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Burke Not A Fan Of The Four-Letter Network

from Sean Fitz-Gerald,

Fielding the same question three or four times in a span of 30 minutes distilled Brian Burke’s reaction down to its essence, as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs defended the franchise from an ESPN study listing it among the least-rewarding in North America.

The Leafs ranked 120th of 122 professional sports teams judged in ESPN The Magazine’s annual Ultimate Standings, based on categories such as “Bang For The Buck,” as well as fan relations, affordability and championship titles. Teams in the NHL, NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball were mixed into the results.

“I don’t think ESPN knows squat about Canada,” Burke said. “I don’t think they know squat about hockey.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke


Tripwire32's avatar

“I don’t think ESPN knows squat about Canada,” Burke said. “I don’t think they know squat about hockey.”

Even though Burke may be correct in regards to these two thoughts, it doesn’t change the fact that ESPN is more likely-than-not correct with this year’s ranking of the TML.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 06/21/11 at 12:06 PM ET


We all know ESPN is not a legitimate source for any real hockey content (with the exception of a couple of their writers) but this is juvenile blowhard “Burkie” huffing and puffing at his best.

Posted by Eric H. on 06/21/11 at 12:19 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

For once Burke is agreeable.  Look at their analysts (Melrose) and how often they show any highlights or analysis whatsoever.  Whether TO was correctly positioned is another matter.  But he’s right, they are a joke.  Even when the NHL was even occasionally shown on the network, there coverage paled in comparison to that of say baseball or football.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 06/21/11 at 12:29 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Actually, that ranking had nothing to do with hockey. It bases the rankings on affordability of the product in relation to the success of the product. In TML’s case, the product costs a ton and the results are horrendous, therefore it is not a good value, hence their low ranking.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 06/21/11 at 12:35 PM ET


LOL, I almost agree with Burke. Though to be fair to ESPN, NBC’s coverage is far, far worse.

Posted by Kavinay on 06/21/11 at 12:46 PM ET


overall the ranking is hugely subjective and pointless. But there are some metrics that maybe make sense, and yes, considering how much their fans pay and the lack of payoff caliber teams seems to make it pretty unrewarding…

but if it is so unrewarding then the fans would stop going, and they continue to show up, so something must be keeping them there. So who really cares about the ranking?

How are the lightning ranked 2 overall when they dont rank above 3rd in any category? that doesnt make too much sense…they rank 3rd in bang for buck, when in the past 3 years they have made the playoffs once and had under .500 records for two of those years…what does that tell you? besides the fact their tickets must be really cheap…

Posted by pstumba on 06/21/11 at 12:54 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Burke is a moron. It’s obvious by his remarks that he is clueless that ESPN is part owner of TSN, one of the NHL’s broadcast partners in Canada.

For once the evil four letter is spot-on in this case. Unlike the Forbes ranking, that has the Laffs ranked #1 in the NHL (and only considers the value of the franchise), ESPN considers things from the fans perspective. Factors like affordability and championships weigh heavily in the rankings. The only surprise is that the Laffs didn’t finish dead last. They finished dead last in bang for the buck and affordability.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 06/21/11 at 04:30 PM ET


ESPN knows nothing about hockey.  The league is better off not on there.  They just glorify clowns.  These polls?  are just done to generate contraversy.

Posted by 13 user names on 06/21/11 at 08:46 PM ET


Burkie is in over his head. This has nothing to do with ESPN. You don’t have to know anything about Canada or even hockey to know that the Maple Leafs are a complete disaster. No Cups….no Final appearances…no nothing in 50 years and they are the most expensive ticket in sports. They deserve to be the the worst franchise PERIOD…..and their fans need to have their heads examined.

Posted by kevin from boston on 06/21/11 at 10:12 PM ET

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