June 21, 2011

Toronto deserves loserville title

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Ice Hockey

After reading about ESPN’s “Ultimate Team Rankings” report naming Toronto the worst city in North American professional sports, I was actually put at a loss for words to defend my home town. I should have actually seen it coming. After all, isn’t the foreshadowing here a bit in the standings? Toronto hasn’t fielded a playoff team in any of the top leagues for a few years now. Even then, Chris Bosh’s Raptors were first-round knockouts.

But let’s just take a quick look at how the Big Smoke’s three teams fared in this survey. These are rankings, out of 122 in the following categories: Overall, Bang for the Buck, Fan Relations, Ownership, Affordability, Stadium Experience, Players, Coaching and Title Track.

Blue Jays: 63  84  58  60  55  108  53  62  41
Raptors: 116  106  100  102  105  81  113  116  115
Maple Leafs: 120  122  103  94  122  100  105  111  110

For more details, check out the actual article here.

Now, I knew that the Jays would be holding up the two awful MLSE franchises, but that’s just sad.

With the Jays, I’m quite surprised with their title track, but I guess they count the 92-93 titles as ones their fans will have seen because the future in the AL East isn’t exactly bright. I’m not surprised by the terrible stadium experience either. The old SkyDome is the worst ballpark I’ve ever been to. It is homogenous grey, the upper deck seems too far away and the field’s turf looks shoddy.

The Raptors are always going to have trouble getting a free agent to sign in cold T.O. so it’s not hard to understand their title track rating. Their affordability and bang-for-the-buck ratings may be slightly better than their arena-mates, but still equally horrendous. It’s also quite hard for the players to get a high rating when they seem like they don’t care enough to play half the game on defence.

Then there’s the lowly Maple Leafs, who quite frankly deserve to be right where they are. Their tickets are overpriced, their crowds are full of suits who’d rather talk business than cheer and the on-ice product has been terrible. Their bang-for-the-buck should be the worst in sports because when was the last time you saw a sub .500 hockey team that has missed the playoffs for seven years consistently raise ticket prices?

It’s quite true that Toronto has become North America’s loserville of sports and this is just another affirmation of that. And seriously, if you can tell me a city with at least three professional teams that is currently worse than Toronto’s terrible troika, by all means please do. I’d really like to hear it.

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