- The Washington Times - Friday, April 13, 2007

The Washington Redskins finished last in the NFC East in 2006 with a dismal 5-11 season. And while not last in a recent ESPN The Magazine article ranking every NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA team, the Redskins are close.

Among 122 teams, the Redskins are No. 108, down a whopping 71 spots from 2006.

Wrote the magazine: “A franchise worth $1.4 billion that also charges sky-high prices for tickets and concessions? And they call the fans hogs?”

Funny stuff.

The rankings were tabulated using eight categories. The Buffalo Sabres finished first, followed by the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Pistons. The Detroit Lions were ranked last.

Among area teams, the Redskins were the lowest-ranked team. The Baltimore Ravens (No. 32), Washington Wizards (No. 47), Washington Capitals (No. 65), Washington Nationals (No. 78) and Baltimore Orioles (No. 105) were rated ahead of the Redskins.

A break down of each category for the Redskins (team that ranked first):

Title Track: 42 (Carolina Hurricanes).

Ownership: 89 (San Antonio Spurs).

Coaching: 32 (Dallas Mavericks).

Players: 98 (Mavericks).

Fan Relations: 103 (Spurs).

Affordability: 120 (Kansas City Royals).

Stadium Experience: 95 (Minnesota Wild).

Bang For The Buck: 100 (Buffalo Sabres).

ESPN is pretty accurate. Going to a game at FedEx Field is a miserable experience for the average fan. Tickets cost too much. Parking cost too much. The concessions are sub-par and cost too much. There isn’t a quality high-definition replay screen. Out of town scores and key statistics are a rarity. The marching band is annoying. Don’t get me started on the “Funky Four” and the pre-game fireworks. And the team has one playoff appearance since 2000.

What the Redskins should do is concentrate on making attending a game better for the fan. I get e-mails throughout the season from fans who sell their tickets and watch at home. I’ve had family members attend home games the last two years and they’ve been unimpressed.

Another quote from the magazine: “The Skins franchise is worth an estimated $1.4 billion ($400 million more than the Yankees), so you can understand why die-hard hogs are peeved about having to ante up for the fifth priciest tickets in the league, $25 parking and the most expensive brews ($7), soda ($5) and dogs ($5) the NFL has to offer. With offense (ranked 13th) and defense (31st) nowhere near the top of the league, even Lord Gibbs is starting to lose his luster. The Redskins were the only NFC East team that missed the playoff boat, so fans have plenty to turn their plastic snouts up at.”

Click here for the entire breakdown.

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