Commentary

Power Rankings: Snow edition

Originally Published: December 21, 2009
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

Thanks for drifting into 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 post office letter sorter that took all the Christmas cards you addressed to your grandparents in Florida and sent them to Finland. To the results!

1. SNOW!

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 9.2 18.9

Credentials: OK, we may not have earned advanced degrees in meteorology, or aviation, or physics, or engineering, or heck, even journalism. But for all you people bellyaching about being snowed in at an airport all weekend, the solution is obvious: Just shovel up all the snow on the runway, pack it into the empty passenger and cargo sections of the planes, fly to the desert in Arizona, dump the snow out of the plane in midair, and watch it instantly melt in the heat. Voila! Airlines, the more creative you get in solving our on-time destination problems, the quicker we'll overlook that you gouge us on extra-baggage charges.


2. "Avatar"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.8 9.0 18.8

Credentials: OK, James Cameron, we get it, we beg mercy, we cry uncle, you win. We're overawed by your masterwork. Happy now? But while you may have out-"Star Wars"'d "Star Wars" this time, it doesn't take a parents'-basement fan boy to judge that going woodshed on the galaxy's biggest tree trunk will never hold a candle to blowing up one good ole-fashioned Death Star.


3. 14-0 Colts/13-1 Saints

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.6 8.5 18.1

Credentials: No surprise that barkeep extraordinaire Peyton Manning has his perfect-season beeramid stacked 14 stories tall; but Drew Brees and his friends got sloppy and spilled perfection all over the rug. Obviously, the Saints can still squeeze a Lombardi trophy into the case in the lobby once all is said and done. But we were hoping New Orleans would earn that 19-0 plaque. After all, what else is in the trophy case for that club? Nothing but a certificate for "Most Times You've Thrown Up From Drinking Hurricanes While Watching Two Teams Play a Super Bowl in Your Home Stadium."


4. The NBA's Tooth Fairy

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.1 8.9 18.0

Credentials: For Houston's Carl Landry, a collision with one Dirk Nowitzki elbow to the mouth equals five cracked or knocked-out teeth plus five hours of dental surgery. Because two of Landry's teeth ended up embedded in Dirk's elbow, the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the Tooth Fairy states that Nowitzki is entitled to 40 percent of whatever money Landry finds under his pillow between now and when both fully return to action.


5. Zhu Zhu Hamster

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 8.7 17.5

Credentials: Did you manage to get your hands on the holiday's "it" toy without stepping on the necks of too many soccer moms after they tried to sweep out your legs while battling for position on the Walmart toy aisle? Oh, if you have an extra one you're trying to scalp, maybe give a call to Randy Moss. Some people say he's been looking really hard for one; others say he quit weeks ago.


6. Steelers miracle catch

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.1 8.5 16.6

Credentials: When Mike Wallace dug his tippy toes into the Heinz Field end zone to snatch a 19-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger with nothing but zeroes showing on the clock, it helped erase the sting of five straight losses, including decisions to the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns. Actually, it would take 50 kegs of Steel City Beer to erase that sting. But it was still a stupendous catch, though. Steelers fans will be talking about it all January while other AFC teams run through the playoffs -- and while they're polishing off that 50th keg.


7. Pitcher's duel of baseball trade

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.6 7.4 15.0

Credentials: In a nutshell, the Phillies have Roy Halladay and the Mariners have Cliff Lee. A bunch of other players had to switch places among four teams, which included the A's and Blue Jays. These deals can get complicated, but in the end each team has reason to be happy. Oh, and the Space Needle will have to move to Toronto.


8. King Kobe

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.4 6.2 12.6

Credentials: With the Lakers riding high at 22-4, Kobe Bryant is once again serving notice that he is King of L.A. For example, to mark the debut of ESPN Los Angeles, rumor has it -- OK, I just started the rumor -- that Bryant made a bet with Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez: Whoever draws more hits on the site in 2010 wins a month of the loser's salary (except: no retroactive suspension month if Manny loses).


9. Jonas Brother wedding

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.7 6.1 11.8

Credentials: Kevin Jonas, 22, exchanged "I do's" with a former hairstylist, Danielle Deleasa, 23. As expected, the festivities were lavish and included some quirky celebrity twists. For example, instead of separating guests into "groom's side" and "bride's side," the guests were allowed to seat themselves based on what they thought would last longer: the marriage, or the Jonas Brothers' recording career.


10. Cleveland fantasy explosion

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.4 5.2 10.6

Credentials: Jerome Harrison rushes for 286 yards and three touchdowns for the Browns in Kansas City. In an unrelated story, Mike Holmgren just won the playoffs in his fantasy league.


11. Tiger Woods

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.9 4.5 9.4

Credentials: We were going to make a joke about the latest divorce rumors, but there's not much new news to go on. It's been quiet ... almost a little TOO quiet ... heck, Tiger is going to go through his divorce in silence the same way he always demands silence from the gallery before any swing ... so let's have quiet now ... as the pre-nup is being examined ... and examined ... he's definitely taking his time with this shot ...


12. Jay Cutler

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 4.4 9.1

Credentials: Cheer up, Bears fans. Life isn't over just because your quarterback has thrown an NFL-high 25 interceptions. Well, the season is over, but life isn't. Besides, commissioner Roger Goodell is thinking of implementing a rule that if your starting QB has thrown 26 interceptions in one season, then the league's concussion study group gets immediate postgame dibs on that player's brain.


13. New Jersey Nets

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 3.8 6.9

Credentials: Sure, they're a disgraceful 2-26, but at least they have some dignity. Sources say they just turned down Jay Cutler's request to try out for the team.


Also receiving votes:
• The St. Petersburg Bowl: The game was the Central Florida Knights vs. the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Which means our friends on the TV production side missed an opportunity to create theme music to the tune of the "Itchy and Scratchy" song: "They Knight! And Knight! And Knight and Knight and Knight! Knight-knight-knight! Knight-knight-knight! The UCF and Rutgers bowl!"

• The Mall: Even more popular than sitting in Santa's lap and asking for presents: letting your kids sit in Joe Paterno's lap to ask if they can try on his glasses.

• Mariah Carey: She's filmed a music video to go with coverage of ESPN's NBA Christmas Day games. Wow ... reminds us of those times we ignored the actual gift so we can play with the tinsel.

Never receiving votes:
• Best of the decade lists: We're not against them entirely. Just don't expect to see any here. It's enough of a labor for us to analyze one week of the year and get our math right on the combined polls. You really think we've got the attention span to figure which was our favorite NHL All-Star game since Y2K? Let's move forward, people.

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.