Commentary

Power Rankings: Moons edition

Originally Published: November 23, 2009
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

You're howlin' with the Page 2 Power Rankings! Our formula combines the results of two surveys: a human poll concocted by ESPN Page 2's Gregory Hardy and a scientifically calibrated poll generated by computer analysis. Unfortunately, the computer we tapped is the mall's Black Friday inventory counter that figures out which rock-bottom prices will cause the heftiest stampedes for products that will be sold out by the time you find what you were waiting three hours in line for. To the results!

1. Full "Moon" Fever

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.9 10.0 19.9

Credentials: C'mon, guys, where's the willpower? Too many of you got dragged to see the new "Twilight" movie, by the looks of the staggering $140.7 million box-office haul for "New Moon." Meanwhile, let's see how that compares to the YouTube ratings from when Chicago receiver Devin Hester gave his "New Moon" impression when he and his drawers were dragged down from behind in Sunday night's Eagles-Bears game. Yeah, half the blogosphere made that sports-movie cross-promotion connection by midnight. But the genius cross-promotion opportunity would have been if someone could have paid Michael Vick to turn werewolf out of the Wildcat -- without PETA getting ticked off.


2. Cleveland vs. Detroit

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.6 9.4 19.0

Credentials: Former Georgia star quarterback Matthew Stafford made good on his promise to Uga VII on his deathbed -- à la Babe Ruth and that kid in the hospital -- that he would throw five touchdown passes for the Lions on Sunday, including the winner to Brandon Pettigrew with no time remaining. Final result: Cleveland's Dawg Pound devastated, Uga happy in doggy heaven. Woof!


3. Spiky-headed Les Miles

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 9.1 17.9

Credentials: Les Miles, for ordering your quarterback to spike the ball with one second remaining, we'll say your popularity with LSU fans will be on the downward trend of the spike you earned by winning the 2007 BCS title. And furthermore: Your Delta Tau Chi name is now "Spike." Yup, Spike Miles. Sergeant-at-arms Blutarsky, make it so.


4. Marv Albert, 50 Cent and the Amazing Tale of Whimsy

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.4 8.7 17.1

Credentials: Announcing the ESPN Page 2 Power Rankings' first creative-writing contest! Come up with the most outrageous story based on these characters: Marv Albert plus 50 Cent plus his hangers-on all backstage at "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" At least one element of the story must be based on reality, however. For example, you can't say that the broadcaster and the hip-hop star got into a fistfight or that Albert has more tattoos than 50. Maybe just have them get into a rap-off and come up with dope lyrics that would be spit out by each.


5. Oprah abandons syndicated TV

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.3 8.4 16.7

Credentials: ESPN Chicago is reporting that the billionaire broadcaster has an ironclad vision of what her new cable network will offer when it launches in 2011: not girl chat, not books, not lifestyle options ... it'll be all National Hockey League, all the time. Hey, she's the one with the golden touch, so we'll accept that she knows something about the future of the league that we don't. Move over, Gary Bettman! Oprah's the new puckhead in town.


6. French handball redux

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.8 15.5

Credentials: Let's say for the sake of argument that soccer's powers that be would allow a rematch between Ireland and France to rectify Thierry Henry's infraction (which easily could have been overturned had the sport allowed TV replay review). What if there was a screwup in that game? Would it then be a best-of-three do-over fest? Or at some point after playing four, five, six rematches or whatever, would the officials review the game films, determine which match has the fewest officiating screwups and go with that one? Hey, if college football can ignore the obvious and not give us a playoff, international soccer is surely able to come up with something far more logic-defying when it comes to correcting whether a player violated the simplest rule the game has.


7. Jimmie Johnson

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.9 7.4 14.3

Credentials: Yawn, four Sprint Cup titles in a row. If he wants to impress us in his run for a fifth, he'll have to add a heckuva degree of difficulty. Like having him "text while driving" through every race. Of course, knowing NASCAR, it would find a way to market the hell out of that: "The Verizon Droid presents JJ's Twitter feed!" Yup, you'll have access to fascinating updates such as, "Turning left again. How far back is Junior now? Can't even see him!"


8. Notre Dame hot seat

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.5 6.5 13.0

Credentials: Boy, for a school that prides itself on having high academic standards for its student-athletes, it sure hasn't figured out how to hire someone who can lead it out of all this gridiron mediocrity. It's time to think outside the box for a new coach -- how about four-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson? OK, maybe he won't get the Irish bowl-eligible ... but it would be funny to see the No. 48 car with the bumper sticker: "Touchdown Jesus is my co-pilot."


9. Deputy Shaq

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 6.7 12.5

Credentials: OK, there's a lot of training and paperwork to get through first, but Cleveland's aging big man has made it known he wants to be documented as an official long arm of the law. Shaq had better hurry up, because he's in a race against time -- any day now, Allen Iverson could cross the Ohio state line and try to start trespassing and loitering on the Cavs' bench.


10. Kansas madhouse

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.1 12.3

Credentials: The job security for embattled Jayhawks football coach Mark Mangino is resting on a double-edged sword. If the team loses to Missouri on Saturday, it won't be bowl-eligible. Then there's the matter of the investigation into allegations of abusive behavior toward players. But hey, the best coaches always seem to find a second life on the motivational speaking circuit. Why, look at the inspirational title of Mangino's self-help book that's due out by Christmas: "Don't Look At Me When I Talk To You, You Worthless Pile of Human Garbage! I Spit On You! Pttew!" from HarperCollins.


11. Michael Jackson moonwalk glove

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.7 11.0

Credentials: How much would you pay for that sparkly modified golf glove that was just as much a part of his moonwalk as his feet? How about $350,000 at an auction? Too bad Chad Ochocinco has had to shell out so much for fines lately; we would have loved to see him catch a touchdown in the playoffs while wearing it. So long as he kept the "Thriller" jacket on the bench.


12. MLS title game

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 5.4 10.5

Credentials: David Beckham and Landon Donovan -- L.A. losers. Real Salt Lake goalie Nick Rimando? Huge winner and match MVP for making two key saves during penalty shootouts. How did he do it? Simple -- he was wearing the Michael Jackson moonwalk glove. That thing IS magic! Also, Donovan sailed a shot right over the net. Goalies like shots that go up there WAY more than shots that graze their own penalty areas.


13. Adam Lambert

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.4 4.9 9.3

Credentials: The "American Idol" runner-up is definitely on Kanye's list of "people who I will never interrupt while they're doing their thing onstage."


Also receiving votes:
• Raiders, Chiefs score upsets: There is a pulse in the basement of the AFC West! And here we thought all that was down there were the rats Al Davis and the Hunt family were too cheap to have exterminated.

• Horned Frogs: TCU still hopping -- er, hoping -- for long-shot chance at Pasadena. Sadly, frogs will fly before they get a fair crack at the BCS marbles.

• Ricky Williams: Three touchdowns against Panthers equals three kicks for each of the half-dozen times we talked ourselves out of picking him up as a free agent all season. "Oh, he's just Ronnie Brown's backup! ... Oh, he'll never duplicate these outbursts week after week! ... Oh, he's bursting free again ..."

Never receiving votes:
• Christmas music: Please wait at least until after we eat the turkey Thursday, please, please! For the love of city sidewalks, busy sidewalks!

• Tiger Woods: Honorary captain for Stanford football game, which went down as a Big Game loss to Cal. Tiger, if you're going to be a big-time college football booster, just go the old-fashioned route and give away your Buicks to the key recruits.

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

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