Top 20 Worst Sports Franchises of 2015

ESPN The Magazine has released its list of the worst franchises in all of North American professional sports for 2015. According to the ESPN story, over 1,000 fans from all over North America were pol

ESPN The Magazine has released its list of the worst franchises in all of North American professional sports for 2015. According to the ESPN story, over 1,000 fans from all over North America were polled in order to obtain the necessary information needed to put together this list. The following items all played a factor: Affordability, the strength of a team's coaching staff, how fan relations are perceived by paying customers, the reputation of team ownership, reputations of the players signed by the team, stadium experience, championships won coupled with expectations had by fans, and “bang for your buck.” Major League Soccer franchises were not represented in this piece.

The National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball are all in the massive shadow that is cast by the National Football League. While this is going to remain the case for the foreseeable future – more people watch the NFL every single season than before – there are clearly many things that NFL teams get wrong. Five of the top-ten spots of the worst sports franchises for 2015, per the ESPN information, are taken up by NFL clubs. Odds are that you can probably guess which is the absolute worst if you think about ownership and the team name.

Start spreading the news. Two different New York sports franchises are among the worst in North America for 2015. One of them pressed the figurative “reset” button earlier in 2015, and that decision has, as of October 15 of this year, proven to be a smart move. Whether or not it will lead to a championship has yet to be determined, but long-suffering fans are hoping that they will be able to celebrate a Super Bowl championship sooner than later. Supporters of the other New York team cannot make such a boast. That franchise is showing no signs of turning things around between now and next summer.

20 San Francisco 49ers 

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

19 Seattle Mariners 

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks have, all things considered, been the best NFL franchise of the past two seasons. MLS club the Seattle Sounders bring in massive crowds every time they play a home game. As ESPN Senior Writer Jim Caple explained, things are not so bright for the Seattle Mariners:

The start of the season always looks so promising for Mariners fans -- King Felix Hernandez is on the mound, the city is full of pride after a Super Bowl appearance from the crosstown Seahawks, and newly inked free agents are primed for breakout years. And yet all of that never seems to lead to a playoff appearance.

18 Oakland Raiders 

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

17 Miami Marlins 

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

16 Phoenix Suns 

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

15 St. Louis Rams 

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

14 Cleveland Browns 

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

13 Colorado Rockies 

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

12 Brooklyn Nets 

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

11 Edmonton Oilers 

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

10 Vancouver Canucks 

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

9 Chicago Bears 

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

8 San Diego Chargers 

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

7 New York Jets 

Steven Ryan-USA TODAY Sports

6 Tennessee Titans 

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

5 Philadelphia Phillies 

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4 Denver Nuggets 

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

3 Washington Redskins 

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2 New York Knicks 

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

1 Toronto Maple Leafs 

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

There was once a time when the Toronto Maple Leafs were a proud professional hockey franchise that was known for having a winning tradition. That was a different generation ago, and fans of the club who were not born before 1967 have never witnessed the Leafs hoist the Stanley Cup in celebration. Nobody can blame a lack of dedication from the fan base for Toronto's hockey woes. The city becomes one of the top party destinations in all of North America whenever the Leafs host a first-round playoff game. Fans of the Leafs deserve better, but those fans are unlikely to witness a title run anytime soon.

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Top 20 Worst Sports Franchises of 2015