The best thing you can say about the Miami Marlins is that they're not technically the worst. The Houston Astros have a worse record and TV ratings, and the Tampa Bay Rays have lower attendance.
So when ESPN magazine decided to rank every professional franchise in all four major North American sports based on fan input, we weren't surprised that the Marlins didn't come in dead last. Though, we were equally unsurprised to learn they came in third to last.
"The Ultimate Rankings" combined a series of polls, the first of which asked sports fans what they expect most out of their teams. Things like championships and winning records were found to be important, but so were things like the likability of ownership, the skill of players and coaches, lower ticker prices and stadium atmosphere were also important.
Next, fans of every franchise were asked how their favorite teams rank in each category. A "bang for your buck" category, which was based on a formula comparing money generated directly from fans to wins, was also included.
The Marlins, as it turned out, came in 120th out of all 122 teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL.
Their lowest single category ranking came in "Ownership: Honesty and loyalty to core players and local community." There they came in dead last. So there you have it: Jeffrey Loria is officially the least popular owner in all of sports. The team also ranked second to last for "fan relations."
The team also ranked 107th for "bang for buck," 103rd for stadium experience, 114th for players, and 110th for coaching. The only semi-bright spots were an 88th affordability (which, mind you, is not based on ticket prices but whether if fans feel, at least in part, if the team deserves to ask that much for tickets) and 51st for "Title Track," meaning championships already won or expected to be won during a fan's lifetime -- the team does have two World Series wins, which makes this even sadder.
The only teams ranked lower? The New York Jets (which, hahahaha) and the Sacramento Kings.
However, surely if the rankings included a specific "screwing over taxpayers" section, the Marlins would have secured last place.
The Miami Heat, obviously, were the highest ranked local team at 25. Their highest individual rankings were 14th for fan relations, ownership and players. Their worst rating was 59th for affordability.
The Florida Panthers came in at 82nd. Their highest ranking was 63rd for fan relations, and lowest was 111th for "bang for buck"
The Miami Dolphins were 97th. Their highest ranking was 65th for "bang for buck." Their lowest was 109th for stadium experience. We should note this data was collected before the Dolphins opened the season at 3-0, and, well, we all know we are fickle bunch.
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