Commentary

Power Rankings: The JJ Edition

Originally Published: November 22, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It's 5-peat o'clock somewhere 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 was delayed when trying to board a flight at JFK and was subject to a pat-down. Our laptop gets awfully fidgety when strangers run their hands across its keyboard. To the results!

1. 5-Time Jimmie

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 9.4 19.1

Credentials: Amazing -- there are 5-year-old auto racing fans who don't know anyone else has ever won a NASCAR season besides Jimmie Johnson. And there are 50-year-old racing fans who hate the fact Jimmie Johnson is steering the "best-ever-racer" conversation away from Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. To put JJ's achievement in proper perspective, remember that "The Dukes of Hazzard" was on the air for seven seasons, so there still is a way to go to drive past that mile marker. And if you're going to dispute that the Coy and Vance replacement year in Season 5 shouldn't count in the "Dukes of Hazzard" record book, are you going to begrudge Johnson's fifth title because he switched pit crews in the final races? We didn't think so.


2. Vince Young, competitor

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.2 9.1 18.3

Credentials: The Titans' (soon-to-be-ex-) QB defended his meltdown against the Redskins on his Twitter feed by playing the "I'm a competitor" card. Why is it that only selfish, losing athletes who turn up their nose at sportsmanship play the "I'm a competitor" card? It's like the kid who flunked out of Harvard playing the "Sorry it came to this, but I'm a scholar" card. Or the plumber who floods your house playing the "I'm such a fixer-upper that I break things" card. Next topic for a Page 2 column: A contest to see what's the worst instance in which someone played the "I'm a competitor" card. That would be quite a competition. Losers welcome.


3. The WildKitna

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.4 17.0

Credentials: What else can you call it when the Cowboys' 38-year-old backup QB can scramble 29 yards for a touchdown? There is no defense for it. You want to see defensive coordinators stay up sleepless nights, wait until they have to try and defend the WildThigpen.


4. Colorado Rapids

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.8 15.7

Credentials: They're the MLS Cup champs after FC Dallas scored an own goal. No, that's not because Peyton Manning plays defense for FC Dallas. He forgot his shin guards and wasn't allowed to play.


5. "Black Friday" shopping

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.0 7.7 14.7

Credentials: Kudos if you're reading this on your phone while you're camping out for 96 consecutive hours so you can be the first to knock down the doors at the mall for an 80-inch TV that you can buy for $8. While you're stampeding down the aisles, make sure you don't bowl over that display where you can buy some dignity for discount rates.


6. "Harry Potter" and the Aging Child Actors

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.1 6.6 12.7

Credentials: Well, the latest -- and almost last -- movie installment is arriving just in time by dominating the box office with a $125 million weekend. At least the stories stopped before the actors grew up too much. The only thing worse is if it were the other way around -- the characters kept growing fast and they had to hire adult actors. At least we avoided the unpleasantness of Harry being played by Charlie Sheen, and Sheen going all Method actor on us and thinking he had to get a lightning scar on his forehead from a fight with an enchanted escort.


7. College Football Bubbles

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 5.5 11.3

Credentials: Usually the phrase "bubble team" is reserved for college basketball. How come no one is using the phrase "bubble team" to describe any of the BCS title game hopefuls? Boise State and TCU are on the bubble because they don't know if perfect résumés will be perfect enough. Auburn is a huge bubble team because it faces a fearsome Iron Bowl against Alabama evil genius Nick Saban and a grueling SEC championship game against South Carolina's rejuvenated evil genius Steve Spurrier. At least basketball bubbles get popped when teams lose too many games, not solely because someone else won different games in a different league. College football, you even make bubbles evil. How is that possible? THAT's pure evil.


8. Derek Jeter

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.6 10.8

Credentials: Negotiations with the Yankees are getting dicey. It's not so much that his agent is trying to get an overvalued contract for his aging client. It's that Jeter wants the Yankees' strict personal grooming rules to be loosened up so he can have one of those Tom Brady haircuts.


9. Manning family blues

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.4 10.7

Credentials: Peyton and Eli gave up costly turnovers in crunch time. Drew Brees made sure that Archie Manning is no longer New Orleans' record holder in all-time completions. Right now, the best thing they'll have to say during Thanksgiving dinner is that at least they can each run the two-minute drill better than Rex Grossman.


10. Tony Parker

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 5.5 10.2

Credentials: We realize this is a tough personal time, after his divorce from Eva Longoria was announced. But at least sooner or later, once he's ready, the Spurs' travel schedule will deliver him to the talents of South Beach.


11. UFL contracts

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 4.7 9.5

Credentials: Remember that minor league outfit, the United Football League? Well, it might be causing a major headache for NFL rosters. The fine print in the player contracts calls for a $150,000 bounty for signing a player to an active NFL roster. So if you're wondering why the Carolina Panthers need to sign babysitters like Brian St. Pierre to be a starting QB as opposed to a blast from the past like Jeff Garcia, there you go. Still, the $150,000 seems a better deal than the going rate of $180,000 for SEC quarterbacks.


12. Buyer Beware

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.6 4.3 8.9

Credentials: Just in time for holiday shopping, the website ConsumerReports.org has started "Naughty/Nice" lists of customer service. Please keep in mind it is only meant to be of use to keep you from getting screwed for your future purchases. If you're Zygi Wilf, no, even Consumer Reports probably can't do anything to get you out of the money you owe Brad Childress.


13. Boy Band Reunion Apocalypse

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.1 2.4 4.5

Credentials: Scariest part of the American Music Awards? When the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block shared the stage in a choreographed horror show. Yes, the Boy Band Apocalypse is upon is. For those hoping the zombies would get us first, just remember that at least boy bands can be destroyed by crushing their CDs. A shovel to the head remains optional.


Also receiving votes
• The pardoned Thanksgiving turkey: Congratulations to this year's gobbler who's going to be excused from the table by the president in a big way. But here's our question about this annual feel-good gesture: Do those turkeys thus become eligible for free government health care the rest of their lives?

Never receiving votes
• Football at Wrigley Field: Only the home of the Chicago Cubs could try to cram a football field into a baseball stadium and decide right before kickoff that there wasn't enough room in one end zone for the players to stop in time to avoid colliding with walls. And not in a fun, Arena Football way. More like a permanent, Chicago-enforcer way. Still, there was fun to be had, and let's not act like the game was cursed. Just from now on, call any football games that take place there "The Billy Goat Bowl."

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.