Commentary

Power Rankings: Dodger Dollars Edition

Originally Published: June 27, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

Relax and digest your Dodger Dogs with the 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 spent the weekend trying to unload the 50,000 knockoff Jimmer Fredette Knicks jerseys that it started hoarding in April in an unsuccessful bid to corner a market that now does not even exist. At least they'll be cheaper than knockoff LeBron Knicks jerseys. To the results!

1. Disappearing Dodger dollars

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.6 19.1

Credentials: Don't think Chapter 11 is the final story in Frank McCourt's battle to pay the bills. Reports say he's ready to break the bank by reaching a multimillion-dollar agreement with the NFL to lease out Dodgers Stadium for a relocated team to play there once the lockout ends. Sadly, McCourt's bid to lure the NHL to play its Winter Classic at Dodger Stadium fell through. Which means it's last-resort time: Steal the L.A. Clippers' season-ticket list, and mail them counterfeit tickets that direct them to Chavez Ravine. Yes, the Clippers fans would be furious at the ruse, but because traffic getting out will be so bad, McCourt could probably sell some drinks and hot dogs while they wait it out.


2. U.S. soccer meltdown

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.1 18.6

Credentials: The only game uglier than the Americans' 4-2 loss to Mexico after blowing a 2-0 lead in the Gold Cup final is the ensuing blame game of what's wrong with U.S. soccer. We're not saying Bob Bradley should be pursuing other job prospects at the moment, but certainly the Rose Bowl ticket sales committee could use some people who can do a little better job of selling seats to fans who aren't going to treat his team as warmly as if they were "Jersey Shore" cast members in Italy.


3. NFL lockout negotiations

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.9 8.4 17.3

Credentials: The owners may have just gained themselves a huge bargaining chip if reports of Terrell Owens' knee surgery are true. Now it's in the back of the players' minds that without medical coverage they're on the hook for their own medical care. Of course, knowing T.O., he probably got the procedure's expenses covered when he sold the rights to a reality show broadcast from the operating table. Oddly enough, he's more entertaining when he's under anesthesia than when he's coherent and talking.


4. Venus, Serena & Wimbledon

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.8 7.4 15.2

Credentials: For the first time since 2006, there won't be a Williams sister in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Fans of women's tennis, feel free to display your displeasure in the heavy grunt or high-pitched screech of your choice. Because that's not distracting at all during volleys.


5. Washington Nationals

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.2 7.6 14.8

Credentials: Relax, Nats fans. Davey Johnson is on the scene to restore stability and dignity after your recent managerial turmoil. Then again, when the Baltimore Orioles is the major league team that most has its act together in your TV market, it's no wonder college lacrosse is so big in that area.


6. College World Series

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.3 6.5 12.8

Credentials: The NCAA baseball season comes down to an all-Southeastern Conference finale as the defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks square off against the Florida Gators. Just what we need, more yahoos not shutting up about the dominance of SEC speed. Then again, if you're just tuning in, each school did dispatch everyone else in their way. It's not as though MLB's concept of interleague play hasn't trickled down to the college ranks.


7. Soccer riots

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.5 5.3 10.8

Credentials: Soccer is all fun and games in Argentina until River Plate gets relegated to the second division for the second time in its 110-year history, then all heck breaks loose and out come the police water cannons. You think that's going to hurt the club's chances to land a big-time bottled water company to a prime sponsorship next season? Then again, in a fight between water cannons and throwing empty water bottles, we know which side always wins.


8. Brent Musburger/Mustangburger

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.0 10.3

Credentials: Yes, we're impressed that the legendary announcer scored some time behind the mike for "Cars 2." But (SPOILER ALERT!) wait until you see his automotive doppleganger kick some Decepticon butt in a crossover cameo a few weeks from now in the new "Transformers" sequel.


9. Yankees Old-Timers' Game

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 4.4 9.6

Credentials: Old-school pinstripes don't get more old-school than a two-minute standing ovation for Joe Torre in the Bronx. But the thing we couldn't stop wondering while watching Yogi Berra, Lou Piniella and now Bernie Williams kicking around in this Yankees lovefest is this: You think Whitey Bulger ever attended one of these things as part of his "hide in plain sight" strategy? You know at least one FBI agent from the Boston field office must have pondered that at some point.


10. Triumphs of Tseng

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 4.2 9.3

Credentials: Wow, four major victories by age 22. She couldn't do more to popularize the LPGA with women in her age demographic if the middle of the next "Twilight" movie featured a 15-minute long sequence in which she offers putting lessons to Robert Pattinson. (Note to LPGA marketing: Talk to the Summit Entertainment product placement people, you might still have time to pull this off before "Breaking Dawn: Part I" hits theaters. Worth every penny.)


11. Michael Jackson jacket

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.3 4.1 8.4

Credentials: That red-and-black calfskin from the "Thriller" video fetched $1.8 million at auction. The winner said the jacket will be sent on tour to help raise money for children's charities. Which we will choose to interpret as meaning educational funds to launch zombie apocalypse preparedness seminars.


12. Over-.500 Pirates

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.1 3.3 7.4

Credentials: More unintentional fallout of the NFL lockout: Pittsburgh fans having nothing to do in September except rooting for the Pirates to earn the wild card. You don't think those fans are capable of sitting on their Terrible Towels all fall, do you? Look out, NL Central, they need a place to focus their weapons-grade-uranium-like power of terry cloth.


13. "Hard Knocks" watch

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.2 2.4 5.6

Credentials: Not only do we have to keep an eye on the NFL lockout situation, we're dying to know which team HBO will land for its training camp reality show. This week, we nominate the New England Patriots -- which, as Bostonians know, is at the end of the line behind the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins in terms of championship hardware. We'd kill to see footage of Tom Brady privately grumbling how the Stanley Cup's player-by-player summer vacation is getting more TMZ coverage than he is.


Also receiving votes
• Buying fireworks: Only a few more shopping days left to build up your arsenal to patriotically wreak havoc on your backyard for the Fourth of July. So far, we've filled our quota of the annual favorites, like Roman candles, bottle rockets, those cardboard tanks that roll six inches before they blow up in the wrong direction, etc. We're still trying to find out what's this year's exciting new thing to acquire: Namely, whatever Mark Cuban is going to aim at Ross Perot Jr.'s house.

Never receiving votes
• NHL realignment: Curse you, Winnipeg Jets 2.0! By fleeing Atlanta, you've upset the delicate geographic balance of power in the NHL travel schedule. Gary Bettman, we implore you and your brain trust: No matter how you reshuffle the deck for 2012-13, you must keep the Minnesota Wild/Columbus Blue Jackets/Nashville Predators three-way blood feud intact. Until then, see you on the Manitoba-Raleigh red eye.

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.