This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's Oct. 31 NBA Preview Issue. Subscribe today!
San Francisco 49ers
Title track: 51
Fan relations: 122
Stadium experience: 105
Bang for the buck: 113
Change from last year: -76
For a franchise with as much history and tradition as the 49ers, it's hard to believe they've sunk to this level -- dead last among 122 professional sports teams. It's the result of a lack of on-field success, the dysfunction that led to the departure of coach Jim Harbaugh (and the uninspired choice of Jim Tomsula as his replacement), and the overwhelming cost to watch it all unfold at Levi's Stadium. They dropped 76 spots in last year's rankings, and now, down 19 more, bottom out this year. At least now there's nowhere to go but up.
Although the Niners fell 12 spots in the title track category from a year ago, they still check in at No. 51, a nod to the franchise's storied history -- and its record of getting back on track and finding a way to become competitive after short periods of rebuilding. Adding coach Chip Kelly gives the Niners a creative offensive mind who has a winning record at the NFL level, placing him well ahead of his predecessor. There's an abundance of intriguing young talent on defense which, if it comes together, could turn into a dominant unit somewhere down the road.
Take your pick. Aside from title track, the Niners are ranked no better than No. 105 in any of the other categories. They dropped 29 spots to No. 116 when it comes to the roster, largely because they don't have a franchise quarterback in place and lack outside receiving options to help whoever is behind center. Their fan relations and affordability are ranked worst in the NFL, with huge price tags on PSLs and season tickets garnering the opportunity to watch an offense that was among the league's worst in 2015.
The Niners dropped a whopping 81 spots in bang for the buck, dipping all the way to No. 113. The amount of attrition the Niners have suffered over the past couple of years has left them in a rebuilding mode that doesn't match up with the cost of attending a game. After a string of three consecutive NFC Championship Game appearances, the 49ers have won a combined 13 games over the past two seasons. Paying a premium price for a winning team is to be expected. But if the product isn't good, the cost is much harder to swallow.