No. 8: New Orleans Saints

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 7, 2012, 11:58 AM ET
By Eddie Matz | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 3
Title track: 2
Ownership: 40
Coaching: 9
Players: 9
Fan relations: 15
Affordability: 33
Stadium experience: 27
Bang for the buck: 9

If you thought Bountygate might end the love affair between Saints fans and their football team, think again. If anything, it seems to have deepened the relationship. Need proof? While the rest of the country was roundly condemning New Orleans players and coaches, Saints fans were busy doling out top-10 rankings in both categories (coaching: 9; players: 9). Need more proof? When the news broke that head coach Sean Payton would be suspended for his role as enabler, the Fleurty Girl shop in the French quarter proceeded to sell 500 "Free Payton" T-shirts in the next three hours. "As a fan since '67," says nola.com user Cajunrouxdog, "I must say that I am saddened and disappointed that there was a cover-up ... with that being said, I will continue to cheer and support my Saints and wear my gear proudly." And no Saint gets cheered and supported more than Drew Brees (aka Breesus), who recently splurged for Plum Street Snoballs to come to training camp and serve the masses. Is it any wonder football fans in NOLA are convinced that their Saints are, well, saints?