Commentary

Power Rankings: Rory McIlroy Edition

Originally Published: June 20, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

We'll meltdown once but never twice in a row at the ESPN.com Page 2 Power Rankings! Our formula combines the results of two surveys: a human poll concocted by ESPN Page 2's Greg Hardy and a scientifically calibrated poll generated by computer analysis. Unfortunately, our computer reset itself to its 2006 specs after it saw that Tiki Barber is going to be available for the next fantasy draft. To the results!

1. Rory Redux

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.4 9.6 19.0

Credentials: The shock in these past few months of seeing the two vastly different Rory McIlroys in the majors -- the one who blew up in Augusta and the one who aced the exam at Congressional -- is like discovering you've met a pair of attractive twin sisters on an online dating site at the same time. The key is, the next time you want to go out, you have to be careful and ask yourself, "Wait, which is the one I had the terrific dinner and drinks and dancing with and which was the one who drove her car into a mailbox in front of the restaurant?" Because we're getting the feeling if we meet the right twin again, we can have an engaging future of Sundays together. If we wind up with the wrong twin, at least try to find out if she's had her passenger side airbags replaced. Another clue? One sister will never have a green jacket in her wardrobe.


2. Albert Pujols' broken arm

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.1 18.6

Credentials: Welcome to the St. Louis health care system, where the co-pay for a left forearm cast just dropped considerably from its previous $150 million price tag.


3. Yankees at Wrigley Field

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 8.4 17.2

Credentials: Wow, wasn't it amazing to see the 2011 New York Yankees in that part of the Windy City for the second time since 1938? Note to baseball historians of the year 2111 A.D.: Do not include footage of CC Sabathia at the plate at Wrigley Field in your "look how steroids made baseball sluggers so big in the early 21st century!" docudramas.


4. Miss USA pageant

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.4 15.1

Credentials: Congratulations to Miss California Alyssa Campanella for taking home the tiara. We were excited to see that Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler was one of the judges, and even more excited to learn that Chandler negotiated in his appearance fee that in the event that Alyssa can no longer fulfill her duties, the title of Miss America will go to J.J. Barea.


5. Marlins malaise

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 7.6 14.7

Credentials: Dear Miami sports fans: Sorry to interrupt your June of choking away the NBA Finals and going 1-18 on the baseball diamond. But the good news about Jack McKeon being put in charge of the Marlins is that if at his introductory press conference he promises to win eight World Series titles, he only owes you seven more.


6. NFL talks

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.5 12.7

Credentials: In a stunning pre-emptive attack at this point of the negotiations, the players have made it known that if there is no season this fall they will band together in solidarity and support themselves financially by self-producing and acting as fictional versions of themselves in the long-awaited Season 2 of the televised drama "Playmakers." We know this for a fact, because they bought from us a script for Episode 4, titled, "The Franchise Moves to Los Angeles."


7. U.S. soccer

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.4 5.3 10.7

Credentials: The Americans advanced in CONCACAF Gold Cup action by beating Jamaica 2-0 in Washington on Sunday, despite stars Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey flying into D.C. from across the country because they were attending their sisters' Saturday weddings. The duo fared better in making it to the game than we did, because we missed the match entirely while trying to research what CONCACAF stands for. We got as far as the CONCA, but after that, the trail got murky.


8. Wimbledon

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.0 10.2

Credentials: We're not saying we have low expectations that an American will win a tennis major any time soon, but it's not a good sign that we heard Andy Roddick say the No. 1 thing he's looking forward to in London is sightseeing for the house where Harry Potter was born.


9. NBA draft

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 4.4 9.5

Credentials: With the Dallas Mavericks owning the 26th pick in Thursday night's first round, draft experts are expecting Mark Cuban will use his secret broadcasting facility to break into the televised feed to showcase a close-up of his face staring straight and unblinkingly into the camera while smoking a Cuban cigar and laughing manically. He's wanted to do that for a decade, but his legal experts have finally informed him that he's earned the right to do so. (Note from ESPN Research: It is unclear at this time if Cuban smokes cigars that actually were shipped through Havana, but as long as Mark Cuban has any cigar in his possession, it is OK for it to be referred to as a Cuban cigar.)


10. College World Series

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.0 4.2 9.2

Credentials: College baseball's signature event is enjoying a robust opening in Omaha's new 24,000-capacity jewel of a ballpark. Yup, this college sporting event is so Midwestern-wholesome, it couldn't be ruined if Jim Tressel set up a tattoo parlor/legal advice clinic in the tailgating lot.


11. Phil vs. Tiger

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.1 8.3

Credentials: We're kicking ourselves that we only thought of this once the U.S. Open was over, but here's a great service we'd like to offer for those who are dying for a chance to see Mickelson-Woods fireworks at the next major. If Tiger's not going to show up and Lefty is going to hit 7-over, why not have Woods live blog Phil's rounds from home? And after every round, Phil can consult Tiger's constructive criticism and either use that to try to improve the next day or become even tighter under the pressure. Either way, the entertainment value skyrockets.


12. "Green Lantern"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.3 7.3

Credentials: It appears that having a marketing campaign of "Watch Ryan Reynolds play a superhero you kinda sorta know nothing about!" wasn't enough to fill the box-office cash register with greenbacks. The sports analogy for the Green Lantern character right now would be Dale Earnhardt Jr. The die-hard fans can spend hours and hours telling the casual fan why this person is so popular, but in the end it's kind of hard to ignore that 108-race winless streak.


13. "Hard Knocks" watch

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 2.4 5.5

Credentials: Not only do we have to keep an eye on the NFL lockout situation, we're also dying to know which team HBO will land for its training camp reality show. Until we get an answer, this week we nominate the Carolina Panthers. But only if the format includes a subplot in which Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen are dating the same girl throughout the series, and in the final episode she decides who the starting QB will be. Like this team is going to be better than 3-13 no matter who's under center.


Also receiving votes
• Father's Day swag: Thumbs up if you got your old-school pop something new-school high-tech, like a Kindle. Thumbs down if you downloaded Snooki's novel onto it before you gave it to him. This applies even if the Kindle was given to Snooki's dad.

Never receiving votes
• Vancouver's sweeping changes: The city has depleted so many resources cleaning up the aftermath of the Stanley Cup riots that they've been forced to press the Canucks' fleet of zambonis into service on the streets. That lasted two hours until all their tires were stolen by rogue gangs of curling thugs.

Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.


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Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.