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ESPN the Magazine tabs Maple Leafs as worst team in major sports

Sep 6, 2012, 9:20 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

As Puck Daddy’s Harrison Mooney points out, the Toronto Maple Leafs finished last overall in ESPN’s “Ultimate Team” standings.

They’re ranked 122 out of 122 teams in the four “major” professional sports – edging the woeful Sacramento Kings – so they’re not just last among NHL teams.

The Columbus Blue Jackets were the second lowest ranked NHL team while – wait for it – the Phoenix Coyotes were the No.1 pro hockey team.

How did ESPN come to such conclusions?

The quirky poll ranks teams in such categories as “bang for the buck” and “affordability,” so it makes some sense that a team that struggles in the standings but lights up the box office would perform so poorly.

Mooney goes into Toronto’s history in this specific format:

The Leafs have finished no better than 120th since 2008, but they’ve never been last before. In 2008, they were edged out by the New York Knicks. In 2009, it was the Knicks and the L.A. Clippers. In 2010, only the Clippers remained, and in 2011, the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins beat them out.

Note: the table in the link seems a little funky, so Mooney’s account of the magazine itself should be more reliable read on the study’s specifics.

  1. nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    That ranking is crazy. I mean, the Leafs made it all the way to the AHL finals against Norfolk last season!* And meanwhile, the Houston Astros are about to fall out of the bottom of the National League and into the American League.
    (*sarcasm alert)

  2. theawesomersfranchise - Sep 6, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Yotes #1?
    More like 10th with Tampa Bay being #1 NHL team

    • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      9 thumbs down?
      9 people who failed along with James in actually looking at the rankings.
      Im not putting the Yotes 10 and TB 1, the article James is misquoting did

  3. zachfelchesryan - Sep 6, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Hey James O’Brien,

    How bout you earn your paycheck and actually write your own article instead of copying a misinformed story from Puck Daddy.

    If you actually look at the ESPN rankings that you linked to, you would see that that both the Cincinannati Bengals & the Washingron Redskins are ranked lower than than the Leafs.

    The Leafs are ranked 120/122 NOT 122/122.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 6, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      Yup this too


      So much fail, lol

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:40 AM

      Bravo Maple Leafs. Of course #120 is so much better than #122…

    • mattcmcpherson - Sep 7, 2012 at 6:37 AM

      Hey zachfelchesryan,

      You are dead wrong.

      Those would be the 2011 rankings because, as both Mooney and O’brien note, the link is not working correctly. Click on it again and read the headline (Ultimate Standings 2011).

      Mooney’s article explicitly says that in 2011, the ‘Skins and Reds are ranked lower than the Leafs.

      In 2012, the Leafs are anchoring the list.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

        Except James does not note anything of the sort and provides a link to 2011 info when he is talking about 2012.

  4. ryan02190 - Sep 6, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Patriots are 38, k

  5. getadealdonealready - Sep 6, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Dumb, I think ESPN should stick to what they know Tebow Coverage, as they are 0 for 2 on their all-sports list. This list is to idiotic for me to elaborate on the many reasons it is completely wrong.

  6. sjtorpitt - Sep 6, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Have you heard of the CHARLOTTE BOBCATS??? Whoever said this is a fu*king idiot

  7. posthater - Sep 6, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Espn is the new MTV! Just sayin!

    • e5again - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      Remember when ESPN used to have sports?

  8. bubblehead2012 - Sep 7, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Not a Leafs fan here but ESPN-BA should shut the hell up about the NHL, they only have something to say when it’s negative

  9. tcclark - Sep 7, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    This list is stupid. I’m not a Leafs fan but, I’d rather go to Toronto and watch the Leafs lose, than go to Phoenix and watch the Yotes win. The Leafs have a rich history, with a die hard fan base, and terrible goaltending which leads to plenty of goals. That sounds like a much more enjoyable game than watching the Coyotes win a 1-0 defensive hockey game in a city with no hockey background or history. You can talk about bang for your buck all you want, but i’d rather have a lot of bang for a lot of bucks than little bang for a medium amount of bucks.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:42 AM

      At least the Yotes deliver play-off hockey. Up to the Conference finals.

  10. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 7, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    Let’s not forget this is ESPN. There are far worst teams in professional sports. It’s laughable when ESPN and the NHL are in the same sentence. You can laugh now.

    • tatdue - Sep 7, 2012 at 7:45 AM

      I agree and let’s also not forget that this is a James O’Brien hack job as well….the guys articles are a complete waste! It would save me a lot of time if I would just remember to read the authors name before jumping into an article…my bad.

  11. hockeyfan1701 - Sep 7, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    ESPN is a joke. I am not a Leafs fan by any means but I know they are not the worst team in sports. ESPN knows nothing about hockey. They are a 20 year college kids sports channel. They can stick to their “in your face” coverage and sportscenter crap.

  12. pensfan603 - Sep 7, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    another example of espn trying to bash hockey they need to stop its jsut getting sad, ya you dont have a contract with them get over it

  13. habsflop - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    I would rather read an article on the NHL written by Snooki than ESPN. No real sports fan pays any attention to that channel, website or magazine. Only time I ever put it on is monday night football. If I ever get a craving for DUNKS!! or want to know how many times Tebow pooped today, than I’ll head that way. (and I hate the Leafs)

  14. silversun60 - Sep 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Anyone else find it odd that the leafs ownership is rated # 112, but the raptors ownership is rated #104? ………………………….. SAME OWNERS!

  15. tealwithit - Sep 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Wait. The Sacramento Kings weren’t ranked last?! Yeah, there’s something wrong with that list.

  16. bagjr387 - Sep 7, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Works for me(sabres fan) we hate the leafs

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