Commentary

Power Rankings: Brian Urlacher's fall

Originally Published: January 24, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

You and your college roommate who knows what XLV means in Roman numerals are adding up 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 on a leave of absence to Texas over the weekend for a crash course in how to decipher software that's written in Longhornese. It's either that or be outsourced to Austin. To the results!

1. Run, Urlacher, run!

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.9 10.0 19.9

Credentials: You know who's not impressed by the Bears linebacker's pivotal interception return that was thwarted by Aaron Rodgers' flailing limbs? James Harrison and his 100-yard Super Bowl INT TD. The rest of us get the feeling that we witnessed history of a sort. Well, more like alternate history. You don't have to be a sci-fi geek to marvel at the "Back to the Future"-level changes of fortunes that could have kicked into effect had Urlacher reached the end zone. The fabled flapping of the wings of a butterfly could have started a Windy City tsunami that would have led to Chicago conquering Cowboys Stadium; Jay Cutler could have been a model on the Wheaties box; or Lovie Smith could have been hailed as a celebrated football mind. Chicago sports fans will be saying, "Stranger things have happened," until they see a billy goat behind the wheel of a DeLorean.


2. Rex Ryan's mouth

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.2 9.2 18.4

Credentials: Is it too much to hope that with the Jets out of the playoff picture non-New York fans can enjoy the sound of silence? Fat chance. There's got to be some satellite radio station right now negotiating a talk show for Ryan. The first guest? The ghost of Al Davis.


3. Epic Super Bowl hype

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.8 17.4

Credentials: Even the most jaded of NFL observers have to wonder: How did we luck out with this guaranteed barn-burner? Packers versus Steelers ... A Redemption Bowl of Aaron Rodgers versus Ben Roethlisberger ... gold pants versus gold pants. ... Enjoy it while you can, because in the plus-minus game of NFL karma, you know that next year the football gods will stick us with the Jaguars versus the Panthers. Well, you never know, someday that souvenir Super Bowl XLVI ticket signed by David Garrard and Jimmy Clausen might be worth a lot of money.


4. Caleb Hanie

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.8 15.7

Credentials: We're heartbroken that the Bears' third-string QB was so close to being a new Chicago folk hero. Do you know how many die-hard fans would have bought his jersey this week? Well, there still might be a run on them at the NFL's online store after everyone in the Windy City burns their Jay Cutler jerseys.


5. Jack LaLanne, R.I.P.

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.0 7.7 14.7

Credentials: The 96-year-old fitness guru was a TV icon who waged a decades-long war on couch potatoes. Everyone dust off your Shake Weight in the next few days to reflect on better ways to get in shape.


6. The world's No. 3 golfer

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 6.7 13.8

Credentials: Eh, who cares who the world's No. 3 golfer is? Oh wait, turns out now it's Tiger Woods. The world-famous Martin Kaymer supplanted him at No. 2. You know how lousy and confused you feel when you check the number of Facebook friends you have and it's mysteriously dropped by like five people since the last time you checked but you're powerless to do anything about it? Now we'll find out how committed Woods is to finding more people who "Like" him again.


7. Pro Bowl

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.8 6.5 13.3

Credentials: The world will now turns its eyes to Hawaii, where the NFL's greatest non-Super Bowl-obligated stars will show off their skills -- namely, having an open mic night where they get on stage and rattle off rips on Cutler.


8. Sidney Crosby

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.6 12.8

Credentials: There's still no timetable for the return to the ice for the Penguins star, who has missed nine games because of a concussion. He's even going to be forced to miss NHL All-Star activities in Raleigh, N.C.. Have patience, idle Penguins fans, and resist the temptation to find a lifeless dummy with sunglasses to film a "Weekend at Sidney's" sketch for YouTube that shows your hero is really OK.


9. "No Strings Attached"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.3 6.1 12.4

Credentials: The commitment-questioning date movie starring Natalie Portman (America's favorite ballerina) and Ashton Kutcher (who we're not interesting in seeing wearing a tutu) won the box office with $20.3 million. No, the film is not about Carmelo Anthony's trade talk about going to New York. Those strings are waaaaaay more expensive than $20 million.


10. Super Bowl ads

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.9 5.6 10.5

Credentials: The countdown is on for pregame buzz as to who'll be wowing us during the commercial breaks. Is there going to be a new beer commercial to elevate the stale jokes we've been hearing the past few months? Unless the desire to see funnier beer commercials is going to earn us the scorn of those snarky Miller Lite girls. On the one hand, it's refreshing that the gals are snappy enough to call out dorks on parade. On the other hand, don't they still work for tips? Dorks with spending money need flattery, too.


11. Unbeaten College Hoops Teams

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 5.2 10.0

Credentials: We're down to Ohio State and San Diego State as the top 25 men's teams that still have a zero in the loss column. Wow, they're playing like their sport's championship will be determined without the benefit of a playoff with seedings and everything! Well, college is a confusing time, ripe for experimentation. Stay perfect, Buckeyes and (um, looking it up, oh that's right) Aztecs, or you'll be playing each other in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl during March Madness.


12. Andy Roddick

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.6 4.3 7.9

Credentials: There are no more Americans in the Australian Open after Andy was ousted in the fourth round by 19th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka. You can make fun of us for holding on to Roddick in our fantasy keeper league, but so be it. Besides, we're planning on dangling Tomas Berdych through the week as trade bait.


13. Rays reunions

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.4 1.8 4.2

Credentials: Tampa Bay seems to be under the impression that nothing says AL East glory like reuniting Johnny Damon (37) and Manny Ramirez (38). Guys, if there was a fountain of youth in Florida, it wouldn't be at Tropicana Field. Because, well, the Tropicana company would be bottling it and selling it instead of pulp-free orange juice.


Also receiving votes
• NASCAR: It's trying to be more fan-friendly by simplifying its points system. Actually, for the past five years, the formula has been pretty simple: One oval divided by 43 cars equals one winner, Jimmie Johnson. We don't want to accuse Tony Stewart of cheating because he used a calculator on the test.

Never receiving votes
• Strikes and gutters, ups and downs: Tom Daugherty rolled a televised record low 100 at the PBA's Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas. Maybe it's time to retool his game at one of bowling's lower levels of competition ... like a 6-year-old's birthday party -- as long as the kiddies agree to play with the gutter guards down.

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.