Commentary

Power Rankings: Oscar edition

Originally Published: February 28, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It's time to wear something revealing for the red carpet on your way to 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 got fried when it tried to calculate how James Franco would score on a Wonderlic test. To the results!

1. Oscar spin-offs

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.4 9.6 19.0

Credentials: Why does Hollywood pretend the golden statue means so much when it's really the gold in the bank at the end of the day that makes any of them happy? Especially because box office attendance is plummeting, and it's likely the only time you'll even be aware of the existence of any of the best picture nominees is when you accidentally push the button for it on the Redbox machine when you really wanted "Transformers 4: Megatron vs. Justin Bieber." Well, making money off of sequels of movies no one but voters saw is out of the question. It's time to license these characters and situations to other forms of entertainment. Might we suggest: "The Social Network: The Musical" … "Cirque du Soleil: Inception" … "Winter's Bone On Ice" … "The Real Housewives of The Kids Are All Right" … and "Extreme Makeover: Black Swan Edition."


2. NFL combine

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.1 18.6

Credentials: Here's an idea for anyone upset that Cam Newton described himself as "an entertainer and an icon" on the way to his workouts before he becomes a (publicly acknowledged) professional athlete. Between the weight-lifting and wind sprints, have them do some media talking head tryouts as well. Just because three years from now Newton might be more likely only around as a sideline reporter at the NFL combine rather than an NFL starting QB doesn't mean the week in Indianapolis has to be a total bust.


3. Detroit Pistons

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 8.4 17.2

Credentials: Did it hurt anyone's fantasy roster that the team had to play short-handed in the wake of a player mutiny? Oh, wait, it's more likely the case that your fantasy team is a disaster if you have any Detroit Pistons at all. Attention pro athletes: Always feel free to show your displeasure with your work environment. But first, check your popularity among fantasy rosters if you want some clue as to the leverage you can expect once you make your stand.


4. Louisville's cheerleaders

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.4 15.1

Credentials: It doesn't matter to us that the Cardinals survived their overtime game against Pitt even after a male cheerleader almost screwed things up by flinging the ball in celebration while there was still time on the clock. We are hereby instituting a complete "No Male Cheerleaders Allowed" rule for our brackets this March. The lot of you are unilaterally considered bad luck, not good luck. Start your own dang bracket, and feel free to rhyme something clever about the loser who wins among yourselves.


5. Charlie Sheen

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 7.6 14.7

Credentials: Look who's playing hardball with only half a deck. The self-described "warlock" (then again, when does anyone ever accuse anyone else of being a warlock? That's pretty much a device only used in the third person) has said he'll only return to an uncanceled "Two and a Half Men" if he gets a raise from $2 million per episode to $3 million. Otherwise, Sheen's last remaining career option might be a talk show on VH1 in which he interviews his old Hanes underwear.


6. Mets loan

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.5 12.7

Credentials: Bud Selig is trying to downplay news that the league has loaned $25 million to New York's baseball sinkhole. But analysts agree it's an act of last resort for both sides. If the Mets are borrowing from the league, that's a good guess it can't secure lines of credit anywhere else. And the league office definitely doesn't want to make a habit of this. Otherwise, why not constantly loan money all the time to everyone? The league is believed to have floated the Kansas City Royals $10 million last year, but all they used it for was to renew the groundscrew's subscription to US Weekly.


7. Melo

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.4 5.3 10.7

Credentials: By scoring 29 points against the Heat, Anthony has served notice that the Knicks can hope to make some noise come playoff time. Unless, of course, the postseason schedule conflicts with the filming days for his cameo as a "cut the blue wire/red wire" bomb detonation specialist in Spike Lee's "Inside Man 2: The MSG Job."


8. Joe Torre

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.0 10.2

Credentials: Say hello to the MLB's new vice president for baseball operations. That means he gets to oversee the umpires. So are we expecting that a 70-year-old guy who's devoted his life to old-school baseball will be an instant champion of instant replay? Probably not, considering how Torre thinks TiVo was the name of the horse the Lone Ranger gave Tonto.


9. Jeff Gordon

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 4.4 9.5

Credentials: The four-time Cup champ has been a stranger to Victory Lane of late, but in Arizona he won for the first time in 66 races. Is this going to be the start of something good for this new season? Or is Gordon basically only putting on a good show to make sure newbie NASCAR boy wonder Trevor Bayne wouldn't confuse Gordon with other old-timers? Then again, anyone who won a race before GPS devices were sold at Best Buy is an old-timey driver to Bayne.


10. Golf

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.0 4.2 9.2

Credentials: This is what passes for golf news these days: Snow falls on the final day of play in Arizona, and a guy named Martin Kaymer is No. 1 in the world. Anyone waiting for Tiger Woods to make it rain victories, money or even an interesting personality again anytime soon needn't hold their breath.


11. Cubs voice wanted

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.1 8.3

Credentials: Seriously, the Chicago Cubs have posted a job opening on careerbuilder.com to be the new announcer at Wrigley Field. But why are they bothering to give this job to somebody based on talent? If they followed the music industry, they'd know AutoTune could make anyone sound like a golden-voiced god. Actually, it makes everyone sound like a billy goat, but in this case, that's completely appropriate.


12. Government shutdown

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.3 7.3

Credentials: Idiot politicians have got us in another big funding mess, in which they're threatening that if an agreement isn't reached by Friday, they'll be forced to eliminate the country's nonessential functions -- including parks and tourist attractions. Um, has anyone thought to hit up Bud Selig and Major League Baseball? There's got to be some rule somewhere that America's pastime could slip a few bones their way. It's more interesting to see the Grand Canyon than a Colorado Rockies split squad, right?


13. London NBA

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 2.4 5.5

Credentials: Pro basketball fans across the pond have to be relieved that this weekend's two-game New Jersey-Toronto series was scheduled to take place after the trade deadline. Because now they get to see Deron Williams resplendent in a Nets uniform! Otherwise, they'd be banking on the Raptors to display more star power than four-day-old fish-and-chips. Sheesh, how StubHub is selling tickets to this game without a warning that reads along the lines of, "Members of these rosters will not be missed if they never return to North America," we have no idea.


Also receiving votes
• College basketball bubbles: It's always exciting to discuss who's going to be the last four in and the first four out. But when will RPI rankings accurately reflect how much better the team is doing because of contributions from players who've been recruited illegally?

Never receiving votes
• Dumbest Oscar category: It's unfair that "The Wolfman" won for Best Makeup. Nicole Kidman has been a werewolf since 1998, but no one's been able to tell because every makeup artists she's hired since then can disguise her as someone who's merely had too much Botox.

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.