Commentary

Power Rankings: Crosby edition

Originally Published: March 1, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

You've traveled due north to another edition of 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, our computer keeps locking up every time it runs a Google search for "Bob Costas Always Enjoyable Giant Inflatable Beaver." To the results!

1. Sidney Saves The (Canadian) World

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.8 9.8 19.6

Credentials: The following three changes have been submitted for the next edition of the Official Dictionary of Canada: "Unthinkable: The U.S. hockey team forcing overtime in the gold-medal game against Canada with 25 seconds left." … "Unfathomable: The thought of losing the gold-medal hockey game of the 2010 Winter Olympics to the United States in overtime." … and "Crosbylicious: YEEHOOOAHHHHWW!!!!!!." Available June 2010 at Tim Hortons outlets everywhere.


2. Michael Jordan Buys Bobcats

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 9.5 18.3

Credentials: Investors can never go wrong with the advice "Buy low, sell high." In MJ's case, he's taking controlling interest of an NBA franchise that's about as bottomed-out as you can get. Except for those New Jersey Nets, but they just got bought by a Russian billionaire. Here's to the upcoming McDonald's commercial three years from now in which MJ and the Russian billionaire go wild-shot-for-wild-shot on a basketball court to determine who's going to sell off his team for the price of a Big Mac.


3. NFL Combine

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.2 8.4 16.6

Credentials: Ah, nothing like Indianapolis in February to get the blood pumping for draft hopefuls who want to run, jump, throw and catch under the watchful eyes of GMs. But word is there's a new, secret, vital exercise to compare along with 40-yard dash times and vertical leaps: Can you bench-press the amount of hype required to make this non-event seem as though the fate of the free world hinges on these jerks performing random, tedious tests? And because that's not a physical thing that can be lifted, here's where all those athletes' "intangibles" come into play. It's very theoretical at this point. Pardon our imaginary dust.


4. Final Medal Table

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.5 7.8 16.3

Credentials: So who deserves the most bragging rights? The Americans hauled in a historic 37 total medals, but the host Canadians made good on their home-icicle advantage to nab the most gold medals with 14. Fortunately, since the back of each medal contains clues to a treasure map that leads to Sochi, Russia, bragging rights will go to whoever figures out the clues and finds the hidden cache of 100 gold medals that weren't handed out this year. So that's the dilemma for our best and brightest athletes: train for 2014, or hope someone figures out the clues first. It would be quite an amazing race. Oh wait, that title's already been taken.


5. Syracuse Basketball

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.1 8.1 16.2

Credentials: The Carrier Dome was Orange-Crushin' on Saturday night, as 34,616 were on hand to watch Villanova get squeezed 95-77. There's only one way for that atmosphere to become more electric: Hold more than one game there at a time. Think about the NCAA opening-round weekend possibilities! The arena floor can fit two courts end-to-end, and what the heck, have one built for the roof. Who wouldn't be in favor of Roofball? NHL Winter Classic, you might have brought hockey outdoors, but you didn't start playing on the roof. Everyone's gotta stay a step ahead in this economy (said the writer who came up with an idea for free that other people can make millions off of).


6. NHL's Got Next

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 7.9 15.0

Credentials: All the world got to see the best hockey these past few weeks, thanks to the NHL shutting down so its pros could skate their hearts out for their country. What a gift, not just for die-hard fans, but for casual fans who were drawn to the immediacy of each game. The No. 1 thing new fans learned is that hockey, when at its best, is a game of momentum swings. Riding strong momentum is critical! Yup, so cue NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to start waffling that momentum right under the Zamboni. Maybe NHL players will be allowed to be at the 2014 games; maybe not. Just make sure those Columbus Blue Jackets versus Minnesota Wild games start on time back here in the States, OK?


7. The NCAA Bubble

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.4 7.4 14.8

Credentials: We're on the bandwagon of people who are disappointed that bubble team Rhode Island (1-4 in its past four games) has fallen off the face of the earth. That's right, Rhode Island is plummeting! It's in free fall! A black hole! It's absolutely vanished! Wait a minute … would anyone really be upset if we lost the real state of Rhode Island forever through some rip in the space-time fabric? Then again, who'd be able to tell?


