Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who says the Leafs are the worst NHL franchise? Their fans!

The ESPN ranking of sports franchises got a lot of flack from Maple Leaf fans. Brian Burke was livid and was quoting as saying "I don't think ESPN knows squat about Canada; I don't think they know squat about hockey."

Now before everyone goes off the deep end on this one youi have to understand how the ranking was developed. The rankings were determined by fans who voted online in categories such as fan relations, affordability and stadium experience. It was Leaf fans who rated their team poorly not ESPN. The full explanation on how the ranking is developed is right here.

Every Leaf fan gripes about high ticket prices, ownership that is focused on profit not winning, out of touch management, no championship in decades, etc. When surveyed that is what they will readily tell anyone willing to listen. But if anyone outside of Toronto suggests that is the state of the franchise, suddenly every Leaf fan gets defensive.

We all know the price for Leaf tickets is ridiculous. Fans booed the Leafs for much of the season and began throwing objects on the ice (remember Wafflegate). Everyone knows its been 44 years since they won a Cup and 7 years since the last made the playoffs. I've never heard a fan remark that the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan were terrific owners. We have the best fans in the NHL but the franchise - not so good.

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