Commentary

Power Rankings: Werth While Edition

Originally Published: December 6, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It's time to amaze people with the breathtaking deal you signed to spend another week 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 spent too much time trying to figure out how it was going to start a prison pen pal-writing correspondence with the Cincinnati Bearcats' mascot in the detention wing of the NCAA compliance office. To the results!

1. Jayson Werth

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 9.5 19.2

Credentials: If the reason the Montreal Expos morphed into the Washington Nationals was to give this guy a seven-year, $126 million deal, every other baseball owner in the league should collude to truck that entire operation back to Canada. At least this time, Nationals management took steps in this contract to protect themselves. For example, so long as Jayson Werth is the face of the franchise, he is contractually prohibited from ruining his arm and requiring Tommy John surgery. Yes, the Nationals are so bad that we can crack jokes about how they wrote a contract with an outfielder that contains provisions for a pitch count, and some baseball junkies will at least Google around to see if that's really the case.


2. The Heisman

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.2 9.2 18.4

Credentials: Beware talking heads who claim the BCS title game will be exciting because "it features two Heisman finalists in Cam Newton and LaMichael James." But isn't the only way to become a Heisman finalist these days to be an offensive skill position player on a team destined to be in contention for the national title? That said, it's sad that Cecil Newton won't be on hand to watch his son win; but go on Craigslist and see if he's scalping his ticket to the presentation.


3. Brett Favre watch

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.5 17.1

Credentials: Here's our argument that Favre's latest injury warrants that the Vikings should shelve him for the year: We're in position to mark back-to-back seasons where Favre's final play was a brutally thrown interception. Call it symmetry, call it poetry, call it "Can we call in another quarterback besides Tarvaris Jackson?" But mostly we should call this "over."


4. Vicious NFL hits

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.8 15.7

Credentials: If the going rate is $40,000 or so for James Harrison to dole out punishment, can season-ticket holders in different towns pool together their resources and hire him to knock out coaches who are running their franchises into the ground with incompetent decisions? Between Norv Turner, Mike Shanahan, Marvin Lewis, etc., there's a lot of worthy causes we can raise money for. Heck, we missed out on targeting Wade Phillips, let's not let the others get away.


5. New Orleans Hornets

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.0 7.7 14.7

Credentials: Look at the bright side, New Orleans basketball fans. If the NBA takes ownership of your franchise, you'll spend that limbo as an exciting crucible for new ways that David Stern and the league can implement its conspiracy theories. They've got the "refs dictate the outcome" and "Lakers win the title" things down pat. Now's the time they can check if they can get away with 9-foot-high rims on one end of the floor, or medical staffs that can place computer-chip mind-control implants in big men. The NBA's scripted future is fantastic!


6. College Bowl Season

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.1 6.6 12.7

Credentials: Auburn versus Oregon is the big ticket, but what of those 34 other exhibitions? Are you excited to see the Miami Hurricanes play Notre Dame in El Paso's Sun Bowl, or will you be too busy inventing a time machine to take you to an era when those two played in bowls that mattered? Does Derek Jeter's new contract give him prime tickets to the Yankee Stadium Pinstripe Bowl between Syracuse and Kansas State? Does the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., between 7-5 Pittsburgh and 6-6 Kentucky do anything for ya? Hint: If your bowl game is sponsored by food, send us coupons for free grub, and maybe that will help us decide if your Chick-fil-A Bowl is worth a side order of fries.


7. Peyton Manning INTs

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 5.5 11.3

Credentials: The only quarterback's face uglier than Peyton Manning's after Dallas' Orlando Scandrick ran an interception back to the end zone was that of Ben Roethlisberger, and that was because of a broken nose. Manning's thrown 11 picks in the past three games, four of them for touchdowns. In terms of a facelift, we'll know that Peytie Pie has hit desperation mode over the offseason if he grows out his Johnny Unitas haircut for a Tom Brady/Justin Bieber 'do. Nah, that's been done. Gotta go Fu Manchu mustache.


8. Tiger Woods, choker

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.6 10.8

Credentials: How does Tiger let a four-shot lead slip on the final day, then get lapped in a playoff? Clearly, The Intimidation Factor is gone. It's like Tiger went from a guy who could walk into a bar and instantly get a drink, to a guy who had to lean across a bar and cough out loud and waive $20 bills in the air to get the bartender's attention, to a guy who gets turned away at happy hour at Applebee's. He's practically on the verge of being the fraternity pledge who's sent to the liquor store to refill the empty kegs.


9. Natalie Portman

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.4 10.7

Credentials: The actress is getting the best reviews of her life for playing a tortured ballerina in "The Black Swan." Is this the role that elevates her to the next stage of her career? Well, in the movie she bites a guy on the lip. So if she's chewing on parts of people's heads, she's definitely ready to sink her teeth into the lead of "The Mike Tyson Story."


10. Your Favorite Cartoon Character on Facebook

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 5.5 10.2

Credentials: Yes, it was a hoot on a Hanna-Barbera scale to decide whether we were going to change our profile picture to either the severed head of a Jebediah Springfield statue or the old-school feather-hatted mascot of the Tampa Bay Bucs (in honor of the Bucs going throwback Creamsicle this weekend, we went with Bucco Bruce). But we're still not sure how this trivial day of solidarity is supposed to help the non-trivial cause of stopping child abuse. Besides, what are we supposed to change our profile pictures to when we want to raise awareness of alleviating Asian animation sweatshop labor?


11. Qatar's hot wave

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 4.7 9.5

Credentials: Hey, kids, can't decide on a college major? Want a recession-proof job? Since Qatar's winning 2022 World Cup bid seemed to majorly hinge on the fact it can provide air-conditioned soccer stadiums to combat those lukewarm, 117-degree Qatar afternoons, the organizers are probably going to need an army of air conditioner techs at the ready 24/7. Yup, get that air conditioner repair certificate and a Middle East work visa. The games might end in a tie, but you'll be a winner!


12. Holiday gift cards

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.6 4.3 8.9

Credentials: A great way to mend fences with co-workers you've quarreled with over the year is to offer a handsome gift card at the company party. But is it worth a lump of coal in your stocking to hand out expired or non-activated gift cards to people who've messed with you? Ho, ho, ho, there's only one way to find out.


13. Mel Gibson's Beaver

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.9 2.4 5.3

Credentials: You've heard the rumors, now see the trailer. Yes, Jodie Foster has directed a movie starring Mel Gibson as a stressed-out dad who takes to communicating with the world via that time-honored method of talking via a beaver hand puppet. With a bad British accent, no less. Now you know why in the '70s Jim Henson and Frank Oz turned down Mel's offer to be a founding member of The Muppets. Although Mel did regroup by returning Down Under and doing quite well that season on "Australia's Got Talent," until he lost to a fledgling INXS, which at the time was fronted by Michael Hutchence in a koala suit.


Also receiving votes
• Don Meredith, R.I.P.: Hats off to the ultimate Cowboy of the "Monday Night Football" booth. We're assuming that Dandy Don had an arrangement in which Fair Hooker will speak at his funeral.

Never receiving votes
• Things that disappeared Dec. 5: Sunday was the season finale of AMC's staggeringly good zombie show, "The Walking Dead." (Though having a six-episode TV season hardly even cracks '80s miniseries status. Frank Darabont's experiment still has potential, but this crop came off like a six-and-a-half-hour pilot for a more ambitious and cohesive series). And it was also the final day before McDonald's buried the McRib in its menu graveyard: Coincidence? The zombies are guaranteed to be back in October 2011. That gives McDonald's plenty of time to come up with a tie-in campaign for "The Walking McRib." Now that's scary.

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.