Commentary

Ultimate Standings 2009: No. 3

Pittsburgh Steelers

Updated: July 1, 2009, 11:29 AM ET
By Molly Knight | ESPN The Magazine

Last Year's Rank: 25
Title Track: 5
Ownership: 2
Coaching: 4
Players: 2
Fan Relations: 14
Affordability: 36
Stadium Experience: 26
Bang for the Buck: 9

The Steelers won bragging rights from all other NFL franchises in the rankings this year, as no other football team cracked our Top 10. Despite a consistently crushing demand for tickets that will only become more brutal on the heels of a sixth Super Bowl victory, club officials say the cost of admission next season will remain steady. "I can say unequivocally that we will not raise ticket prices," said Dave Lockett, the team's communications chief. "Our owners really care about being fan-friendly, and our fans sense that commitment." True that. Amazingly, the average ticket to Steelers home games last season ($67.47) cost only a dollar more than the typical Lions' stub ($66.39). And Steeler Nation has no problem shelling out to watch beloved young (37) coach Mike Tomlin guide Big Ben and his band of merry warriors. For their tireless community outreach, players receive as much love from fans off the field as they do on it. The team's annual fashion show raises big bucks for various charities, including cancer research, and last year's auction of autographed Steelers gear generated enough money to help purchase 8,000 winter coats for needy families in Western Pennsylvania, as part of Project Bundle-Up. That should warm the hearts of even the most disappointed Cardinals fan.