Earlier today, Puck Daddy provided us with rankings of "fan difficulty" for all 30 NHL teams as ranked by The Business Journal. This ranking system weighs the success of a franchise over the past ten seasons, as well as factors like post season appearances and milestones reached, to come up with a score that tells you just how hard it is to root for your home team in a standardized and rankable statistic. The methodology is explained in great detail here, I recommend giving it a read so you can see how the scores were determined.
Your Dallas Stars came in ranked at 17, making them the 13th easiest team to root for in the NHL. These past three seasons have been tumultuous for Stars fans, with ownership in limbo, missing the post-season three years straight, Brad Richards leaving....I'm sure you can add to that list, too. But if you look back over their last 10 seasons, the team has had relative success. The Stars reached the quarterfinals three times, and the semi-finals once. It's only been 11 years since winning the Stanley Cup (feels a LOT longer, though, doesn't it?) They had 95 points, and missed the playoffs by one (agonizing) game this season. That's the most points in NHL history for a non-playoff team.
Here's where the fun starts. The Business Journal ranked all of the four major sports' teams (linked here: MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA.) Of the four major sports teams in Dallas -- Dallas Stars, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks -- who do you think is the "easiest" team to root for? Where do each of these stand in relation to one another?
If you guessed the Dallas Mavericks as the easiest to root for, you are correct. They have the highest ranking out of all four Dallas area teams -- ranked at 27 of 30, for 4th easiest to root for in the NBA. They just won a championship and have seen year after year of post-season appearances. They are the template for what all Dallas area teams are trying to replicate in their respective sports.
Now, the second easiest team to root for in Dallas has to be the Cowboys. Wait...this can't be right...the Stars are the second easiest?! That's right -- 13th easiest to root for in their league is good for second amongst Dallas teams. The Cowboys appear in third place, with a ranking that places them at 18 of 32 NFL teams. This makes them the 14th easiest team to root for in the NFL. The seemingly low placement of the Cowboys probably has a lot to do with all of those playoffs that were missed or had early exits being so disappointing after having served as a dynasty in decades past. Or maybe it's the sky high expectations to be a dynasty once more.
Rounding out the major sports in Dallas are the Texas Rangers. They are ranked 14 of 30 teams, the 16th easiest team to root for in the MLB. Given their recent run to the World Series and their current hot streak, one must think the tides are turning for this franchise and a move up the rankings is not far away. Interestingly, the Rangers sat one place back from the Houston Astros in their rankings...someone explain THAT one...
Do you think this ranking is a fairly accurate temperature of the Dallas sports scene? Or do you think that what matters most is only the past few seasons, and therefore these rankings would be vastly different? How would you rate "fan difficulty"? What would be your ranking of the four major sports teams in DFW? Let the debate begin!