Commentary

Power Rankings: Novelty edition

Originally Published: April 18, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It's time to scare up some phantom fouls 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 made a royal flush of its hard drive this weekend in case anyone was trying to prove it was linked to any online gin rummy sites. To the results!

1. Novelty Knicks

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.1 9.2 18.3

Credentials: Some of you are saying "We can't believe we're saying 'Feast your eyes on the New York Knicks in the NBA playoffs.'" Others of you are saying that seeing Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire staring down the Celtics is stirring your New York versus Boston passions for future Eastern Conference playoff series for years to come. We'd say preserve the films of this series in a time capsule, because future generations might get confused if this turns out to be the high point of early 21st century New York City basketball when it turns out Anthony could never get the ball to Stoudemire for the final shot.


2. Camp Gruden

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.0 9.1 18.1

Credentials: OK, we've seen enough. Jon Gruden is so mesmerizing as he coaches up the incoming NFL QBs, let's stop wasting his talents and start putting those coaching and persuasive skills to work in being the mediator who settles the NFL labor situation. We're betting that after five hours of breaking down game film together, the players will be willing to write "must take extra practice reps" into their new contracts, and the owners will volunteer to eliminate the mandatory rookie signing scale if Gruden is put in charge and given full creative control in running the annual rookie symposium.


3. Derrick Rose

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 8.4 17.2

Credentials: Toss-up: Who's going to be the biggest factor in the success of the Bulls' star as he attacks and attacks and attacks the rim -- the Pacers' defense or the refs? Don't be surprised if, when the series moves to Indiana, Larry Bird bans all whistles from being allowed into Conseco Fieldhouse.


4. Lakers chicken pox

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.4 15.1

Credentials: Send your "Get Well Soon" cards to reserve point guard Steve Blake, who missed Game 1 against the Grizzlies due to that itchy childhood malady. Is it possible that Kobe could get chicken pox, too? We're not in charge of his medical charts, but of course, this being L.A., if he gets diagnosed with it, maybe getting chicken pox becomes the trendy thing to do. Paparazzi, we're watching if you try to pawn off any Photoshopped pictures of an extra-speckly Lindsay Lohan to US Weekly.


5. Barry Bonds

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 7.6 14.7

Credentials: How will the jury verdict affect the slugger's legacy? Already, there are warnings being issued to the collectors' community. Beware of a flood of fake electronic ankle monitors bearing his autograph. Not only do you risk buying one with a fake signature, but counterfeit monitoring devices have many times turned out to be an empty can of tuna fish, painted yellow, with ripped-apart duct tape as the purported harness system. Keep yourself safe by confirming the serial number on the certificate of authenticity.


6. Dwyane's migraines

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.5 12.7

Credentials: How bad could the Miami Heat star's head hurt to keep him out of practice? Sources are unclear whether this was due to overlong exposure to Mark Cuban's blog. Remember, kids, doctors recommend reading it no more than 45 minutes per day, with a 10-hour maximum over a two-week period.


7. Boston panic

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.4 5.3 10.7

Credentials: All is well on Patriots Day, as the Red Sox have won their third game in a row and the Boston Marathon was won in record time. Unfortunately, Carl Crawford's attempt to make his new fans happy backfired when he attempted to run in the marathon but fell down an open manhole before the four-mile mark. The good news is Carl wasn't harmed, as his landing was cushioned by Manny Ramirez, who fell down the same open manhole only moments before.


8. College football law and order

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.0 10.2

Credentials: The University of Georgia is attracting undue attention thanks to reports that a high school prospect was arrested on charges of being in a group that pilfered iPods and iPhones from the Bulldogs locker room during a recruiting visit. This is especially embarrassing in light of the fact the SEC secretly issues shares of Apple stock to elite high school talents starting their sophomore year.


9. "Unapologetically Texan"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 4.4 9.5

Credentials: That's the slogan of the Texas Open, which was won this weekend by Brendan Steele. When he saw that among his windfall of prizes was a pair of cowboy boots, he asked "Do I get a horse, too?" No, but if you joke about Texas again, you might wake up to find a horse head in your bed. … Relax, that's an exaggeration. Worst that could happen is that Jerry Jones sends Wade Phillips to drive you to the airport. … Come to think of it, you tell us which is worse.


10. NASCAR sportsmanship

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.0 4.2 9.2

Credentials: Jimmie Johnson, the guy who has claimed five Sprint Cup titles in a row, won a race at Talladega by 0.002 seconds because his car got a timely, helpful push from teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose winless streak has reached 101 races. The moral of the story, kids? Actually, we don't have a sportsmanship lesson here. We've been told Junior was actually fooling around with his CD changer on the final three laps, and that's why he fell back. So maybe the lesson here is just keep your priorities straight, keep your eye on the prize and maybe subscribe to satellite radio.


11. O Canada

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.1 8.3

Credentials: Is this the year the Stanley Cup is destined to return to the Great White North? Vancouver and Montreal started a combined 5-0 in their first-round games. But this year, if the trophy ends up in L.A. or Nashville, maybe it's time Canada start looking into a less competitive national pastime, like extreme couponing.


12. Royal wedding

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.3 7.3

Credentials: We shipped our wedding gift to Prince William and Kate, and fingers are crossed that it'll work out. We registered two vouchers for them for this year's NFL game in London. But we don't know what will be more embarrassing -- if it turns out there's no season at all and the tickets are worthless … or the teams announced are the Bills and the Raiders.


13. Nick Saban statue

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 3.4 6.5

Credentials: Because the South can never have too many monuments of its football heroes, Alabama unveiled a 9-foot bronze salute to its national championship-winning coach as part of its spring football day. The school took the ultimate security measure against jealous Auburn saboteurs, making sure it used a type of bronze that was immune to any amount of tree poisons.


Also receiving votes
• Harrison Barnes: Looks like it's one and not-so-done for the Tar Heels star. Turns out he'll be returning to Chapel Hill for his sophomore season. So, is his motivation more to win an NCAA title or to improve his draft stock? Actually, we wonder if it's just because he hasn't been around on campus long enough to find his dorm room yet.

Never receiving votes
• Taxes deadline: Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're almost done filling out these forms. Does anyone know if it's deductible to have donated money toward the construction of a Donald Trump statue at one of his golf courses?

Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.


Back to Page 2


• Philbrick: Page 2's Greatest Hits, 2000-2012
• Caple: Fond memories of a road warrior
• Snibbe: An illustrated history of Page 2
Philbrick, Gallo: Farewell podcast Listen

Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.