8. Shaq's Thumb

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.9 7.1 14.0

Credentials: There are about seven weeks left in the NBA regular season, but The Big Thumb is about to have surgery that will require being sidelined for six to eight weeks. Where's a good thumb when you need one? Here's where: Maybe scientists could figure out a way to clone film critic Roger Ebert's famous thumbs? Then again, Ebert's thumb never was the same after he turned it way down for 1996's "Kazaam."


9. Terrell Owens

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.1 5.6 11.7

Credentials: Never fear, T.O.! We've got the perfect landing space for you now that you're no longer welcome in Buffalo. Let's sign him to the team in Los Angeles! OK, right now there is no NFL team in Los Angeles. But he doesn't have to know that. Tell him the Jaguars are moving there, give him some teal and black gear and let him prance around Southern California all fall as though he were part of such an organization! That way he's not bothering any actual offenses that are trying to earn an important playoff berth. And who knows, maybe according to the law, this could go a long way toward setting up some "squatter's rights" to this territory while he's waiting for the team bus that will never arrive.


10. NFL Overtime

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.0 4.9 9.9

Credentials: We sports fans love us some sudden-death Olympic hockey overtime! But we flaming hate sudden-death NFL overtime. The good news is the NFL office says it will look into tweaking overtime rules for playoff games. The bad news is that Brett Favre will be put in charge of deciding those tweaks. If that's the case, we'll know what to expect four minutes before the first playoff game of 2010-11 kicks off. Maybe it would switch to college's "Texas tiebreaker" format. Maybe the winning team is declared based on the starting QB who's older and has a grayer, more stubble-riddled chin. It's all up for grabs at this point.


11. Spring Training Investigations

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 4.4 9.2

Credentials: New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was interviewed for 45 minutes by the FBI last week. The story fed to the public is that it's in connection with a Canadian doctor who might be supplying questionable therapy to pro athletes. What a relief. For a minute, we thought the Feds had been called in to figure out why the Mets have been sucking so much each year. Then again, it would take more than 45 minutes of detective work to figure that out.


12. Danica Patrick

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.1 4.5 8.6

Credentials: She crashed her car in a Nationwide race again, this time in Vegas. Danica, our offer still stands: If you want to put this stock car racing thing on the back burner, we'd be glad to have you join one of our inaugural professional women's curling league teams. You remember what league we were talking about. That's right, the G.L.O.C. … Gorgeous Ladies of Curling. Feel free to make a promo that makes the GoDaddy spots look like C-SPAN interviews of historical authors.


13. Vancouver's Closing Ceremonies

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.6 3.5 7.1

Credentials: Forgive our lack of Olympic attendance etiquette, but here was the No. 1 question we had about the closing ceremonies of any Olympics (other than, "If we pretend William Shatner's not here, will he go away on his own?"). Basically, it's this: How early is too early to leave a closing ceremonies to beat the traffic? Maybe 20 minutes before it's over? Maybe two minutes after it starts? It is the closing ceremonies, after all. The whole point of putting on this show is that they want us to leave. Of course, we'd skip the whole thing entirely if we had been invited to the Canada women's hockey team's victory party.


Also receiving votes:
• Oscar Countdown: We're zeroing in on Sunday night's ceremony. Have you seen all the nominated movies yet? Just remember, "The Hurt Locker" doesn't depict a Jose Canseco versus Herschel Walker cage match.

• Warren Buffett: The billionaire investor released his annual stockholder letter, and points out ways in which the economy is rebounding. However, once again it appears he doesn't list Chicago Cubs season tickets among his examples of wise investments.

Never receiving votes:
• Being Thirsty: Now that Gatorade has ended its sponsorship deal with him, maybe Tiger Woods can start endorsing Kool-Aid. But instead of smashing through a brick wall like Kool-Aid Man does, Tiger would drive over a fire hydrant -- a fire hydrant that gushes Kool-Aid.

• Jimmy Johnson: Not that we want to see him hawk those pills on TV, but we're wondering if he ever thought about comparing a big boost out of nowhere to lucking into a one-sided trade with the Minnesota Vikings.

• Olympic Fantasy Sports: Here's my excuse for ending up ranked 21,545th in the ESPN Vancouver Pick'em contest: I submitted all my guesses via tape delay.

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.