Power Rankings: Unity edition

Originally Published: September 13, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

You've got a free personal seat license for the first Page 2 Power Rankings of the NFL regular season! 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 had to be rebooted as a penalty for taunting once it realized it had survived Week 1 of its win-or-die pool because it picked Houston to beat Indy. Well, the taunting, plus, would you trust any computer that told you the Texans could beat the Colts by double digits? To the results!

1. NFL player solidarity

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.1 9.3 18.4

Credentials: Although it's usually a cliche that an NFL player who wags a single finger at the crowd is going to get fined by Roger Goodell for a good old-fashioned obscene gesture, there were many games in the opening weekend that started with players standing together and raising their arms as one to raise awareness of their stand against the owners in collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Uh, except for those games where nobody did that. The whole situation is still a little confusing right now. We certainly don't want this dance to end in a lockout next year, but we also don't want these players' messages to culminate in a Super Bowl halftime commercial in which Drew Brees uses a PowerPoint presentation to break down the owners' tax returns to show us how many billions they're actually stuffing into their mansions' mattresses.

2. Michael Vick, Philly's semi-savior

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.0 9.1 18.1

Credentials: Wow, that was lightning-fast! No, not the dual-threat quarterback lighting up the Packers for 103 yards rushing and 175 yards and one touchdown passing in one half of action. We mean this was the fastest an Eagles season got ripped in half without the help of Donovan McNabb.

3. Lady Gaga meat suit

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.4 17.0

Credentials: Although it's equally impressive that she won eight MTV Video Music Awards and wore something that's sending the Google search result for "meat suit" into the millions, we wonder whether she realizes her one shortfall -- that anyone who wins nine VMAs in one ceremony automatically gets a coupon for one free year's worth of steaks at Ruth's Chris.

4. Tom Brady's ride

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.9 15.8

Credentials: What's the biggest surprise from the news of his car crash this weekend? That he walked away unhurt from his Audi uber-sedan after someone else allegedly ran a red light? Or that he isn't all the time driving around in some Christopher Nolan-style Batmobile with breakaway batcycle that would still get him to practice on time in the event the main car is destroyed?

5. Ryan Moore's style

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.2 7.7 14.9

Credentials: How about a golf clap for the dapper 27-year-old who showed up at the BMW Championship in a sweater-vest and necktie? Such a throwback statement is something not everyone could pull off. In fact, anyone who tries to copy it now will look downright silly. But it gives us an idea that could motivate Tiger Woods: How about while he's a backup on the Ryder Cup team he has to dress like a fraternity pledge until he can prove he can start sinking birdie putts again?

6. Champion Kevin Durant

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.6 12.8

Credentials: Nothing wraps up a summer of globetrotting for the young American basketball team like some of the U-S-A! U-S-A! flag-waving that goes with winning the FIBA World Championship. But if we could ask one question of the tournament MVP at the postgame news conference, it'd be this: In which spot on the globe would it feel better to win a world championship -- Istanbul or Oklahoma City?

7. U.S. Open rain delay

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 5.5 11.3

Credentials: The world had to wait an extra day for Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to swing for their major title -- the third year in a row that rain has dampened the men's final. Given that we can't expect New York to spring for a roof for Arthur Ashe Stadium any time soon, why can't we find an indoor facility at the ready -- like play it in the New York City subway system? Don't worry about lighting the tunnels, the D train will take care of that every few minutes. Besides, it'd speed up the game and make much better television.

8. College football surprises

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.6 10.8

Credentials: What was the biggest shocker of the latest weekend? That Michigan is ahead of Notre Dame in the rebuilding race? That the ACC was exposed for being the ACC? That Alabama's depth chart is as thick as JoePa's old glasses? Or that we went a whole seven and a half minutes without an agent being accused of having half the All-American team on his payroll?

9. Bruce Pearl

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.4 10.7

Credentials: The University of Tennessee is scaling back the pay of its previously jovial basketball coach by $1.5 million over five years for admittedly lying to NCAA investigators. Wow, if that's the going rate for Volunteers coaches who can't seem to tell the truth, Lane Kiffin must owe enough money to pay off the war in Afghanistan.

10. World's largest chocolate bar

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 5.5 10.2

Credentials: Get your Guinness records on, chocolate lovers in Armenia! What's 10 inches thick, measures more than 18 feet by 9 feet, and weighs 9,720 pounds? No, it's not what New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft commissioned as a good-faith gesture to Randy Moss as a down payment on a new contract. But it would be entertaining if Kraft ordered a chunk shipped overseas to Foxborough for just such a purpose.

11. Ray Lewis commercials

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 4.7 9.5

Credentials: If we weren't under the influence of B.O. fumes, we'd swear we were hallucinating at the site of the Baltimore defender flying a giant raven through outer space and blowing up a planet with a laser blast. But what planet deserves such a fate? We can certainly envision Princess Leia pleading, "No! Pittsburghia is a peaceful planet!"

12. Pete Rose revisited

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.6 4.3 8.9

Credentials: Hey, who was that overweight guy in the No. 14 Reds jersey waving to the crowd from first base at Great American Ball Park on Saturday? Oh, it's Pete Rose, betting you're ready to join him to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the hit that gave him the major league record. So what do you think was more important to Rose: the (albeit temporary) acceptance of the baseball establishment to honor his record … or that he now has a jersey with a milestone attached to it that he can auction off? Certificate of authenticity available upon request.

13. Jets overexposure

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.1 2.4 4.5

Credentials: "Hard Knocks" this. Rex Ryan that. Mark Sanchez in the morning, LT in the evening, Darrelle Revis at suppertime. Hey, New York Jets publicity machine: Brett Favre called and says you're overdoing it until you've actually qualified for the playoffs.

Also receiving votes
• James Madison: There isn't an overwhelming number of public monuments to this Founding Father. But for the work his school just did in tilting the BCS a tad, America should honor this patriot by putting his face on some form of currency. How about a playoff system commemorative nickel?

Never receiving votes
• Forgetting to fill out your fantasy roster: Oh wait, you say you had a lineup of Jay Cutler, Chris Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall, Hakeem Nicks, Steve Breaston and the Seattle defense, but it wasn't until 7 p.m. Sunday that you realized you had never hit the "Set Lineup" button? So you lost to the worst team in your league 33-0? Better luck next year.

Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at

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Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at