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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
No. 116: Oakland Raiders

By Jeff Gold
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 96
Title track: 62
Ownership: 110
Coaching: 102
Players: 117
Fan relations: 114
Affordability: 81
Stadium Experience121
Bang for the Buck 109

If youre interested in seeing one of the worst teams in professional sports play in one of the worst stadiums in professional sports, the Raiders are a tremendous option. The results are practically unfathomable. Oakland hasnt had a winning season in the last 10 (!!!) years -- worst in the league (the Rams are next at nine). This is the NFL ... a league with a hard salary cap, set up for parity, in which teams routinely go from out of to into the playoffs, in relatively short order. Its all sort of confounding.

At least the ticket prices are manageable (by NFL standards) at an average of $62.23, fourth lowest in the league. Then again, O.co Coliseum is antiquated. And the Raiders have roughly an astounding $50 million in dead money (money paid to players not on the roster) for this season. Before 2013, the team didnt have a first-round pick (thanks to the disastrous Carson Palmer trade) in either of the last two drafts, and its two previous first-round draft picks (Roland McClain and Darrius Heyward-Bey) arent even on the team anymore. Wrote NFL.coms Elliot Harrison heading into training camp, No offense intended, but these Oakland Raiders feel like an expansion team. Yeah, no offense indeed.