- Greg Hardy, Page 2
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Welcome to that stretch of stoppage time known as 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, we suspect our computer has been talking smack about us behind our backs to Rolling Stone. Guess we'll find out next issue. To the results!
1. World Cup refs
Credentials: The worst thing about the worst World Cup officiating ever is that it gives newcomers a false impression of what the game is all about. For example, the term "goal differential" isn't supposed to compare how many balls are put in the net versus how many goals referees allow on the scoreboard. Although, in their defense, how do you expect these guys to concentrate with all that vuvuzela noise?
2. Bob Bradley's job
Credentials: Memo to sore-loser, ugly-American spectators: There's no need to show your ignorance by firing up a FireBobBradley.com site. Yes, the man coaches his own son on the U.S. national team, but you should have been able to figure out by now that his son is really good. Of course, if Bradley showed up trying to get a daughter on the team out of the blue, then you'd have probable cause.
3. LeBron James' destination
Credentials: Are you ready for hyperventilation overload? Get ready for media outlets to have more predictions about where the free-agent MVP will end up than Kobe Bryant has NBA championship rings.
Credentials: So what, London? Your national soccer team got wiped out 4-1 by Germany. Follow the lead of us Yanks and turn your attention to waiting for the NFL to start. Remember, they're sending a game to Wembley Stadium in October. This year, it's the 49ers against the Broncos, so we'll even let you meet Tim Tebow for a few minutes. See? You're feeling better already.
Credentials: The latest cinematic installment of the "Twilight" saga debuted on more than 4,000 movie screens this week. We hear this is the one in which zombies rise up and battle the vampires and werewolves. Oh, wait, correction: The zombies are the ones sitting in the theaters.
6. Florida Marlins managerial job
Credentials: We're not saying the team is strapped when it comes to shelling out for a new manager. Maybe they did have to redeem hotel points in Puerto Rico this week. But we've heard reports that ownership is interviewing their resort's scuba instructor for the position. If that's true, don't hold your breath for the money to start flowing anytime soon.
Credentials: Here's the most confusing thing about the aftermath of the Isner-Mahut marathon: The immediate commentator reaction was "We'll never see a match like that again in our lifetime!" Uh ... how do they know that with such certainty? What if a Federer-Nadal final goes on so long they're still trading serves when the U.S. Open starts? Actually, Andy Roddick is probably rooting for that to happen.
8. Dugout drama
Credentials: Carlos Zambrano blows up in the Cubs' dugout. B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria go at it in the Rays' dugout. MLB should set up an interleague series between Chicago and Tampa Bay in which tantrums are counted as errors -- just to make the outcomes more official and more embarrassing.
9. NBA draft
Credentials: Wow, that was amazing -- five Kentucky players were selected in this year's first round. That's more talent than John Calipari ever had as coach of the Nets.
10. Adam Sandler vs. Tom Cruise
Credentials: Both stars had their latest flicks outearned in their opening weekend by "Toy Story 3," and these might have been the problems: Cruise spent so much time selling "Knight and Day" from the seat of his motorcycle that we couldn't see where his headlight started and his teeth ended; and Sandler surrounded himself in "Grown Ups" with so many cast members that the audience got fed up waiting for the scene where he rides a motorcycle with Cameron Diaz on the back.
11. Rosenblatt Stadium
Credentials: No matter whether the UCLA Bruins or the South Carolina Gamecocks win the College World Series, in a sense both teams are winners because they know they got to play the final historic games in this Omaha landmark. Another way in which each team would be a winner is if they played the Pittsburgh Pirates.
12. Fireworks shopping spree
Credentials: Who needs a hand getting ready for Fourth of July festivities? More importantly, which of your idiot neighbors is going to lose a hand because that last fuse burned too quickly?
13. Lance Armstrong
Credentials: You know it's Tour de France time when accusations of cheating in cycling start gearing up. Will Armstrong's team sponsor, RadioShack, be accused of helping make his bike illegally high-tech? C'mon, even the most advanced iPod earbuds can't provide a competitive advantage.
Also receiving votes
• Pacquiao the Politician: The boxer has been sworn in as a Philippine congressman. Americans will be ready for boxers to arrive in office once C-Span switches to pay-per-view.
Never receiving votes
• Kanye's volcano: In case you're wondering, that wasn't a set built exclusively for his entrance at the BET Awards. That was actually furniture from Kanye's guest bedroom.
Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.
World Cup referees pull out a red card on Page 2's Power Rankings.