Commentary

Page 2 Power Rankings: Tebow edition

Originally Published: July 13, 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 swimming's governing body votes to ban -- instead of mandate -- skintight suits that tend to split open in back is replaced by the clarity of making a list:

1. Steve Spurrier

Only man standing between Tim Tebow and preseason All-SEC immortality

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Credentials: South Carolina football coach confirms during SEC media days -- and yes, that's plural -- that he mistakenly did not vote for Tebow on his preseason conference honors ballot, ending southern national mystery crisis over who snubbed the Florida quarterback. Jim Baker, Warren Christopher, U.S. Supreme Court allowed to stand down.


1a. College Football Democracy

Some man, one vote

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Credentials: Spurrier claims his vote was botched because his director of football operations filled out the ballot, which the head ball coach approved with a quick glance. Yeah, sure. As if college football coaches would ever leave the completion of all-important ballots -- like those for the coaches' top 25 poll that factor into the BCS standings -- to their sports information directors and/or assorted office lackeys. That'll be the day!


2. Tim Tebow

Currently in Netflix queue: "It Ain't Worth It" starring A.C. Green

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Credentials: Sports Illustrated coverboy tells reporter that he's "saving himself for marriage" -- a task made easier due to downtime spent in actual Fortress of Solitude.


2a. Jon Gosselin

Saving himself FROM marriage

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Credentials: While handsome BMOC Tebow abstains from Earthly delights, doughy, hair-plugged reality TV uberdoofus Gosselin reportedly Casanovas his way from the 22-year-old daughter of his wife's plastic surgeon to a 26-year-old reporter assigned to cover him. The lesson? Everything you learned in high school is completely useless.


3. Mark Buehrle

Only good news for President Obama all week

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Credentials: Chicago White Sox lefty becomes 18th pitcher in baseball history to throw perfect game, first player to leave Ozzie Guillen with nothing to complain about.


3a. DeWayne Wise

The guy behind the guy

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Credentials: White Sox centerfielder saves Buehrle's bid for perfection with leaping, juggling, up-and-into-the-wall catch of Gabe Kapler's would-be home run. In other words, he's the bizarro Asante Samuel.


4. Tony Bernazard

Brother, whatcha gonna doooooooooo?

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Credentials: Okay, pop quiz -- in reportedly taking off his shirt and challenging a locker room of minor leaguers to a fist fight, New York Mets executive Bernazard failed to realize that:

A) Baseballs are not a significant source of gamma radiation
B) "COPS" is not filmed on location with the men and women of Double-A Binghamton
C) The team he should be ticked off at recently dropped a series to the Washington Nationals
D) All of the above


5. New Jersey

Stranger than "The Sopranos"

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Credentials: The bad news? The mayors of three New Jersey cities, two state legislators and -- ahem -- several rabbis are among 44 people arrested by federal agents in a sweeping corruption probe. The good news? Only 44 people arrested in a New Jersey corruption probe!


6. Shaquille O'Neal

Not on tap: vs. Ron Artest in battle-rapping, Yao Ming in vertical leaping, Chris Hansen in pseudo-policing

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Credentials: Cleveland Cavs center announces plans for "Shaq Vs." reality show -- full disclosure: it's on ABC -- which pits him against Ben Roethlisberger in football, Michael Phelps in swimming, Serena Williams in tennis, Oscar De La Hoya in boxing and Chad Ochocinco in desperate stakes-upping bids to remain media relevant.


6a. "The T.O. Show"

Speaking of desperate bids to remain media relevant ...

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Credentials: Debut episode of Terrell Owens' reality show reveals Buffalo Bills receiver has not one but two publicists. Which is a little like Brock Lesnar having two bodyguards.


7. LeBron James

Would have gotten away with it if not for those pesky TMZ kids

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8 7 4 8

Credentials: A breakdown of James' week:

What Went Wrong
• Footage of Jordan Crawford's dunk released, making James look lame for reported involvement in cover-up
• Nike announces it will return confiscated tape of Crawford's dunk after footage leaks, making James' chief sponsor look lamer still
• Upcoming book reveals James smoked marijuana in high school, which -- believe it or not -- still offends people

What Went Right
• James did not make a single public comment about the Cambridge police


8. College Sports Video Games

Playing now counts as LSAT prep

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Credentials: A class-action lawsuit filed against the NCAA on behalf of all current and former Division I-A football and basketball players argues that the NCAA has illegally prevented athletes from sharing in the $4 billion market for collegiate licensed merchandise; lead plaintiff and former UCLA hoops star Ed O'Bannon claims he became aware of the issue when he saw neighborhood children playing as him in a NCAA basketball game -- marking the first time anyone has selected UCLA '95 over UNLV '91, North Carolina '82 or Georgetown '84.


