Commentary

Power Rankings: Masters edition

Originally Published: April 12, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It's another Page 2 Power Rankings like no other! 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 was pumping out data from a Nicolas Cage mansion and got interrupted when it was nearly sold at a foreclosure auction and is now being put to work on a screenplay for "National Treasure 3: Nixon's Gold." To the results!

1. The Green Jacket

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.9 9.8 19.7

Credentials: In terms of what onlookers were focused on going into the Masters, Phil Mickelson might have picked the worst possible weekend to try to survive the tawdry media spotlight. Instead, his rousing victory provided the perfect family-values moonbeam. So in honor of this historic, unforgettable triumph, can we get the Augusta higher-ups to sew together something a little more off-the-chain than a standard green jacket? First of all, Phil already owned two. We're thinking a green superhero cape with a big "M" on the chest, a green set of tights, a green utility belt and grappling hook, a green jet pack and a ginormous, green LeftyMobile from Buick. Hey, Billy Payne, you said the kiddies need someone to look up to, right? Now sell them the collectible green LeftyMan action figure.


2. Tiger Woods' Cussin'

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.2 18.7

Credentials: Psst! Tiger! We know it's been a while since you've golfed in public, but remember, this is live TV! The microphone's on! Once you promise into a microphone that you're going to control yourself, you can't then be out of control with the potty mouth when the microphone's nearby! Maybe this explains Nike's creative decision for the Earl Woods voice-over in its new commercial. Every time they gave Tiger a script to memorize, a stream of ad-libbed filth-flarn-filth came out of his mouth. Finally, the director figured, "Forget it! Just have him stare blankly into the camera. That way, even if he's cursing us with his eyes, at least it will look poignant."


3. Santonio Holmes

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.1 8.8 17.9

Credentials: Do we really think the Steelers are so stewpid they'd fall for the old "We'll trade you a fifth-round draft pick for a Super Bowl MVP trick"? Does Holmes really think he can be the MVP of Super Bowl XLV for a team that hasn't been to the Super Bowl since Super Bowl III? That said, with this many targets in the Jets' offense, do we move Mark Sanchez up two rounds in the next fantasy draft? That's the important question.


4. Texas Stadium

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.5 17.1

Credentials: Meanwhile, in Irving, Texas, the home of the Dallas Cowboys for 38 seasons finally met a visiting opponent for which there was no defense: dynamite. This being Texas, of course, the implosion turned into a tailgating event for 20,000 fans. But you know what missed out on a huge promotional opportunity? The newly re-established Arena Football League. How about this for a gimmick: They would play the ArenaBowl under the Texas Stadium roof with a countdown clock ticking the whole time, and they'd have to finish their game and escape before the place goes "KA-BA-BLOOMEY!!!!!" Think indoor football meets "24." Hey, you'd see the fastest hurry-up offense of all time, guaranteed.


5. Barry Bonds

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.6 7.3 14.9

Credentials: In a six-minute talk with the media, baseball's home run king said he was "proud" of Mark McGwire because he confessed to taking performance-enhancing drugs. We were trying to think up a good scandal-related gag of something else Bonds would be proud of, but we were too busy suppressing our gag reflex after typing a description of Bonds as "baseball's home run king."


6. New Supreme Court Justice

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.2 7.1 14.3

Credentials: Out goes Justice John Paul Stevens; in comes the debate in Washington of who gets to replace him in the seat he's had since 1975. The Power Rankings Political Action Machine already knows the name it would submit: umpire Joe West. Hey, we haven't vetted whether he'd side with the left or the right, but at least we know he'd want the rest of the SCOTUS to crank out those rulings pronto.


7. "Date Night"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.7 6.7 13.4

Credentials: Tina Fey and Steve Carell won the weekend box office by earning $27.1 million, which ought to be enough to pay the baby-sitter. Not bad for two actors who are trying to match their TV success on the big screen. And reportedly the original script was written to star Tiki Barber as the husband, but the studio couldn't figure out whom it would cast for his co-star.


8. Your tax return

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.4 10.6

Credentials: It's due Thursday, you know. And did you know you can write off the cost of your 3-D TV as a business expense if you can document that you use the enhanced imagery to make better-educated bets in the course of your sports gambling? Well, we're not entirely sure the IRS will buy that, so you try that excuse first, and we'll amend our return if you don't get audited.


9. NFL draft

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 5.1 9.9

Credentials: Time is running out for Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders to decide whether they will use their No. 8 pick in the first round on Tim Tebow -- to play linebacker.


10. Spring college football games

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.5 4.8 9.3

Credentials: Yup, 50,000 fans show up at stadiums throughout the South to watch meaningless intrasquad scrimmages. Imagine how many would show up if the university presidents teamed with a TV network to instigate a "spring college football playoff system." Yes, someday we would like to get promoted from ESPN Page 2 Power Rankings freelancer to the ranks of programming chiefs.


11. Stephen Strasburg

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.1 8.3

Credentials: The Nationals' $15.1 million man smoked Double-A competition for five innings to earn his first professional win. It'd be quite a grand plan if the 21-year-old could get full control of his stuff for the majors in the summer. It will help if the Nationals can make sure he throws for them in The Show against only the Mets, Pirates and Astros.


12. Oprah Winfrey

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.9 7.9

Credentials: A new tell-all book is hitting stands, and, as usual with high and mighty celebrities, it's the stories of their crashes that are more engrossing than their success. For riveting reading, check out the chapter that describes her failed bid to persuade coach Geno Auriemma to let her play forward for the UConn women's team this season. Oprah's thinking: If the Huskies are 78-wins-in-a-row awesome, how unbeatable would they be with her as starter?


13. Augusta Media Lottery

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.1 3.3 7.4

Credentials: It's one of the little-known perks of covering the Masters. Every year there's a drawing for some lucky hacks to play a round the Monday after the green jacket is handed out. An even bigger perk is that for every hole they can par, the reporters get a 10-yard head start for running back to their rental car once they're done before the members release the hounds to chase them off.


Also receiving votes:
• Frozen Four: Congratulations to Boston College for icing Wisconsin 5-0 in the NCAA ice hockey final. In terms of college rivalries, we rate a Boston College-Wisconsin hockey championship way ahead of a football national championship game but slightly behind a spring break house party.

Never receiving votes:
• Fantasy baseball: Next year, we have to figure a way to generate points from the way Detroit stranded 18 men on base but still won.

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.