Commentary

Ultimate Standings 2009: No. 52

New Orleans Saints

Updated: July 1, 2009, 11:51 AM ET
By Eddie Matz | ESPN The Magazine

Last Year's Rank: 53
Title Track: 74
Ownership: 75
Coaching: 39
Players: 50
Fan Relations: 53
Affordability: 53
Stadium Experience: 80
Bang for the Buck: 50

The Saints were largely the same squad in 2008 that they were in 2007. Same coach (Sean Payton). Same QB (Drew Brees). Same mediocre D (26th in '07, 23rd in '08); same meteoric O (fourth in 2007, first in 2008). Even same-ish record (7–9, 8–8). No wonder they barely budged from last year's Standings (up one spot overall). With double-digit improvement in five categories, the franchise can fault its flatlining on jacking up ticket prices (13.4%) for the fourth time in five years. During that time, seats at the Superdome -- which has hosted more Super Bowls (six) than any other stadium, but whose home team is one of five never to be Super -- have gone from an average of $42.36 to $62.22, a 46.8% increase. Sure, the club is freezing prices for next season. Does that mean their rank stays frozen as well?