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ESPN To Place Steelers, Penguins In Top 10 In Ultimate Team Rankings

The Trib reports that ESPN will rank both the Steelers and the Penguins in the top 10 in their Ultimate Standings on Friday, making Pittsburgh the only town with two top-10 teams. The Steelers rank No. 7 overall, and the Penguins rank No. 10.

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Last summer, the Penguins and Steelers worked together to bring the NHL's Winter Classic outdoor game to Heinz Field, which played host to the event on New Year's Night. Preceding the game was a weeklong winter carnival that included a secondary rink for youth hockey and public skates and an alumni game between former Penguins and Washington Capitals.

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[Penguins president David] Morehouse said working with the Steelers confirmed his belief that the football club is "if not the best, one of the best in terms of class and professionalism with how a team is run."

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The Pirates, meanwhile, ranked No. 70, which puts them below average, but not by much. Winning games isn't the only criterion to be included, which is why the Pirates do relatively well, with high marks in categories like stadium experience (No. 14). It surprises me that the Pirates even rank that low in that particular category. ESPN ranks the PNC Park experience behind that of Citizens Bank Park (Phillies), Coors Field (Rockies) and Miller Park (Brewers), which are nice, but come on. It also ranks the PNC experience behind Kaufmann Stadium (Royals) and the very mediocre Angel Stadium, which makes little sense. Several of those places get a head start on PNC due to higher rankings in stadium promotions and "fan-friendly environment."

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The Penguins, meanwhile, rank No. 4 in stadium experience, thanks to the opening of Consol Energy Center this year, and a well-deserved No. 3 in fan relations.

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You can check out the full rankings here.

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