Commentary

Power Rankings: So picky edition

Originally Published: April 26, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

Your life is starting to pick up with the latest picks of the Page 2 Power Rankings! Our formula combines the results of two surveys: a human poll concocted by ESPN Page 2's Greg Hardy and a scientifically calibrated poll generated by computer analysis. Unfortunately, our computer confused ESPN Page 2 contributor Greg Hardy with Mississippi defensive end Greg Hardy, whom the Carolina Panthers drafted in the sixth round, and thus 40 typos were inserted every 4.6 seconds. To the results!

1. NFL Draft Grades

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.8 9.5 19.3

Credentials: How did your team do? Did it fill its needs? Did it trade down? Did it jokingly hand a draft announcement card to Roger Goodell with the name "Ron Mexico" scrawled on it? Before you get too judgmental about your club's haul, keep this in mind: The gamesmanship involved in the NFL draft has gotten so intricate that now some teams make selections specifically so they will not improve performance on the field this year to ensure they will get high draft picks next year. A front office figures: Who cares whether the fans are furious when the team goes 3-13 if the brain trust can earn compliments from one of 335 on-air draft gurus during prime TV-viewing time?


2. Yankees Visit White House

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 8.8 18.5

Credentials: Ho-hum, another visit to Pennsylvania Avenue from the Bronx's World Series champs. Derek Jeter is a pro at this by now, so he'd better give this advice to Oval Office newbie A-Rod: Whatever you do, don't tick off Obama by walking across the presidential seal.


3. 2010 QB Class

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.5 8.2 16.7

Credentials: It doesn't matter whether you think Tim Tebow will be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback right after the Denver Broncos switch their logo to a cartoon unicorn. Or whether you believe that Sam Bradford will hurt twice as many shoulders at the pro level as he did in college. Or whether you expect Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead to pool their signing bonuses and pretend that's how much they'd have earned if one of them had been a first-round pick. The No. 1 way that history will judge this quarterback class will hinge on this question: Who will be the first to be traded to the Raiders?


4. Peekaboo Puck in the Pants

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.6 8.3 15.9

Credentials: For the rest of his life, no airport-security-line pat-down will rival the embarrassment suffered by Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi in the opening period of Game 5 against Nashville. Referees had to suspend play for several minutes to find a wayward puck that had burrowed into his skivvies as the entire arena watched. Hint for Gary Bettman to broaden the NHL's appeal with women: rent out licensed "bachelorette party hockey puck pat-downs" by hiring male strippers to creatively re-enact this scene. And of course, the bride-to-be can keep the puck as a souvenir after the buffed-out boys find it.


5. Kevin Kennedy: Air Marshal

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.2 8.1 15.3

Credentials: Did it take much to get the former major league manager to be among the group of airline passengers who took out a man after he reportedly threatened to blow up their L.A.-to-Tampa red-eye flight? "I elected to get unbuckled and take him out, as did the other guys," Kennedy said. "That's the choice we made without talking." Finally, some unwritten rules from a baseball guy that everyone can agree on.


6. Dwyane Wade's Hot Hand

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.3 6.1 12.4

Credentials: Give the Miami star a hand for scoring 46 points Sunday, with 30 in the second half, as the Heat waved off Boston's hopes for a series sweep. And talk about iconic highlight footage: Wade was so amazed at sinking a 3-pointer that he theatrically cheered his right hand as he dashed upcourt. Hey, Dwyane, if you're nice enough to that hand, maybe it will sign some Heat memorabilia for you. Just hurry before it gets dealt out of Miami.


7. NFL Draft Juggernaut

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.0 5.8 11.8

Credentials: The only way the NFL's initial prime-time staging of its draft on Thursday could have been more successful were if Ndamukong Suh had posed with his Lions jersey and then declared himself eligible for the next season of "Dancing with the Stars." And for any competing sports leagues or prime-time entertainment programming that's complaining the NFL is overstepping its bounds by muscling into this time slot, here's some advice: Be more entertaining than grown men in suits reading names off cards once every 10 minutes. Maybe next year, "American Idol" can flex its muscles by having contestants as fast as they can sing the names in the Hollywood phone book out loud.


8. Big Ten Expansion

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.4 10.6

Credentials: If this story is true, college football is officially mad with power. Reports say not only that the conference is gunning for a total of 16 teams but also that university presidents are urging the White House to invade Canada so that the Big Ten can annex some CFL teams. Who's up for tailgating at the Michigan-Hamilton Tiger-Cats game?


9. Pittsburgh Steelers' PR Department

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.9 4.8 9.7

Credentials: Online draft gurus already have identified the Steelers' top first-round need for the 2011 draft: a black-and-gold rock to hide under until all this bad PR blows away.


10. NASCAR Feuds

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.1 8.3

Credentials: Can Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon run a race without smashing into each other? We'll hold off on labeling this a Donovan McNabb-T.O. rivalry until an urban legend starts up that one of them threw up on his floorboard during a pit stop.


11. Pete Carroll

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.9 7.9

Credentials: Just about everything went perfectly for the former USC coach in his first draft with the Seattle Seahawks. But everyone has critics. For example, safety Taylor Mays expressed his displeasure that Carroll picked Texas safety Earl Thomas with the 14th overall pick. Mays, if you haven't heard, played for Carroll for four years with the Trojans but fell to the 49th pick when San Francisco selected him. Reportedly, Mays isn't merely upset that Carroll backed off a promise on NFL millions but also had gone ahead and gotten his part of identical "Seattle + Carroll 4Ever" tattoos inked across his thigh.


12. Joakim Noah

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.7 3.5 7.2

Credentials: His final stats Sunday were 21 points, 20 rebounds and a 121-98 Chicago loss to Cleveland. Now, the No. 1 thing Noah needs to advance in the playoffs would be a Cavaliers uniform. If he wants to get one and sneak into the other locker room for Game 5, he'll have to order it online, because there's no chance he'd be able to buy one in a Cleveland Foot Locker. Better luck next city, you mock.


13. Kentucky Derby

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.8 2.1 5.9

Credentials: Internet conspiracy theorists are already all over the case of presumed favorite Eskendereya being held out of Saturday's race. Their proof: No orders for medicines that would treat a swollen left leg have been ordered by his team; meanwhile, emergency gallons of backup mint juleps have been rushed to Churchill Downs. Maybe Eskendereya just has to sleep it off.


Also receiving votes:
• "Avatar" on Blu-ray: Deleted scenes include (1) James Cameron's hidden microphones picking up curse words from Tiger Woods XII as he plays through the rough of Pandora's jungles, and (2) Woods XII going to rehab to treat his addiction to unobtanium.

• 68-team NCAA field: Considering how the NCAA just approved 35 football bowl games per year through 2013, it's a sad statement on college sports when we breathe a sigh of relief that the number of teams allowed in March Madness will continue to be fewer than the number of football teams eligible for postseason play.

Never receiving votes:
• "MacGruber" trailer: Great, another lame "Saturday Night Live" character gets a full-length movie. Why don't they make a movie about the morons in that "Jersey Shore" sketch they did a while back? Yeah, we know that's a parody of an actual MTV reality show, but at least at the box office they'd draw in fans from both shows.

• Mr. Irrelevant: Yeah, whatever. Good luck storming the castle.

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.