Commentary

Power Rankings: Pacquiao's punch

Originally Published: November 15, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It's clobberin' time with 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 bolted for South Beach on Sunday night to try out for one of the Miami Dolphins' quarterback spots that have opened up. Hey, it ran the Wildcat offense in a Canadian minor league for a year or two, so it's ready to roll. To the results!

1. Pacquiao Power

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.9 9.9 19.8

Credentials: Meet Manny Pacquiao, who, after going into Cowboys Stadium and treating Antonio Margarito the way Jerry Jones wishes he could treat Wade Phillips, must be the most powerful man in Texas. He's definitely the best thing to happen to the new Cowboys Stadium since hi-def. Has anyone in the Lone Star State looked into whether Pacquiao can be declared an honorary Texan? We're pretty sure that's what every Texan thinks everyone in the rest of the world aspires to. Anyway, Jones maintains that he has interviewed Super Bowl-winning coaches to take over the Cowboys. We think your go-to candidate to run the Dallas sideline is someone already familiar with the stadium's spotlight -- and has a fabulous singing voice.


2. College football pay to play

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.4 9.5 18.9

Credentials: What if instead of a BCS ranking each week, we had a computer poll that told us how much airtime the top 25 college football stars generated for their schools in the media? After all, if firms can calculate how much a Super Bowl ad should be worth or how much it costs to stick a decal onto a NASCAR ride, surely the schools would be glad to write a check each week to supplement room, board and textbooks for their Heisman front-runners. (Note: Airtime generated by meddling parents are not calculated into the weekly student-athlete payout formula.)


3. Jessica Simpson's engagement

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.7 17.3

Credentials: Well, when a marriage with Nick Lachey doesn't work out and all your Tony Romo jerseys are in the dump, it's time to tie the knot with former NFL tight end Eric Johnson, whom you've been dating since, uh, oh, May. Either way, congratulations, and here's to many happy years. But one word of advice: When someone's stats page identifies him as a seventh-round pick out of Yale who has nine touchdown catches in seven years of service, you might just want to go ahead and identify him as only "a former Yale student." Being an injury-plagued NFL free-agent tight end sounds too much like being unemployed; "former Yale student" probably would open more doors.


4. New Meadowlands Stadium blackout

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.8 15.7

Credentials: The good news is that an 80,000-person, blind-man's mosh pit didn't break out when the lights got zapped during the Cowboys-Giants game. The bad news is that this pretty much kills any prospects we had for selling our spec script about Garden State high school football that we were going to call "New Jersey Night Lights." So much for that lightbulb of a great idea; that word association is going to force us to fade to black.


5. Miami Heat playing time

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.0 7.7 14.7

Credentials: LeBron had to backpedal and say that his complaints about playing time weren't a veiled threat that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra doesn't know what he's doing. Spoelstra defended his decisions, saying that he vigilantly keeps James, Wade and Bosh in the game on a strict count of 100 pitches.


6. NASCAR crunch time

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.7 6.6 13.3

Credentials: Gearhead fever will be at an all-time high pitch this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway to see whether Denny Hamlin can stop Jimmie Johnson from winning his fifth Chase for the Cup championship in a row. If JJ wins, NASCAR followers will complain that there's no interest in NASCAR because Johnson has squashed all competition for five seasons in a row. Everything about this sport just goes around in circles, doesn't it?


7. Randy Moss' flip-flopping

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 6.5 12.3

Credentials: We're going to withhold comment on his Titans debut. (After all, what can you say about one catch for 26 yards?) But if there's one post-NFL career we'd like to see Moss try, it'd be politics. He'd get elected as a Democrat one year, be re-elected as a Republican the next time, go Independent during some midterm changeovers. So long as he ends up as treasurer of the "Straight Cash, Homey!" Party, he'll get our vote.


8. Harry Potter countdown

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 5.6 11.8

Credentials: Would it completely freak out the people waiting in line for the midnight showings of the new movie if we stood alongside them in a Yoda costume that had a lightning-bolt scar on the forehead? Just kidding, we'd never do anything that geeky. As always, we'll be dressed up in our Dr. Frank-N-Furter fishnets. There's not a midnight movie in America for which that outfit is inappropriate.


9. Kirk Gibson's bat

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 5.4 11.2

Credentials: Can you believe that someone bought that piece of history from the 1988 World Series for a mere $575,912? Hey, we're happy with our humble piece of '80s Dodgers memorabilia -- the broken picture frame of Tommy Lasorda that Chevy Chase punched in "Fletch."


10. Service academy football

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 5.7 10.4

Credentials: Army, Navy, Air Force … all will be postseason bowling for the first time. After so many football scandals across the rest of the land, we're looking forward to the pride and honor that will be on display at kickoff time for those three games. Agents, don't even try to make contact with these players, because their locker rooms are protected by black ops agents at all times. But if you insist on pressing your luck, by all means. We can't wait to see what happens.


11. NFL travel disasters

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.7 9.9

Credentials: Someone grab the steering wheel from the Detroit Lions. Confiscate their Orbitz Visa card. They just set a record for 25 straight road defeats, which beat their 2001 to 2003 breakdown of 24 road defeats. That's got to be a worse way to travel than being on a 30-city Journey/Poison twinbill reunion tour.


12. L.A. Galaxy busts

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.5 4.3 8.8

Credentials: David Beckham and Landon Donovan are out of the MLS playoffs on the heels of getting blanked by FC Dallas 3-0. If only those two guys participated in competing VH1 reality shows, we might know their inner angst at this ongoing flop of a futbol experiment. Or maybe they'll just put this behind them and start playing again for another club in another country as though nothing happened. Do any of MLS's biggest stars even seem that concerned about the league?


13. Pittsburgh Pirates

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.1 4.4 8.6

Credentials: Their new manager is Clint Hurdle, who took himself out of the running for the Mets job in no uncertain terms. No pressure. If you lose 104 games this season with the Pirates, you still did better than the last guy. And there's probably less second-guessing in Pittsburgh for losing 105 games than there is in New York for winning 105 games.


Also receiving votes
• More "The Walking Dead": Everyone's favorite zombie TV series (well, history's only one, unless you count "According to Jim") has been picked up for a second season. Idea for a change-of-pace episode: Do a "War of the Words"-style fake newscast in which people who didn't realize they were watching AMC might think news was beaming in that the zombie apocalypse is in play. We're willing to let ESPN donate an "Outside the Lines" segment in which the zombies can't tell whether Al Davis is one of their own.

Never receiving votes
• "Elf" The Musical: Did Will Ferrell's Buddy the Elf deserve to hit Broadway? Let us know, because we've been workshopping an adaptation of "The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" in Toronto since August. When crooning about Talladega nights, we've found there's a fine line between singing and yodeling.

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.