For five years now, ESPN's SportsNation has ranked every franchise in all the significant professional leagues based on survey results from fans. The rankings include:
Bang for the Buck (BNG): Revenues directly from fans divided by wins in the past three years.
Fan Relations (FRL): Ease of access to players, coaches and management.
Ownership (OWN): Honesty; loyalty to players and city.
Affordability(AFF): Price of tickets, parking and concessions.
Stadium Experience(STD)--not that type sicko: Friendliness of environment; quality of game-day promotions.
Players(PLA): Effort on the field; likability off it.
Coach/Manager(CCH): Strong on-field leadership.
Title Track(TTR):Titles already won or expected -- soon.
Not surprisingly, the Steelers scored their highest mark in the Ownership (OWN) department. No explanation needed for that. Only the Colts ranked higher among NFL teams. Whatever, ask them the same questions prior to Peyton Manning's arrival and I'm sure the outcome would be vastly different. Indianapolis checked in at #4, with the Mavericks, Spurs and Buffalo Sabres (wtf??) ranked 3rd, 2nd and 1st respectively.
As for our fellow AFC North brethren? The Ravens checked in at #32, the Bengals #102 (lol), and the Browns #116.
For those of us born Steelers fans, count your lucky stars. For those who recently adopted the Steelers as their favorite team, good choice.