8a. T.J. Houshmandzadeh

Will NOT move to the back of the Madden Cruiser

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Credentials: Two-hundred-plus years after colonists fought for American independence, 89 years after women were given the right to vote, 50 years after civil rights bus boycotts, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Houshmandzadeh announces an embargo of upcoming Madden 10 video game because his digital alter ego's in-game skill ratings are too low. If that's not progress, we don't know what is.


9. David Beckham

A slap tap on the wrist

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Credentials: Pricey Euro import/failed soccer messiah is fined a whopping $1,000 for making leave-your-seats gestures toward taunting home fans; meanwhile, a fan who actually left his seat is banned for life from the Home Depot Center, which means he'll never get to pay money to watch David Beckham play Major League Soccer again. In short, no one here was actually punished.


10. Kimo Leopoldo

Still alive!

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Credentials: Former UFC contender mistakenly reported dead by various media outlets, joining long, distinguished list that includes Paul McCartney, Joe DiMaggio, Fidel Castro, Jeff Goldblum, Steve Jobs, Bob Hope (twice), Pope John Paul II (three times!), self-proclaimed fitness celebrity John Basedow and Tupac Shakur.


10a. J.P. Losman

Also still alive

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Credentials: Former NFL starting quarterback signs with the Las Vegas franchise of the start-up United Football League, becoming the league's marquee player. Well, depending on what happens with Michael Vick.


10b. F-22 Raptor

Dead

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Credentials: U.S. Senate votes to scrap orders for ultra-sophisticated, mega-expensive fighter jet that neither the Pentagon nor the Obama administration wants, leaving American fighter jocks to buzz the tower and pour Pepsi upside down in older, less cool-looking planes. Stuff like this never happens to the New York Yankees.


11. The Machines

Rising

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Credentials: Japanese scientists -- who else? -- create baseball robots that can: A) hit balls in the strike zone almost 100 percent of the time without swinging at pitches outside the strike zone, thereby pleasing sabremeticians; B) throw 25 mph pitches into the strike zone 90 percent of the time, thereby rendering Jamie Moyer obsolete. Dear Japanese robot-makers: please stop futzing around with robot dogs and girlfriends and baseball players, and just build a working Metal Gear already, okay? Sincerely, PlayStation and anime nerds of America.


12. Jose Guillen

Sounds like Ozzie

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Credentials: Struggling Kansas City Royals outfielder says he's embarrassed by his play and salary, noting, "I hate making excuses. If I [expletive], then I [expletive]. And I [expletive]. That's the way I'm playing. If you [expletive], you [expletive]. You have to take responsibility in this game. Right now, that's the way I feel." Pause. "Yes, I [expletive]." With a quote like that, we couldn't disagree more.


12a. Smack Talk

Not just for Guillens

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Credentials: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refers to North Korea as the "unruly teenagers" of the international community. In response, North Korea says Clinton "looks like a primary schoolgirl, and sometimes a pensioner going shopping." Next on the negotiating agenda? Kim Jong-Il's hairline, Obama's mom jeans.


Also receiving votes: Mark Calcavecchia's PGA-record nine consecutive birdies, a feat that would: A) make him the second-best golfer in North Korea; B) be more impressive if Tiger Woods was somehow involved; Mets GM Omar Minaya's vote of confidence from team ownership, never a good sign; President Obama defending his mom jeans, also never a good sign; Jon Bon Jovi reportedly demanding an exclusivity deal as part of a nixed ownership buy-in with the Miami Dolphins, sparing America a hair metal/faux-urban-cowboy version of "Are You Ready for Some Football?"; Pittsburg State football player out for the season after being bitten by an honest-to-God zebra, which has to be the injury report item of the year; a Utah man living a decade without spending money, yet somehow not receiving a front-office job offer from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Never receiving votes: Former MLB pitcher Jim Parque's HGH confession, which ranks somewhere between Obama sneaking the occasional smoke and Kobe not actually jumping over that Aston Martin on the scandal-o-meter; a North Carolina sheriff's department reportedly using a seized Corvette that can reach 198 miles per hour, bad news for The Bandit; Ben Roethlisberger's attorney expressing "surprise" at the amount of media interest in the sexual assault civil suit filed against his client -- do attorneys not watch television?; an actual newspaper headline reading "Spagnuolo is planning to work the Rams hard," which only shows how desperate we are for anything resembling actual NFL news; BrettFavrebrettfavre getting closer to considering his options regarding deliberating on the matter of potentially making a decision.

Patrick Hruby is a columnist for Page 2.