Commentary

Power Rankings: Caddie attack edition

Originally Published: August 8, 2011
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

We're carrying your bag full of ridicule to the ESPN.com 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 so caught up in celebrating the 20th anniversary of Lollapalooza that it deleted all our fantasy football wish lists in order to make room for downloading Coldplay's set list. To the results!

1. Caddie smack

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 9.6 19.3

Credentials: We've seen the job fortunes of political advisers rise when they get a guy elected president. We've seen middle-age songwriters accept Grammy awards for penning that memorable tune a teenage boy band made famous over the radio all summer. But when has a golf caddie ever tried to catapult himself to rock-star status just by carrying the clubs of the guy who was hitting the ball? Steve Williams, if we were in charge of Alabama's graduation ceremony, we'd have you deliver the commencement address on the topic of "How To Make the Dean's List By Having Your Roommate Tell You All the Answers." Why Alabama? Just to hear how you'd diss the Auburn Tigers.


2. NFL preseason

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.0 18.5

Credentials: Is it too early to start tailgating for Thursday night's exhibitions? We promise to only eat and drink things made entirely of artificial ingredients. And one of these days we are going to find a scalper who will sell us tickets to a preseason game in exchange for our Monopoly dollar bills. (Note: This is still not a valid excuse to try to buy preseason tickets off StubHub with a fake credit card).


3. Yankees-Red Sox

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 8.3 17.1

Credentials: Actually, yes, there are at least three people who are perfectly fine with their 10-inning games lasting four hours and 15 minutes. Like Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter … hey, you're telling us you wouldn't be holding on for all that it's worth to squeeze every last minute of being on that stage as opposed to having to sit the whole thing out? Oops, sorry Jorge, no offense, you're just ahead of the curve for the other two right now.


4. Your fantasy team

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.2 14.9

Credentials: It's the 21st century answer to "Who's on first?" … Have you started to think who you'd pick first overall if that's your spot in the fantasy draft? Maybe Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, Chris Johnson or Reggie Bush? (Note to emailers who'd mock us for putting Reggie Bush on that list: We're trying to fake out the person in our league who doesn't know better, so keep quiet, OK? Sheesh).


5. Downgraded financial picture

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.1 7.4 14.5

Credentials: Here's the worst part of watching our 401(k) go down the toilet in all this market madness. Our backup plan to keep the money rolling in was to earn it back off A-Rod at our weekly poker games. And he's already wise to our pool-hustling schemes. Anyone ready to go halfsies on Ramen noodles?


6. NFL Hall of Fame speeches

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.3 12.5

Credentials: Love him or hate him, you have to admire Deion Sanders' induction inspiration: "If your dream isn't bigger than you, then there's a problem with your dream." Agreed, agreed. For example, our dream is to get you eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the basis of "Must Be The Money." Anyone have a problem with that?


7. Deer antler spray

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.4 5.1 10.5

Credentials: Bad news if you're a pro baseball player who's been spraying ground-up deer antlers under the tongue. MLB has warned that it has added this product to its list of "potentially contaminated nutritional supplements." Because (stop us if you've heard this one before) a component from the velvet of antlers of immature deer can contain the insulin-like growth factor IGF-1, which is banned because it can affect a person's HGH level. We don't know which is the sadder day: That someone figured out that ground-up deer antler could be a performance-enhancer, or that our doping scandals now involve products that sound like they could be a body spray endorsed by The Situation.


8. Gotham City Rogues

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 4.8 10.0

Credentials: Did we mention that show business is all about who knows who? For example, one of the Pittsburgh Steelers co-owners is a producer for next summer's "The Dark Knight Rises," which is currently filming in the Iron City. So he was able to work in a scene that required thousands of extras to fill the stands at Heinz Field to watch Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, James Farrior, Hines Ward and rebooted coach Bill Cowher take cameos as Bruce Wayne's favorite football team. SPOILER ALERT: The Rogues are running up the score against the Baltimore Robins, the filming of which requires Ray Lewis to dress up in red and green tights with a yellow cape.


9. Atlanta Hawks

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.1 4.2 9.3

Credentials: Oops! Looks like you missed your chance to buy a mid-tier, fixer-upper, Eastern Conference NBA team. We don't know what buyer Alex Meruelo paid for the franchise, but as a California pizza baron he must understand that additional toppings -- like getting out of the semifinal round of the playoffs -- will always cost much extra.


10. Sinking Pirates

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.0 4.2 9.2

Credentials: We don't use the phrase "worst homestand in the franchise's 125-year history" very often, but the Bucs' 0-7 run and double-digit streak of consecutive losses have forced our hand. Pittsburgh fans who were saving up for a "2011 NL Central Champs!" T-shirt can now officially reallocate those funds toward a fresh crop of Terrible Towels.


11. Youth soccer

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.0 8.2

Credentials: Good news for those who keep praying that soccer is the sport of the future. Real Madrid just signed Leonel Angel Coira, a 7-year-old prodigy from Argentina. Already, the consensus from scouts is that Leo's ability to flop on the ground and convincingly start fake crying in pain shows incredible maturity.


12. NBA lockout

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.2 7.2

Credentials: Attention, NBA players who are considering taking your pro talents to China if the lockout continues into the fall. If you base your decision on the advice from a fortune cookie you eat after dinner that says something like, "It's time for your career to blossom in a new location," keep in mind that might not be blind fate intervening. If the kitchen staff can tailor your request for no green peppers in your vegetable stir-fry, they're just as capable of manufacturing a fortune cookie strip of paper that suits their fan interests ahead of yours.


13. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 2.3 5.4

Credentials: Let's see: Brad Keselowski won Sunday's race at Pocono Raceway with a broken ankle, but NASCAR's most popular driver saw his victory lane dry spell hit 114 races. Which means right now, Junior's nightmare is that one of his "biggest fans" is going to try to inspire some slumpbusting by going Kathy Bates/"Misery"-style with a sledgehammer on his twinkle-toes. Um, psycho fans? You're not helping. Just keep buying the T-shirts and watch the 88 turn left.


Also receiving votes
• Washington Nationals health care: How healthy is it for the Nats to trot out Stephen Strasburg in minor league action as he recovers from Tommy John surgery? On Sunday, he operated for 31 pitches over 1 2/3 innings in Class A, striking out four and hitting 98 mph on the radar gun. Basically, the prescription to keep him safe appears to be to keep his pitching sessions lasting shorter than the time you spend in the waiting room to see your actual doctor.

Never receiving votes
• Teen Choice Awards: Kudos to the "Twilight" crowd for backing up their millions of dollars spent at the box office with some frenzied online voting. But we haven't seen this much praise handed out to vampires since we emceed the Red Cross' celebrity roast of Sarah Michelle Gellar.

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


Back to Page 2


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Philbrick, Gallo: Farewell podcast Listen

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

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