Commentary

Power Rankings: Tiger edition

Originally Published: November 30, 2009
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

You're crashin' 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 one from Notre Dame's payroll department that's supposed to calculate Charlie Weis' buyout. To the results!

1. Law and Order and Fire Hydrants

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
10.0 10.0 20.0

Credentials: We're developing a pitch for a new TV true-crime procedural that we hope finds a home at either the Golf Channel or truTV. Let's start with the deep-voiced narrator: "In the criminal justice system of central Florida's gated golf communities, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crimes against fire hydrants; and the district attorneys, who, when they're not prosecuting National Enquirer editors, start up water-cooler chats in which they wonder how hard a former model would have to swing a golf club to break a window on a Cadillac SUV. These are their stories."


2. NFL concussions

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.4 9.7 19.1

Credentials: Ben Roethlisberger. Kurt Warner. Brian Westbrook. Clinton Portis. Can you believe there's a segment of the population that's overjoyed that these stars sat out Week 12 games because of concussions? That would be a group known as "NFL linemen." They're hoping that if their glamour-position brothers have to miss time, maybe that would swing attention toward the need for more research to treat and prevent the hard knocks they sustain in anonymity.


3. SEC Armageddon

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.3 9.1 18.4

Credentials: Tebow! Ingram! Meyer! Saban! Spikes! Cody! Florida and Alabama collide as America's No. 1 and No. 2 college football teams for a rematch on Saturday in Atlanta. Century-long land wars have been fought in Asia in which less was at stake. You see, the winner advances to the BCS title game in Pasadena, Calif., while the loser is eliminated from championship consideration. If the guys who run the BCS are truly media-savvy, they should come up with a word or phrase that can describe such a win-or-go-home scenario. Maybe a word that includes the notion of "play" -- to show that things are settled by playing on a field of play instead of by voters and computers -- and "off" -- to show that the team that loses has to go off to the sideline. What if we linked those words together ... "play-off" ... playoff! That's perfect! Or would that word make the BCS henchmen's heads blow up?


4. Bud Selig to step down

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.7 17.3

Credentials: Baseball's commissioner confirmed that he will retire after the 2012 season. Unless, of course, the 2012 All-Star Game ends in a tie, in which case he'll stay through 2016.


5. Sneaky White House-crashing couple

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.3 8.4 16.7

Credentials: A wee review of how security precautions have changed in the 21st century: You can't get onto a commercial airplane that's flying from Wichita to Vegas unless you take off your shoes and belt and don't have big bottles of shampoo in your carry-on bag, and you slog through a line for two hours like a refugee and you're X-rayed, probed and humiliated by a TSA inspector who a week ago was fired from Taco Bell for getting the ingredients mixed up in the boss' Black Jack Taco. But in D.C., if you dress up right purdy and have a bright-enough smile, and you're vacuous enough that your life goal is to be a reality TV star, you can slip past the Secret Service as though you were a 12-year-old sneaking into an R-rated movie and shake hands with the president at a White House state dinner. I feel safer already.


6. Stanford's Toby Gerhart

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 8.0 15.7

Credentials: What's a Pac-10 running back got to do to win a Heisman Trophy around here, anyway? His 26 rushing touchdowns are the most in the land, and he averages 144.7 yards per game. He abused Notre Dame's defenders to the point where they were hoping to get a pink slip from their AD, too. If Gerhart doesn't get invited to the Heisman ceremony, let's take up a collection to buy him a ticket for a red-eye to LaGuardia, and we'll let him bash through the presentation room door when the cameras are rolling.


7. New Jersey's doughnut

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.8 7.5 15.3

Credentials: If there's one ironclad rule in the NBA, it's this: There's good 0-17, and there's bad 0-17. It's very bad for the New Jersey Nets that they're 0-17, tying the worst start to a season in league history. But for coach Lawrence Frank, it's a not-so-bad 0-17. After all, he was fired Sunday morning when the Nets were a mere 0-16. So at least he kept that 0-17 off his permanent record. Unlike when he was in elementary school and returned that copy of "The Red Badge of Courage" to the school library with some pages missing from where a neighborhood dog chomped it. That's still on his permanent record.


