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Friday, June 26, 2009
Updated: July 1, 11:36 AM ET
Ultimate Standings 2009: No. 19

By Eddie Matz
ESPN The Magazine

Last Year's Rank: 11
Title Track: 6
Ownership: 28
Coaching: 1
Players: 7
Fan Relations: 20
Affordability: 96
Stadium Experience: 33
Bang for the Buck: 41

The Pats are still a dynasty and Bill Belichick is still the emperor. So how do you explain New England taking an eight-spot tumble? Lil Wayne, that's how. According to a post on unlikelywords.com, the underground logic around Foxboro goes something like this: If Kevin Faulk hadn't gotten caught engaging in un-Patriotic activities -- he pleaded no contest to possession of marijuana at the rapper's concert -- then he wouldn't have been suspended Week 1. And if Faulk, the team's best blocking back, hadn't been suspended Week 1, it would've been him and not Sammy Morris blocking Bernard Pollard, which would've prevented the Chiefs' strong safety from rolling Tom Brady's knee and ruining the Patriots' season. So from the bottom of New Englanders' hahts, thanks Lil Wayne. But rap isn't the only thing taking the rap. Pricey seats that fetch $117.84 per -- 31% more than the NFL's next steepest, Tampa Bay -- are tough to stomach. On the bright side, the team has frozen ticket prices for 2009. If only they could've frozen time -- say, right before that Lil Wayne concert.