Page 2 Power Rankings: Hot dog edition
Welcome to another edition of Page 2's weekly Power Rankings, where the confusion of a world in which swarming bees interrupt a San Diego Padres game -- yet allow the Washington Nationals to play night after night unmolested -- is replaced by the clarity of making a list:
Gaze upon him, ye Kobayashis, ye Pac-Mans, ye Unicrons from the "Transformers" animated movie, and despair
Credentials: America's Great Esophageal Hope gobbles 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes to break competitive eating record and win third consecutive Fourth of July title. Afterward, Chestnut says he has "70-plus capacity" and that the "buns were slow today"; more impressively, he says this without throwing up.
One-ups Tiger in all-important shaving endorsement rivalry
Credentials: Stylish Swiss outlasts Andy Roddick to win Wimbledon and capture record 15th career Grand Slam title. All it took was hard work, otherworldly talent, Rafael Nadal's aching knees and silly amateurism rules preventing Rod Laver from competing for major titles between 1963 and 1968.
Credentials: Sports T-shirt reading "Are You Looking At My Titles?" at Wimbledon winner's news conference, then mocks the WTA system that ranks her No. 2 despite winning three of the last four Slams. Serena's eye-rolling putdown of current No. 1 Dinara Safina was inarguably graceless -- but when you're right, who needs grace?
Shine on you crazy tennis dad
Credentials: Another Wimbledon final between two well-adjusted daughters, another heapin' helping of vindication for a man whose mile-wide wacky streak -- holding his girls out of junior tennis; announcing plans to buy Indian airspace; wearing T-shirts airbrushed with his own picture; claiming he knows a doctor who can make Martina Hingis taller by sawing off her legs -- obscures a real talent. Or at least a talent for doing what Marv Marinovich couldn't.
Next club president? Austin Powers
Credentials: All England spokesman tells London newspaper that Wimbledon schedulers disregard seedings and put the best-looking female players on Centre Court in order to keep television viewers happy. In related news, club considering switch next year from grass to translucent Jello.
"I'll have what she's having"
Credentials: Retired tennis legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova complain that contemporary players grunt, shriek and squeal too loudly, prompting a flurry of hand-wringing Wimbledon news reports. And to think: The injured Nadal wasn't even in this year's draw.
As if we need a reason. This is Page 2!
Credentials: The New York Post reports that the divine Miss K engaged in a Las Vegas bar brawl with a woman who threw a drink at her, after attending a table tennis tournament. In other words: Anna Kournikova was playing pingpong in Vegas, and Page 2 wasn't there to cover every moment. If you'll excuse us, we're off to throw a drink at our assignment editor.
Finally found a way to be relevant! And all it took was Michael Jackson
Credentials: Toronto Argonauts receiver Arland Bruce earns fine for removing his helmet, shoulder pads and uniform top and lying down in the end zone after a touchdown, the better to honor Jackson's memory by pretending to be buried. Which, we have to admit, is easier than learning how to moonwalk.
Slings, arrows no match for outrageous box office fortune
Credentials: The bad news? New Bay-directed "Transformers" flick earns terrible, scorched-Earth reviews. The good news? The film already has earned mega-millions. The really good news? A Hollywood studio reportedly bought the film rights to the video game "Asteroids" -- and if that's not Bay's "Citizen Kane," we don't know what is.
Credentials: Telling a magazine she doesn't want to "blow smoke up people's [expletive]," the "Transformers" star claims that "people are well aware this is not a movie about acting." Fox is right. Also, remove the word "movie," and that pretty much sums up her career.
"Yao-uch!" joke goes here. Get it? YA-OUCH
Credentials: According to team doctors, Houston Rockets center's broken foot is failing to heal properly, possibly threatening his NBA career. Meanwhile, Chinese Olympic committee already penciling Yao into national wheelchair basketball team lineup.
