This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's September 29 Fansourced Issue. Subscribe today!
Last year's ranking: 27
Title track: 10
Fan relations: 22
Stadium experience: 38
Bang for the buck: 29
It was an emotional offseason for Who Dat Nation. The team bid farewell to veterans Roman Harper, Will Smith and Jabari Greer -- who all played a combined 23 seasons with the club -- and also released wideout Lance Moore and back Darren Sproles. Then the Saints endured soap opera-type storylines regarding TE Jimmy Graham's franchise tag and his penchant to, heaven forbid, dunk the ball over the goalposts. But Sean Payton's career 79-43 record is a calming influence, and his successful 12-6 return following Bountygate led to a team-high No. 4 rank in coaching and helped the Saints to a solid 13-spot jump overall to No. 14.
On the field, Saints fans breathed a sigh of relief after Oregon State rookie wideout Brandin Cooks, with his WR-leading 4.33 40 at this year's combine, signed in May. He and second-year deep threat Kenny Stills signal a change in direction to, well, "not old" and "not injured." And with an improved ranking in stadium experience this year, fans will be pleased to know that all season-ticket holders with club-level tickets will now have postgame field access. Free concerts in Champions Square before every home game is also a great way to let off a little emotional steam.