Page 2 has spent a fair amount of time wondering which Philadelphia sports organization runs the top operation. To find an answer, we ranked each team in five categories on a scale from 1 to 10. The club with the most total points wins the unofficial title of the Best Franchise in Philly.
Public relations: If there's one area in which the Sixers excel, marketing and PR is it. In a desperate attempt to attract fans last season, the Sixers dreamed up all sorts of things: supermarket shopping sprees, gas giveaways, all-you-can-eat ticket packages, meet-and-greets with the dancers, and so on. It's the hardest-working PR staff in town. Score: 9.
Fan interest: When you finish 23d out of 30 in the NBA in attendance, it's probably safe to say Philly fans aren't paying attention. Hiring Eddie Jordan won't change that. Score: 3.
Front office/coaching: Ed Stefanski will ultimately be judged on how well Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala play together. He gave both fat contracts, and they'll have to give him something in return if Stefanski's stewardship is going to be seen as a success. As for Jordan, the Princeton offense had better be everything he claims it is. Score: 5.
Players: Thaddeus Young and Marreese Speights have potential. Brand and Iguodala have talent. On the whole, the Sixers are a collection of good, but not great, parts. Score: 5.
Title hopes: Not so hot. Score: 1
Total score: 23. The Sixers have a long way to go.
Public relations: The Flyers don't really need to self-promote because they fill the building. But it seems like they treat their fans well. Score: 6
Fan interest: This is tough. The Flyers have a loyal, hard-core fan base. But does the general, sports-loving (but not-necessarily- hockey-watching) population pay attention, or do some people only follow the Flyers when the playoffs roll around? Score: 6.
Front office/coaching: Traditionally, the Flyers spend money and make moves, and they're always looking to improve (even though some still argue that trading Scottie Upshall was a bad decision). That's all you can really ask. Score: 7
Players: I outsourced this one. Sam Carchidi says they have a talented roster. So there you go. Score: 7
Title hopes: The Flyers are in the running every year. Now if they can just avoid meeting Pittsburgh in the playoffs. Score: 7
Total score: 33. They're an elite team, but not as universally popular as the Eagles and Fightin's.
Public relations: Considering all the boneheaded moves the Birds have made in this department - letting Brian Dawkins walk, firing an employee because of a Facebook page, literally fighting City Hall, and on and on and on - they should get a negative number here, but the system won't allow it. Score: 0.
Fan interest: Despite the fact that the organization doesn't pay attention to the people who follow the team, fan interest couldn't possibly be higher. Score: 10.
Front office/coaching: Between free agents, trades and the draft, the Birds had a fantastic off-season. Still, Joe Banner hurts the score because he damages the franchise every time he opens his yapper (see the PR total above). And it remains to be seen whether Andy Reid will ever balance the offense or if he'll rely on the pass-heavy play-calling that's driven us all mad for so long. Score: 7
Players: They went out and got two new offensive tackles, another starting corner, a fullback, and a safety, and drafted a wide receiver and a backup running back. Not to mention that the Birds still have Donovan McNabb and the core of a team that made the NFC championship game last year. But how healthy will Brian Westbrook be when the season starts? Because Westbrook is on the mend, the score here isn't as high as it could be. Score: 8
Title hopes: They have a chance to bring home the Lombardi Trophy. One of these years, they need to do just that. Score: 9.
Total score: 34. If the Birds weren't entirely PR incompetent - if they showed that they care or think about their fans even a little bit - they would have challenged the Phils for the top spot.
Public relations: The parade and the rally at Citizens Bank Park thereafter were well executed. And when Harry Kalas died, the organization listened to the fans and implemented a number of their suggestions. The Phils get it. Score: 9
Fan interest: When you bring home the first championship in 25 years, people notice. Score: 10
Front office/coaching: The old knock used to be that they don't spend money. That's not true any longer. (The Phils have the seventh-highest payroll in the majors.) The Fightin's put together a team that won it all last year, and they're in first place again in the NL East this season. And who doesn't love Charlie Manuel these days? Score: 9
Players: They could still use another starting pitcher - especially now that Brett Myers is likely done for the season. But the Raul Ibanez signing has worked out wonderfully, and the Fightin's might have the most dangerous lineup in the majors. Not to mention that they play incredible defense. Score: 8
Title hopes: It's not easy to win it all two years in a row, but the Fightin's have a shot. Score: 9
Total points: 45. They're the defending world champs, and that goes an awfully long way.