Commentary

Power Rankings: The Spo Edition

Originally Published: November 29, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

Thanks for bumping into the latest edition of 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 laptop lost interest in computing its formulas when it started shopping for the best Cyber Monday deals and couldn't complete a transaction for the No. 1 thing on its wish list: Spy cameras adorned with officially licensed Denver Broncos logos on them. To the results!

1. Erik Spoelstra

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.6 9.4 19.0

Credentials: Is time running out on the Miami Heat coach because of the team's disastrous start? Was being shoulder-bumped on the court by LeBron James a sign that he's lost the respect of his players? It couldn't have been an accident that they made contact, because only one of those two guys has demonstrated that he has broad shoulders. We'll know for sure if King James announces that he's joining forces with the local Boys & Girls Club to hold an Erik Spoelstra fundraiser.


2. Leslie Nielsen, R.I.P.

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.2 9.1 18.3

Credentials: If only the L.A.P.D. had assigned Lt. Frank Drebin to the O.J. case ... well, let's not think of where the Ford Bronco would have ended up with Nordberg at the wheel.


3. Jon Gruden to The U

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 8.4 17.2

Credentials: Randy Shannon was ousted as coach of the Miami Hurricanes, and the name at the top of the rumor mill for his replacement is none other than Coach Chucky, supposedly making a beeline to Coral Gables. While Gruden released at statement saying he isn't going anywhere, we'll know for sure if over the next few "Monday Night Football" broadcasts he starts dropping random gratuitous references to South Florida high school football teams who have recruitable college prospects.


4. Derek Jeter negotiations

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.8 7.8 15.6

Credentials: Sources say that Yankees manager Joe Girardi is working behind the scenes with contacts from his Taco Bell commercial to provide Jeter with free chalupas for life if he re-ups with the Bronx Bombers. But Jeter's agent is angling for his client to get a seat with Taco Bell's board of directors so that the life-imitates-art-in-the-circle-of-life is complete and Jeter's SNL sketch of "Derek Jeter's Taco Hole" becomes reality.


5. The Black Eyed Peas

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.4 7.7 15.1

Credentials: It's been announced that they'll be the Super Bowl halftime act. Which comes as a relief to those of us sick of the NFL's biggest stage being hogged by an endless parade of geriatric rockers whose biggest hits were written before Super Bowl I was played. Unless there's an unwitting "not so fast" twist to this, and it outs the secret we've suspected for a while now: That Fergie is actually in her 70s.


6. "Spider-Man" on Broadway

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.1 6.6 12.7

Credentials: The long-awaited play "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" -- with music written by Bono and The Edge -- had its first sneak preview, but as expected the action for the frustrated audience included lots of hiccups and stoppages. Most embarrassing was when Bono couldn't wiggle his way out of the Spidey suit between Acts 1 and 2. We keep telling Bono, it's impossible to portray Spider-Man in a live performance while wearing comically giant hipster sunglasses over the mask.


7. Victorious Leslie Frazier

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.0 5.8 11.8

Credentials: The Vikings' interim coach is 1-0 and showing he's in total control by beating the Redskins in his debut. As long as Frazier understands that his control over Brett Favre stops at the point of demanding he direct Favre's next Wrangler commercial. Brad Childress used to storyboard some ideas, but never had the authority to green light a shooting script.


8. Football fistfights

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.9 5.6 11.5

Credentials: The Andre Johnson versus Cortland Finnegan fisticuffs have led to the debate of whether there's ever room in the violent, full-contact world of football for the occasional hockey-like throwdown. Hey, if the entire Boise State team can stop themselves from ganging up on kicker Kyle Brotzman for missing those two straight-on field goals against Nevada, everyone else should be able to rein their emotions in.


9. College football pandemonium

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.4 10.7

Credentials: There's only one more weekend of games before the BCS bowls fall into place. But if Auburn loses the SEC championship game and Oregon loses to Oregon State, get ready for a "Who should go to the championship game?" rampage to begin on a scale that can only be settled with old-school hatred reserved for the lanterns-and-pitchforks crowd. Meanwhile, the college presidents maintain that high-tech computers are our only salvation for settling things. And by that, they envision their student-athletes fighting to the death in a "Tron" virtual reality before any playoff is allowed to happen.


10. Pro football champs

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.9 5.5 10.4

Credentials: Did you know that Jim Fassel's Las Vegas Locomotives won the United Football League championship in Omaha for the second time in a row? Or that the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes won the Grey Cup for the second year in row? Basically, they receive the same level of press attention reserved for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons -- who, at 9-2, are tied for the best record in the NFL, but have zero notoriety because they fail to register on the unnecessary soap opera scale.


11. TCU on the move

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 4.7 9.5

Credentials: By joining the Big East, the Horned Frogs are going all-in on the bet that there will never, ever be a college football playoff. Because once you've committed to sending your non-revenue sports of volleyball and track and the like to Syracuse and Connecticut every year (not really accessible by bus from the heart of Texas, last we checked), you're betting your travel budget in a way that not even Vegas high-rollers bet on TCU's football team to cover a 42-point spread.


12. Stevie Johnson's holy terror

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.6 4.7 9.3

Credentials: Yeah, the Bills receiver blew it in overtime against the Steelers by failing to catch a ball that perfectly landed in his hands in the end zone. Oh well, win some, lose some. But then, he used his Twitter feed to suggest that God had something against him by not helping him catch it. Uh, if you think God has it in for the Bills, have you never heard of Scott Norwood?


13. Gift shopping

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.4 3.3 6.7

Credentials: Oh what not fun it is to hunt down the perfect holiday gift for everybody. The perfect toys for the kids. The perfect diamonds for the ladies. But for the McRib lover on your list, you have until Dec. 5 to hoard the perfect amount of sandwiches before Mickey D's yanks the fleetingly available item from the menu. Then, Christmas morning, won't your McRib connoisseur be surprised beyond belief to find a stocking stuffed full of the porky treats? Well, unless all the barbecue sauce leaking out the bottom gives it away.


Also receiving votes
U.S. women's soccer team: They were the last team to qualify for the Women's World Cup with a 1-0 win over Italy, but so what? America will be glad to wait until Germany in June to watch the one team in the country that's allowed to have a roster full of divas.

Never receiving votes
Barbara Walters: Her "10 Most Fascinating People of 2010" special includes the cast of "Jersey Shore." That interview has disaster written all over it, especially if she breaks out the "What kind of tree would you be?" line of questioning. The Situation would want to be whatever kind of tree has the choicest rock-solid abs. None of them would be able to comprehend how trees stay in the sun for so long yet never get a tan. And Snooki would be confused by the insistence that she could be anything taller than a shrub.

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.