The rankings grade each franchise on eight metrics: title track, ownership, coaching, players, fan relations, affordability, stadium experience and bang for the buck. The Rams ranked below 100th in five of them:
Title track: 58
Fan relations: 121
Stadium experience: 120
Bang for the buck: 74
One thing I’m not sure about is how the surveys ESPN uses gauged Rams fans. The rankings cite a survey from consulting firm Maddock Douglas, one from NetReflector, an opinion research firm, and one from the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. Did they only survey the St. Louis market? Over what timeframe? Was it a blend of St. Louis and Los Angeles-based responses?
For example, the “ownership” metric is gauged based on “honesty; loyalty to core players and the local community.” I’d guess St. Louis-based respondents would offer starkly different survey responses than Los Angeles-based ones...
Overall, it’s just not an impressive indication of the franchises’ relative standing for fans, at least not where things sit as of today.
If we’re looking for a silver lining though, there’s an apparent one. The Rams made the top half of the standings in just one metric: title track. That metric represents “Championships won or expected within the lifetime of current fans.” That’s at least a glimmer of hope where ESPN otherwise offers very little to Rams fans.
As for Owner Stan Kroenke, the Rams (obviously) were the lowest of his three franchises on the list. The Colorado Avalanche came in at 77th while the Denver Nuggets were 101st.
If nothing else, the Rams should see themselves make some kind of jump in the 2017 ESPN Ultimate Standings if only because they have (nearly) nowhere to go but up.