Commentary

Page 2 Power Rankings: Mom jeans fad

Originally Published: July 20, 2009
By Patrick Hruby | Page 2

Welcome to another edition of Page 2's weekly Power Rankings, where the confusion of a world in which Dwyane Wade's switch from one Nike brand to another qualifies as major news is replaced by the clarity of making a list:


1. Sonia Sotomayor

A pro athlete's best friend, even if they don't know it

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9 10 1 1

Credentials: A case now under consideration in the Supreme Court could radically alter sports as we know it by granting pro leagues immunity from all forms of antitrust scrutiny, producing lower player salaries, no free agency, higher prices and inflated owner profits. Legal scholars predict that at least four justices would support immunity, making Sotomayor -- a Supreme Court nominee expected to rule against it -- a potential tiebreaker. And you thought Dwight Howard was powerful.


2. The Coming Sportspocalypse

Repent, for the hour is almost at hand

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8 10 6 9

Credentials: Tiger Woods loses ball, smashes club, misses cut at British Open. Brett Favre announces deadline for actually making a decision. Charles Barkley does not finish in last place on first day of Lake Tahoe celebrity golf tournament. (Gracias, Chuck Liddell!) The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile crashes into a Wisconsin home. The upshot? Stock up on bottled water and "Left Behind" DVDs, as only three unbroken seals -- Chicago Cubs winning World Series, Chad Ochocinco swallowing own tongue, MLS outdrawing NFL preseason -- remain.


3. Tom Watson

Fifty-nine is the new Rocco

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Credentials: The bad news? Fifty-nine-year-old blows 8-foot British Open par putt which would have made him golf's oldest major champion. The good news? Fifty-nine-year-old comes within one shot of winning the British Open.


4. Tony Romo

Now with 100 percent less jinx

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Credentials: Dallas Cowboys quarterback breaks up with girlfriend Jessica Simpson, who was about to throw a Ken-and-Barbie-themed party -- two data points that clearly are unrelated.


5. Richard Jefferson

Biggest last-second wave-off since Scottie Pippen

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Credentials: San Antonio Spurs forward reportedly bails out on his $2 million Manhattan wedding to former New Jersey Nets dancer at the 11th hour, then gives would-be bride a six-figure settlement -- an amount Jefferson figures to make back as soon as he sells the movie rights.


6. President Obama

Throws like a girl guy wearing mom jeans

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Credentials: Draws smattering of boos for wearing Chicago White Sox jacket during ceremonial first pitch at All-Star Game; obscured network camera shot of semi-feeble toss prompts accusations of fawning, pro-Obama media conspiracy. Not to get all, like, rational here, but think it through: If a network owned by noted left-wing Obamaphile Rupert Murdoch really wanted to show the president in a flattering light, it would have filmed him from the waist up.


6a. Albert Pujols

Finally, the private sector bails out the federal government!

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Credentials: As catcher for first pitch, makes Obama look good by setting up in front of home plate, then scooping dying quail out of dirt; as adamant steroid denier, makes self look truthful by finishing fourth in lackluster pop-gun home run derby, then going 0-for-3 in the All-Star Game.


6b. Canada

What, Alanis Morissette wasn't available?

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Credentials: Sheryl Crow sings pre-All-Star Game "Star-Spangled Banner," but "O Canada" is played via pre-recorded tape. First America swipes the Montreal Expos, now this. The indignity. (On second thought, taking the Expos probably counts as a favor).


7. Richard Gasquet

Way, way more ingenious than Floyd Landis

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Credentials: French tennis player has doping ban overturned after an independent tribunal concludes that he inadvertently ingested cocaine by kissing a woman at a Miami nightclub. Zut alors! If only other athletes had been so clever:

Rafael Palmeiro: I kissed Jose Canseco.

Alex Rodriguez: I kissed a female bodybuilder.

Marion Jones: I kissed Tim Montgomery.

Tim Montgomery: I kissed Marion Jones.

Sammy Sosa: I kissed a horse trained by Rick Dutrow.

Manny Ramirez: I was trying to get pregnant.


8. David Beckham

The Segue of MLS

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Credentials: Well-coiffed world soccer superstar returns to MLS, faces jeers, angry signs, angrier fans in first home game with Los Angeles Galaxy; in previous road contest, blames paltry Giants Stadium crowd of 23,238 on the "recession." A quick economic primer:


9. Superbanks

Confused by Beckham's talk of "recession"

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Credentials: Six months removed from the brink of financial meltdown, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America report hefty second-quarter profits -- largely due to their competitors being wounded or wiped out. For comparison's sake, imagine the Houston Rockets winning back-to-back NBA titles because the best player in the league believes he's thisclose to being able to hit a Double-A curveball. The preceding scenario is purely hypothetical.


10. Ozzie Guillen

Man of science

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Credentials: British researchers find physical and psychological links between swearing and increased pain tolerance, conclude cursing can be good for you. Though not as good as the ref making the right [expletive] call, or your players actually [expletive] competing instead of [expletive] around with their [expletive] up their [expletive] [expletive], or just avoiding banging your [expletive] toe into the [expletive] coffee table in the first place. [Expletive]!


11. NASA

NBA says the same thing about footage of the 1985 draft lottery

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Credentials: While celebrating 40th anniversary of first moonwalk, space agency says it mistakenly taped over original Apollo 11 moon footage and is having a Hollywood company digitally restore the copies that remain, the better to highlight the fistfight between Optimus Prime and Megatron taking place just behind the lunar lander.


Also receiving votes: Former NBA player Antoine Walker failing to make good on more than $800,000 in Las Vegas gambling debts, getting arrested in a casino, posting $135,000 cash bail and playing in a celebrity golf tournament, a sequence of events that perfectly encapsulates the modern athletic condition, and probably the state of the American economy; Jackie Chan agreeing to play the Mr. Miyagi role in an upcoming "Karate Kid" remake, cleverly titled "Kung Fu Kid"; Brian Ching earning a $500 MLS fine for a referee-bashing tweet, making MLS the first entity to actually make money with Twitter; the Indianapolis Colts wearing Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance patches on their practice jerseys, the sexiest endorsement since Paris Hilton shilled for Carl's Jr.

Never receiving votes: Former NHL enforcer Chris Nilan shoplifting a pair of swim trunks from a department store, then throwing a missed punch at a police officer, which is probably why Nilan is a former enforcer; the Washington Nationals reportedly not even calling No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg yet -- though with a bullpen like theirs, can you blame the Nats for avoiding telephones?; the company that makes Crocs foam clogs reportedly being on the verge of collapse, and/or joining the makers of Hammer pants and jelly bracelets in fad Valhalla; Australian developers announcing the near completion of a par-71, 1,365-kilometer golf course that spans two time zones and is longer than Britain -- finally, a layout to challenge Kim Jong-Il!

Patrick Hruby is a columnist for Page 2.

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