Toronto maple leafs worst

The Leafs ranked worst sports team in North America

ESPN loves to beat up on Toronto, having already ranked our city the worst in North America for professional sports back in 2011. The American sports network is back it, having just ranked the Toronto Maple Leafs the bottom of the barrel out of 122 sports franchises across the NFL, NBA, MLB and the NHL. Yes, that would be dead last.

Are the Leafs really that bad? While the team failed to make the playoffs last year in a rather spectacular late season nosedive, their on-ice stats don't even put them near worst in the NHL. That, however, is only a part of ESPN's ranking system. Here are some of the categories they use: affordability (122), bang for your buck (122), title track (121) players (120), coaching (113), fan relations (117), stadium experience (109), ownership (105).

The rankings come courtesy of a number of decorated research firms, so it's difficult to brush off the Leafs' position as American bias (the second last team was the New York Knicks). Based on the criteria at hand, it seems clear that immensely popular teams that are both expensive to watch and not consistently successful on the ice/field are going to struggle for high marks (the Raptors, for the record, come in at 74th).

What do you think? Are the Leafs really the worst sports franchise in North America all things considered?


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