No. 81: Arizona Cardinals

2013 Ultimate Standings

Updated: September 23, 2013, 12:29 PM ET
By Eddie Matz | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 43
Title track: 84
Ownership: 86
Coaching: 68
Players: 74
Fan relations: 93
Affordability: 66
Stadium experience: 79
Bang for the buck: 81

Cards cajolers sacked their squad for a 38-spot loss, the second-largest football free fall in this year's standings. While the hiring of a 60-year-old first-time head coach (Bruce Arians) to replace the winningest skipper in franchise history (Ken Whisenhunt) received mixed reviews (68 in the coaching category), fans were positively giddy to see GM Rod Graves get axed on Dec. 31 after 16 ineffectual years. (Like the other six teams who didn't pick AP, folks in AZ are still moaning that the team drafted Levi Brown over Adrian Peterson back in 2007.) Still, they're less than thrilled about Graves' replacement (86th in ownership), former Cards VP of player personnel Steve Keim. Says azcentral.com user Brandon Moser: "Keim has had a major role in poor personnel decisions ... he's the comfortable pair of jeans you know you should get rid of but you feel they still have potential."

Hard to believe that fans could slap a ranking of 84 in the title track category on a bunch that's just five years removed from making it to the Super Bowl, but that's what happens when your team a) drops nine straight games, b) gets spanked 58-0 by a division rival and c) becomes the first franchise in NFL history to lose 700 games (all of which happened last season). Guess they'll always have Tampa.

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