“Were #49! We’re #49!”
This post was written by MJ on 22th Jan, 2003
You won’t hear that chant anytime soon [You idiot-ed] rising from the cheap, er, less expensive seats at the Hab’s Phone Booth anytime soon. But, according to ESPN, it’s true: the Montreal Canadiens rank 49th in a survey of North America’s pro-sports franchises. (The Expos are in 77th spot.)
Instead of championships, standings or high-scorers, the American cable sports network measured fan experience through a combination of opinion polls and market research. That resulted in rankings in eight categories: Bang for the buck (fan revenues divided by wins over three years); Fan relations (Ease of access to players, coaches); Ownership (Loyalty, honesty); Affordability (Price of tix, marketing and concessions); Stadium experience (Environment, promotions); Players (effort on field; actions off it); Coaches/managers (Leadership) and Championships (Titles won and expected soon.)
Compared with 118 clubs in the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB — three clubs were judged too young to provide adequate data — here’s how the Canadiens and Expos ranked:
Bang for the buck: Canadiens 54th, Expos 3rd (behind only the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland A’s.)
Fan relations: Canadiens 48th, Expos 105th.
Ownership: Canadiens 43rd, Expos 121st (Yup, dead last.)
Affordability: Canadiens 57th, Expos 2nd.
Stadium experience: Canadiens 63rd, Expos 119th (Somehow the Arizona Cardinals and Florida Marlins have worse stadium experiences than our ‘Spos; maybe the low rankings for the ‘Spos and Marlins have something to do with Mr Loria’s attendance?)
Players: Canadiens 75th, Expos 57th.
Coaches: Canadiens 101st, Expos 69th (Never shoulda fired Felipe.)
Championships: Canadiens 24th, Expos 116th (How the Canadiens scored lower than the Az Diamondbacks, NE Patriots, Anaheim Angels and Minnesota Twins — one championship apiece — is beyond me.)
In genereal, this poll bears out a couple of the general criticisms of our two sports clubs: The Canadiens are just mediocre — middle of the pack in all categories but two — and the fans are hard on coaches and have an inflated sense of what we should be achieving. The Expos are dreadful, particularly in terms of the stadium, marketing and relations with fans.