Commentary

Power Rankings: Lance's dance

Originally Published: May 23, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

It's time to spin your wheels 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 the weekend recalibrating when the next rapture alert will be. So far, it's been narrowed down to two dates: March 26, 2073, or July's MLB All-Star break. So, either make the most of this summer's Home Run Derby or party on guilt-free for another few decades. To the results!

1. Facts4Lance.com

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.4 9.6 19.0

Credentials: Lance Armstrong and his team are battling the doping accusations by posting responses to media attacks on their website. Sounds like a solid counterattack. Just one wee flaw in that plan, so far as we can tell: What if the site gets hacked at the moment of truth when they try to make their case to the feds? "Your honor, go to Facts4Lance.com, and you'll find our responses to all these horrid, baseless accusations." "Well, it says here that you drink nuclear-powered Tang before every stage, you inject horse hormones directly into your heart, you're part polar bear on your father's side, and you were Johnny Depp's stunt double in three of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies." "Uh, your honor, are you sure you're looking at Facts4Lance.com and not Wikipedia?" Lance is looking at an uphill battle as steep as the Pyrenees, but good luck winning the hearts and minds battle online. Because we all know that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth can ALWAYS be found and verified on the Internet.


2. Bosh brings Heat

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.1 18.6

Credentials: By scoring 34 points to overwhelm the Bulls and help the Heat to a 2-1 series lead, Bosh answered the question Heat fans have been asking all season: "When's Chris Bosh going to do something to elevate his value to where we can trade him for extra pieces down the road?"


3. Dirk on a mission

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 8.4 17.2

Credentials: He's so laser-focused on guiding the Mavs to the title that he hasn't noticed that Mark Cuban has had an actual laser cannon built atop the American Airlines Center that's already aimed at South Beach to exact revenge when Wade and the Heat beat them for the title again.


4. Old Man Hopkins

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.4 15.1

Credentials: Don't laugh that we've got a boxing champ who is 46 years old. Since turning 40, Bernard Hopkins is 7-3-1. The question is, though, what is this going to do to the image of fight trainers in the movies? We're used to seeing an ancient Burgess Meredith as Mickey guiding a strapping young Rocky to victory against Apollo Creed. If someone makes a movie years from now about a boxer who's pushing 50, who are they going to get to play the trainer -- a mummified Sylvester Stallone?


5. Fenway Park wayback machine

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 7.6 14.7

Credentials: Was anyone expecting the Cubs to win the weekend series in Boston? We're glad interleague play blesses us with these novelty matchups, but something about the hype of this pairing sounded like a "Celebrity Apprentice" challenge: "Put the Cubs in Fenway Park for the first time since 1918, sew some throwback uniforms, and pray that Tim Wakefield doesn't make 'em look silly." But since this wasn't "Celebrity Apprentice," at least Donald Trump didn't throw out the first pitch.


6. Premier League relegation

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.5 12.7

Credentials: So long, Blackpool and Birmingham. You joined West Ham in being the bottom three squads that got booted out of England's elite futbol circles. As a trans-Atlantic consolation prize to those clubs' fans, the WNBA is offering a free satellite TV package of its games. If that won't teach you not to get emotionally invested in soccer, nothing will.


7. Yankees ticket scandal

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.4 5.3 10.7

Credentials: Former New York governor David Paterson will not face perjury charges regarding getting free World Series tickets. That's good news, because sentencing guidelines would have dictated he reimburse the franchise for the five tickets in question and have to pick up the remainder of Jorge Posada's contract.


8. "Hard Knocks" auditions

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.0 10.2

Credentials: HBO is having a hard-knock time lining up a team for this summer's edition of its NFL reality show. So far, the Bucs, Broncos and Lions have turned down offers to let the cameras roll during camp. And the Jets have said they would turn down an invitation if asked to go another round, despite providing the show's best antics ever last season. However, coach Rex Ryan has been approached to guest star as a particularly gruff dwarf king on "Game of Thrones." As long as he gets to keep the prop battle ax.


9. "Carl Crawford money"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 4.4 9.5

Credentials: Mets owner Fred Wilpon took his negotiating tactics to the media by using that description in a sprawling New Yorker interview to say Jose Reyes will not land a major payday to remain with the team. When reached for comment in Boston, Carl Crawford's money said, "I've never been a big fan of New York anyway. You see what a three-bedroom apartment is going for in Midtown? Give me the Vineyard in the summer and winters in Tampa, that'll be perfect."


10. Bump Day

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.0 4.2 9.2

Credentials: No doubt that Danica Patrick was relieved to qualify at the No. 26 spot for the 100th Indy 500. But did she have to say about relieving the stress afterward, "I need a drink"? We call it Bump Day because cars get timed out of the field, not because the cars are scraping the wall when a driver blows a 0.10 on the Breathalyzer.


11. The Cannes horse

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.1 8.3

Credentials: You might never get around to seeing the Brad Pitt-Terrence Malick flick "Tree of Life," which won the Cannes Film Festival's Palme D'Or. But the VIP party you're going to kick yourself for missing is the one where a mystery horse showed up. No one knew how it made its way through the red carpet in the south of France, but one thing's for sure: Boy, did it miss its gate time for the Preakness. Kegasus, you have officially been upstaged in the "Strive to be Legendary" category.


12. French Open balls

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.3 7.3

Credentials: Who cares if Djokovic conquers the clay, the buzz in Paris is that reaction is muddy for the new Babolat balls from Dunlop. Why do the balls seem harder than usual? The manufacturer has stepped up and admitted that the core of the ball was mistakenly substituted with miniature bowling balls. Oops. Until they can rush new balls into production, have fun during foot faults by screaming out, "Over the line, Smokey!"


13. The Kilimanjaro Bowl

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 2.4 5.5

Credentials: College football fever reached Africa when the non-scholarship Drake football team beat a squad of Mexican all-stars 17-7 in Tanzania. Along with charity work, the players will also get to scale the famous peak. All very well and heartwarming, but this bowl concept won't hit the big time until we hear that Kilimanjaro Bowl execs have given away rare, archived Ernest Hemingway manuscripts to BCS sponsors in order to gain VIP access at Arizona gentlemen's clubs.


Also receiving votes
• Minneapolis-St. Paul: It's the fittest city in America, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Sure, residents don't get to exercise much during the winter months, but during the summer those Love Boat excursions on Lake Minnetonka sure pay off.

Never receiving votes
• NHL franchise despair: So which berg would you rather not be: Atlanta, which is on the verge of losing its second franchise to another Canadian city? Or San Jose, which despite qualifying for the playoffs in 11 of the past 12 seasons and winning the Pacific Division in six of the past nine seasons are on the verge of being eliminated in the conference finals, and still haven't made it to the league finals, let alone won the Stanley Cup? The answer, of course, is the Florida Panthers, who have not qualified for the playoffs since 2000 because they can't hold practice after so many stray slapshots have sunk all their pucks in the swamps of the Everglades.

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.