Commentary

Power Rankings: Hoax edition

Originally Published: September 20, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It may or may not be time for the latest 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 has been so stupefyingly indecisive lately, when we asked it which Manning brother it liked the most in Week 2, it told us "Olivia". To the results!

1. Icing the Phoenix

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 9.8 19.5

Credentials: OK, the truth is out there. Joaquin Phoenix's dive off the deep end for his documentary "I'm Still Here" was a put-on. Really? That's shocking? Can those of us who saw through it this whole time win some kind of prize? If you want to make it up to us, do us this favor. The best way we can avoid this garbage in the future is to borrow that one rule of pro and college football that everyone wants to get rid of -- icing the kicker. Coaches get to ice the opposing kicker for unsportsmanlike reasons. There should be some way that sports and pop culture watchdogs can throw the challenge flag to ice the things that make no sense. We should be able to ice the greenlight for "Transformers 3." We should be able to ice a future diva wide receiver reality show. We should be able to ice the next LeBron James decision. To ice the fast food chain that comes out with a new food that's clearly a rewrapping of leftovers they were about to throw in the garbage. Just as "Jumping The Shark" became a pop culture phenomenon about things that outstayed their welcome, we'd like to introduce the phrase "Icing the Phoenix" to stop things that make no sense in the first place. And, no, there's no "Icing the Phoenix" for this concept. Not only would you defeat our purpose in getting this off the ground, "Icing the Phoenix" for "Icing the Phoenix" might cause the universe to implode.


2. Tyler Colvin

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.2 9.7 18.9

Credentials: You've heard about the Chicago Cubs rookie who was hospitalized after a sliver of shattered maple bat punctured his chest while he was coming home from third base in Miami. He's on the mend now, so we're lucky we weren't left with a gruesome horror movie outcome. The game gave us a decision of Cubs 13, Marlins 3, instead of "Saw 7," Cubs 0.


3. Reggie Bush Ultimate Stiff-Arm

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.1 16.7

Credentials: New Orleans takes the Monday Night stage, and one of its running backs arrives carrying a little less physical baggage (like say, a Heisman Trophy) and a little more psychological baggage. But Bush had to finish that give-back business before heading to San Francisco, because the Heisman Trust had already put in motion a plan to stash Bush on Alcatraz Island until he handed it over.


4. Justin Bieber on "CSI"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.7 15.6

Credentials: The crime show producers aren't being exploitative by having the tween singing sensation show up as a guest star. What would be milking it is if they marketed for his fans a "Justin Bieber Crime Scene Investigator Action Figure Kit." Parents, make sure yours includes a fingerprint-dusting kit so you can keep track of how often little Sally has been toting it around.


5. NASCAR Gas Mileage

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.0 7.3 14.3

Credentials: It's Chase for the Cup time, which means in NASCAR's playoffs we're going to see the shrewdest, cleverest, most go-for-the-gusto maneuvering of the division's top 12 drivers. So of course that means Tony Stewart is going to run out of gas while leading the Sylvania 300 on the next-to-last lap. Maybe this can spark a new ad campaign for title sponsor Sprint: "Remember fans, always carry a Sprint phone on you when you're in the car, in case you run out of gas on an important trip, just like your hero Tony Stewart!"


6. NFL Blackouts

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.6 12.8

Credentials: Here's the definition of hard times in the NFL. The San Diego Chargers faced a local televised blackout because they didn't sell enough tickets for their game against Jacksonville. Well, that could be expected, the Jaguars barely draw interest in their home town, let alone any buzz from coast to coast. But wait -- hasn't it been an urban legend for about five years that because the Jaguars aren't viable in north Florida that they're the ideal candidate to relocate to Los Angeles' long-vacant market? It begs the question: If an NFL team fails in Southern California, does that just prove that there's only room for one pro team there in the form of the Southern California Trojans?


7. Houston Cougars' QB Catastrophes

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 5.5 11.3

Credentials: The Conference USA team took a hard knock against UCLA when its Heisman-hopeful signal caller was lost for the season to a knee injury. But a short time later, his backup, Cotton Turner, broke his collarbone. This week, the team will signal its desperation by announcing that the Cougars' depth chart will be expanded to include walk-ons and everyone in the dorms who owns a DVD set of "Cougar Town."


8. Michigan State Trickeration

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.6 10.8

Credentials: Get well soon, Mark Dantonio. Though we wish you would have read the warning label on your own coaching sheet before Saturday's game: "If you score on any touchdown pass that stems from a fake field goal in overtime to beat Notre Dame that generates SportsCenter highlight footage that lasts for four hours or more, immediately seek help from a physician."


9. Winless NFL teams

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.4 10.7

Credentials: Your 0-2 roll call includes Buffalo, Carolina, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota and St. Louis, with San Francisco on the verge. Some advice for next year, boys: You need to get rid of your middling quarterbacks, and find a way to land an elite, marquee name, like a Brett Favre or a Tony Romo, or ... oh wait, those guys are in the same boat as Trent Edwards. Bravo.


10. "Dancing With the Stars"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 4.5 9.2

Credentials: And now, some pop culture mix-and-matching of this season's cast: Would "Dirty Dancing" have been a better movie if Jennifer Grey had co-starred with David Hasselhoff? (uh, no.) Would Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino be an interesting cast addition for Florence Henderson as a "Brady Bunch" great-grandson? (yes, yes and more yes.) If Michael Bolton starts to sing, will morally upright Kurt Warner be able to resist the temptation of punching him in the mouth? (this would be the greatest reason to tune in.)


11. AL East Race

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 4.7 9.5

Credentials: The Yankees and Rays are about to start a four-game series that can go a long way as to which team will win the division. But much more is on the line for the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers have it in their luxury tax paperwork that any time they win the season series against their St. Petersburg counterparts, all Yankees players on the active roster are allowed to have an IRS waiver that grants residency in Florida for that year so they don't have to pay a state income tax. These are the kinds of things referred to as "the game within the game."


12. Ray Lewis' Hate

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.6 4.3 8.9

Credentials: The Ravens' heavy-hitting linebacker has lashed out with his words about how opposing quarterbacks are being overly shielded from his muscle mass -- even under inadvertent circumstances. Meanwhile, the NFL competition committee is looking into what punishments it can apply to defenders who hurt the feelings of backup QBs. That includes looking at them harshly during pre-game warmups.


13. L.A. Dodgers

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.2 2.4 4.6

Credentials: Is it a bad sign for the future of the franchise that the divorce lawyers for both Frank and Jamie McCourt are insisting that the other party be granted custody of Don Mattingly?


Also receiving votes
• "The Walking Dead": AMC is about to start a new original series about a zombie apocalypse. It would be a really neat inter-network show in-joke if they can stagger in a guest appearance by "Mad Men's" Miss Blankenship.

Never receiving votes
• Ryder Cup Buildup: Waiting to see if Tiger Woods is finally going to provide some 2010 heroics is like waiting to see when Lindsay Lohan will tweet that she just got accepted into Harvard.

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.