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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: September 23, 12:30 PM ET
No. 18: Indianapolis Colts

By Eddie Matz
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 57
Title track: 14
Ownership: 36
Coaching: 14
Players: 12
Fan relations: 12
Affordability: 39
Stadium experience: 14
Bang for the buck: 38

When it comes to winning over fans, having two of your cheerleaders shave their heads to kick off a million-dollar fundraising campaign in honor of your cancer-stricken head coach (George Halas Award-winner Chuck Pagano) is a great place to start. Watching the interim guy (Bruce Arians) nab Coach of the Year after leading a rookie-riddled team (Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton et al. combined for 4,131 rookie snaps, second most in the league) to tie the third-best turnaround in league history (from 2-14 to 11-5) doesn't hurt either. Nor does having an award-winning GM who's from the area -- 2012 Sporting News Exec of the Year Ryan Grigson was raised in Highland, Ind., and attended Purdue -- and isn't afraid to look outside it. Like way outside: A year after unearthing CFL linebacker Jerrell Freeman (145 tackles last season), Grigson imported Kenyan rugby player-turned-practice-squad LB Daniel Adongo. Shove it all into the number-crunching doohickamajiggy and Indy is up 39 spots overall, the most of any team in the NFL.