Commentary

Power Rankings: Selection edition

Originally Published: March 15, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

Welcome to another edition of the Page 2 Power Rankings! Our formula combines the results of two surveys -- a human poll concocted by Page 2's Greg Hardy, and a scientifically calibrated poll generated by computer analysis. Unfortunately, the computer we tapped was an iPad prototype that used as its battery source positive vibes from Ozzie Guillen's Twitter feed. To the results!

1. 65 Seeds

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
10.0 9.9 19.9

Credentials: We were all set to come up with a gimmick of researching 65 different plant seeds and comparing them to the NCAA field of 65, in the interest of analyzing how Mother Nature compares to individual teams in terms of survivability and determination to grow. But we accidentally dropped the seeds down a sewer grate. But maybe if we wait three weeks, we'll see which seed has sprouted the strongest roots and shot up the most to meet the warm glow of sunlight and prove itself supreme in the face of … OK, that's the last time we try to write one of these Power Rankings columns after an eight-hour Farmville bender.


2. The Magic of Brackets

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.6 9.4 19.0

Credentials: You don't still fill out your bracket in pencil on a photocopied piece of paper, do you? C'mon, let's get more advanced than the days from when the Xerox machine was the most high-tech gadget in your office. Instead of chipping in $5 to Billy from accounting, sign up and play in these free online contests that offer big prizes. Not only do sports media sites offer them, but so do your local TV stations, radio stations and newspapers. Enter as many as you can! Not only is clicking through the brackets a contest, so is finding the most obscure Web site that offers the most obscure prize. It's one thing for your local ABC affiliate to offer a flat-screen TV -- but there's got to be a snack-cake company that's offering an all-expense dream vacation to the Gonzaga campus. Don't forget to pick a No. 12 seed over a No. 5 seed!


3. Manny Pacquiao

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.1 8.9 18.0

Credentials: There's an old expression in Texas: "At Cowboys Stadium, 51,000 boxing fans can't be wrong." Well, anyone there thinking Joshua Clottey could win by hardly ever attempting a punch would have been wrong. And while Jerry Jones feels vindicated that his world-class facility could attract such crowds, he must still be kicking himself about not having that giant high-def screen built in time so he could show off a super-sized Terrell Owens punching Tony Romo in the teeth.


4. David Beckham's Achilles Injury

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.1 8.5 16.6

Credentials: Fate has dealt a fatal blow to the iconic soccer star's hopes of playing in his fourth World Cup. The best fans can hope for is that he might someday be able to come back to the pitch for the Los Angeles Galaxy. But that will depend not only on the skill of Beckham's surgeons, but on whether Major League Soccer can stay viable for long enough.


5. Lady Gaga's "Telephone" Video

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.0 7.9 15.9

Credentials: Well, give Lady Gaga and Beyonce an "A" for effort in making a strip-club version of a Quentin Tarantino film. Now Gaga, we'd never dream of asking you to stop gyrating or getting glammed up, but think of it from this angle: If Quentin Tarantino wanted you to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie, he'd probably cast you as the lead in his upcoming salute to 1950s grade-B sci-fi movies: "Space Vixens From Outer Space."


6. LT to the Jets

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.1 15.0

Credentials: Forget about the psychological impact of your job being relocated from San Diego to New Jersey. Does LaDainian Tomlinson think he's going to race his way to the heart of the Big Apple? Because nothing ever goes fast in bridge and tunnel traffic.


7. Major Conference Season-Ending Tournaments

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.4 7.5 14.9

Credentials: We're not saying the impact of these postseason mini-dances have been diminished for the big boys. But we're still waiting for some teams who were bounced on the first day of the ACC tournament to come pick up their participation trophies at the rec center. Oh, and don't forget to sign up to bring juice boxes for games next season!


8. Boston Celtics

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.8 6.5 13.3

Credentials: What are your St. Patrick's Day plans? Well, you better get your partying done quickly. Because if the creaky Celtics lose at home Wednesday night to the Knicks, the whole holiday might get canceled.


9. Girly Baseball Gear

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.5 5.8 12.3

Credentials: Victoria's Secret's PINK line of T-shirts, tanks, shorts and other flirty stylings will be emblazoned with the logos of Major League Baseball teams … but only in 11 markets to start. Popularity-contest winners naturally include the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Angels and Cardinals. So what about the ladies who want to get their sexy on with teams like the Indians and Reds? Guess they'll have to resort to the usual: paper bags over their heads.


10. The National Invitational Tournament

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 5.4 11.2

Credentials: If we had told you North Carolina and UConn would be in the field, you'd have thought Jerry Jones had bought the event, boosted the payouts to the schools by 10 times, and moved its Final Four into Cowboys Stadium. Alas, not.


11. Brady Quinn to Denver

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 5.6 10.7

Credentials: The quarterback who plummeted to the 22nd pick of the 2007 draft has learned a valuable lesson: Of the many things in life worth waiting for, being drafted by the Browns is never one of them.


12. UConn Women's Basketball

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.1 5.2 9.3

Credentials: Let's see, they've won 72 games in a row, and are aiming for their second consecutive national title and seventh overall. Yeah, this women's tournament is gong to be murder to figure out. Can we just write "UConn" in every blank space on the bracket and leave it at that?


13. Iditarod

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.6 4.1 7.7

Credentials: Yes, this year's race appears to have boiled down to an endurance test between former champions Lance Mackey and Jeff King. But why are the headlines claiming "Iditarod Becomes Two-Man Race"? The doggies would definitely disagree with that statement.


Also receiving votes:
• Youngest Person To Row Solo Across An Ocean: We're still waiting to confirm that the reason why Katie Spotz, 22, crossed the Atlantic by her lonesome was so she wouldn't have to watch "Jersey Shore."

• Tiger Watch: Forget about guessing which tournament Woods will return for. What's this about Ari Fleischer being his new caddy?

• Peter Graves, R.I.P.: In honor of your immeasurable contributions to "Airplane!", we hope Otto Pilot can fly to your memorial to deliver a eulogy.

Never receiving votes:
• Rachel Alexandra, Back in Training: Sorry, Zenyatta. No $5 million showdown this time. If you still want to stage a high-stakes race, tell Jimmie Johnson you'll race him one lap for that much. J.J. would be on foot, of course, but offer to spot him a 100-yard head start.

• Those "Other" Tournaments: Yes, there's something joyful and pure to be said for players extending their seasons in the College Basketball Invitational or CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Just don't look at us to put any money down on the results. There's too much of a risk that a game could come down to a bench player who'd rather be on spring break.

• 2010 Census Forms: Funny coincidence -- if while you're filling it out, a Counting Crows song comes on the radio. Creepy coincidence -- while you're filling it out, Europe's "The Final Countdown" comes on the radio. Wait, that 2012 stuff won't be real, will it? Earth won't be down to a few hundred survivors by 2020, right?

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.