Get the banner ready, y’all! We’re dead last!
OK, this is just an ESPN ranking, but it is still something to consider. The World Wide Leader has an annual “Ultimate Standings” in which they rank out every team in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. There are 122 franchises this year, with the new Las Vegas NHL team set to make it 123 next year. And the San Francisco 49ers are dead last.
The 49ers peaked in these standings back in 2014, when they were ranked No. 27. In the two seasons prior they had been in the 30s, but this ranking came after their NFC title game loss as they were opening Levi’s Stadium. Things went south that season, resulting in Jim Harbaugh’s departure. A year later, in 2015, the 49ers dropped 76 spots to No. 103. This year, they’ve dropped to the bottom.
The 49ers analysis section looks at what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s new. The “what’s good” focuses on the team’s history, as well as the addition of Chip Kelly. It is noteworthy that Levi’s Stadium ends up in the “what’s bad” category, with fan relations ranked dead last, and affordability ranked No. 117. Fan relations is described as, “Courtesy by players, coaches and front office toward fans, plus how well a team uses technology to reach fans.” I would argue the players courtesy to fans is very strong, as is the effectiveness of the 49ers using technology to reach fans. The approach of Jed York and Trent Baalke to the fans is another question entirely, and those two alone might be the reason for the poor ranking.
I suppose this should not surprise anybody at this point. The front office may not have been 100 percent responsible for Jim Harbaugh’s departure, but they deserve plenty of blame for their part in his departure. The team has some developing young talent, but a lot of misses that has resulted in a bad, overpriced product on the field. Good times to be a 49ers fan!