 114, and the Bengals did Ohio proud at No. 118 overall.
Not surprisingly, the Bengals came in last at No. 122 in the fan relations category. I guess community service doesnít benefit a franchiseís image when itís court-ordered.