8. California's Time Out on Hate

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.2 6.7 13.9

Credentials: Here's how we suggest USC's Pete Carroll and UCLA's Rick Neuheisel resolve their garbage time issues in the future. If one team is trying to run out the clock to protect a huge lead and the other team punks it up by calling a time out, the winning team is allowed to take another crack at the end zone. If tempers flare in the ensuing heated exchange of middle fingers (of both the visible and implied varieties), the coaches must then immediately escort all offending players to the nearest multiplex and show them "The Blind Side" over and over until they learn deep values. Those are what we in the sports biz call the "unwritten rules."


9. Obama supports brother-in-law hoops coach

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.1 12.3

Credentials: Fine, Mr. President. We're sure you had the best intentions in taking your family to a local George Washington basketball game. After all, your brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, was coaching the visiting Oregon State squad, and it's important to take time to show support for family. But you didn't have to make Colonials fans feel bad by bragging to the media afterward about how you had started a FireKarlHobbs.com Web site.


10. Tennessee Titans' overstimulation

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.1 5.8 11.9

Credentials: Suddenly, they're a feel-good story and there's no road they can't conquer. Started 0-6 and vowed to win 10 in a row? Halfway there. Need to march 99 yards to beat the Cardinals? Check. What was team owner Bud Adams quoted as saying about watching the final drive? "I almost couldn't do it, because I was peeing my pants. I'm serious," the 86-year-old said. Careful what you admit, sir. Remember, the NFL fined you $250,000 for flipping your middle finger at Bills fans. Who knows how much you'd get fined if they thought you were peeing to fill up empty beer cups to throw at Arizona fans?


11. Cyber Monday

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.6 5.2 11.8

Credentials: Didn't get enough shopping crammed in while being stampeded at 5 in the morning on Black Friday? Well, try Cyber Monday on for size. It's the well-documented retail phenomenon (or made-up media buzzword, depending on whom you ask) that says the Monday after Thanksgiving shoppers flock to the Internet to lock in on the products they really wanted (or they flocked to the Internet to download videos of Santa's naughty blond elves, depending on whom you ask). If you ask us, Cyber Monday is just one painful way to get a load of spam in your stocking.


12. The Who

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.5 4.7 10.2

Credentials: Ready for another aging British band to play the Super Bowl halftime show? Actually, the NFL was lucky to land Daltrey and Townshend. The league had almost locked in another act that was even older and even more European ... but then it found out Beethoven had been dead a couple of hundred years. Hey, Ludwig just might have showed off his wrinkly nipple ring anyway.


13. Putting up the Christmas tree

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.4 4.3 8.7

Credentials: Yes, it's a great bonding experience for you and your significant other to pick out a tree for your first Christmas together. But be careful how you phrase the question, "Do you like it better real or fake?"


Also receiving votes:
• Montreal Alouettes: Winners of the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. How do you say "Make it rain!" in French?

• Cincinnati Bengals: Perfectly navigated the AFC North. Then again, CFL teams schedule the Cleveland Browns for their exhibitions.

• Horned Frogs: TCU is perfect for the first time since 1938 ... just like Tom Waits.

• College basketball tournaments: It's not a holiday feast until someone passes the Paradise Jam.

Never receiving votes:
• "Leprecat": This is evidently the term used when Notre Dame runs the Wildcat formation. Get it? Half-leprechaun, half-Wildcat, all let's-find-the-idiot-who-coined-that-and-bash-him-upside-his-golden-dome.

• ACC championship game: Georgia Tech and Clemson tuned up by losing to midtier SEC East teams. Maybe they would sell a few more tickets if Bobby Bowden promised to show up at midfield for halftime and whup Jeff Bowden with his belt.

• Michael Vick: Will return to Atlanta to face the Falcons on Sunday, and he said he expects a standing ovation. From who? Cat people?

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.