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Pens Ranked 5th By ESPN, Steelers #28, Pirates #82

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ESPN put out an "Ultimate Standings" taking factors into consideration from "bang for the buck" to players and stadium experience to rank all the major professional sports teams.  The found it over at SB Nation DC examined their teams, so let's take a peak at how the Pittsburgh teams did.  For better or worse, it's about how one would imagine.

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No. 5 Penguins -- The Penguins ranked #1 in the sub-category of fan relations, as programs like the Student Rush and Student Flush show that the team recipricates the love the city has shown.  The Pens were the #1 hockey team in this ranking, but couldn't beat out the New Orleans Saints, Orlando Magic, LA Angels or Indianapolis Colts for tops overall.  With super-stars like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, solid ownership by virtual demi-god Mario Lemieux and a new stadium about to open, the Pens ought to remain towards the top of this list for years to come.

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No. 28 Steelers -- There's no avoiding that it's been a year of turmoil for the Steelers and there's no need to recount the dreadful end of season slump or the embarassing off-season headlines.  Still, Pittsburgh's NFL franchise maintains its reputation as a well run and consistent organization and remains near the top of the heap.  Hopefully with a better performance on the field and no players get in trouble off of it and the Steelers should be able to improve their ranking for next year.

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No. 82 Pirates -- The Buccos finish ahead of eight MLB teams (including the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets) but end up in at the top of the lowest third of the list overall.  Not bad considering the lack of on the field success and general resentment towards management.  Stadium experience, affordability and bang for the buck combined to account for 44.7% of this ranking, so the Pirates probably have to credit the wonders of PNC Park to pull them up above some other franchises.

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What do you think, are their any changes that should have been made?  Do you think the Pirates are too high?  How much longer with the Pens outrank the mighty Steelers?

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.