Already anticipating Christmas Day beatdown of Shaq and the Cavs
Credentials: After Bryant decides not to opt out of contract, the Los Angeles Lakers: a) strengthen their defense by effectively trading Trevor Ariza for Ron Artest; b) strengthen their coaching by effectively not trading Phil Jackson for Mike Krzyzewski. Now, if only Mitch Kupchak could find a way to ship Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa out of town.
Worth every penny, if you're Adidas, Armani or AC Milan
Credentials: In a new book, Los Angeles Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan rips pricey MLS import-cum-American soccer savior Beckham as overpaid, undercommitted and a poor leader, shocking the futbol world with the revelations that: a) there is something called MLS; b) MLS has a team nicknamed Galaxy; c) the Galaxy feature a guy named Landon Donovan.
Our long national maternity leave is finally over
Credentials: Suspended slugger returns to bolster the lineup of the venerable franchise that needs him the most: ESPN (well, at least until Brettfavrebrettfavre sneezes or something).
Championship trophies? Better to give AND receive
Credentials: One week after losing to Jimmy Fallon in his own video game, Woods achieves eponymous glory by winning his own real-life golf tournament, then jokingly interviews self during trophy presentation. Tiger talking to Tiger about Tiger's tournament: what television rights holders wish could happen every weekend.
Piquing interest of compliance officers, Chris Hansen
Credentials: University of Tennessee football team reportedly receives commitment from 13-year-old high school freshman-to-be. No word if program's recruiting expenses include sacks of taquitos, cases of alcoholic lemonade.
Taking his ball and staying home
Credentials: Spanish teen basketball star/unofficial European Jonas brother a no-show for introductory Minnesota Timberwolves news conference, reportedly will remain in Spain for at least one more season. All of which makes the T-Wolves' selection of two point guards with the No. 5 and No. 6 picks in the NBA draft approximately 7.5 percent less moronic.
The Pyrenees: When canoodling Olsen twins is not enough
Credentials: Prickly, stubborn, possibly (probably) bored cycling champ returns to the Tour de France, while prickly, stubborn, possibly (probably) bored French doping officials promise to be extra vigilant. Make this a romantic comedy, and the wedding invites already would be in the mail.
Dude is all thumbs
Credentials: University of Texas linebacker Kindle reportedly loses control of his car while text messaging behind the wheel, running off the road and into a campus apartment. The result? A concussion, $8,700 in building damage and one narrowly avoided Darwin Award nomination.
Also receiving votes: Joanna Krupa stayin' alive on "The Superstars"; Michael Jackson reportedly planning to unveil new songs via a video game, which might have meant "Moonwalker II"!; the Pittsburgh Pirates paying the New York Yankees to take Eric Hinske off their hands, which is a lot like us buying Bill Gates lunch; Darren Daulton assuring radio listeners that "no one in any sport" has taken more drugs than he, as if anyone needed assurance on that front; MLB players getting richer from a Ponzi scheme, yet avoiding populist rage; the United Football League saying it would be willing to give Michael Vick a place to play, which is a lot like us saying we'd be willing to give Megan Fox a place to have dinner and a movie; a study showing cheerleading to be the most dangerous sport, despite ample contrary evidence from Ice-T; Dan Cortese injuring his hamstring on "The Superstars," a savage turn of events that never would have happened on BKTV.
Never receiving votes: Terrell Owens stayin' alive on "The Superstars"; Formula One honcho Bernie Ecclestone heaping public praise on Hitler's and Saddam Hussein's leadership skills, yet neglecting Stalin and Darth Vader; any trade involving Zach Randolph; Rafael Palmeiro again denying knowing using steroids, as if anyone still cares about Rafael Palmeiro; Florida State's lame legal argument that football coach Bobby Bowden shouldn't lose victories even though said victories were earned by players who were, in fact, cheating; Diana Taurasi getting a DUI -- we had no idea she was a Charles Barkley fan.
Patrick Hruby is a columnist for Page 2.