Power Rankings: Uprights edition

Originally Published: October 25, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

You're up and you're good for 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 developed a self-esteem problem after it heard Brad Childress was bad-mouthing it. Something about how it wasn't connecting with the right websites thanks to a slow connection speed. Coach, we love hearing your informed decisions after the fact! To the picks! To the results!

1. Nailing the goalposts

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.6 9.1 19.7

Credentials: Watching Kris Brown's 50-yard field goal attempt to tie the score for the Chargers against the Patriots that went boink off the right goalpost got us thinking: Why is it worth zero points for a kicker to hit the goalpost? Isn't it infinitely harder to hit one of those two tin toothpicks than it is to clear it in the space that's 18 feet, 6 inches between them? Have mercy, it should at least be worth a do-over kick. Or argue that it might be worth the same three points you'd get if it went through. Or -- and this is in the spirit of anyone on the losing side of a basketball game who ever wished that a basket that swishes from across the court should be worth a lot more than three points -- why not make it that if a kicker decides to "call his shot," it can be worth 10 points? There are so many boring/infuriating parts of the field goal-kicking process (boring when a chicken-scratch coach chickens out on fourth down; infuriating when a jerk-store coach tries to ice the kicker), there's nothing but excitement to be had if one magical, improbable kick can doink its way into great moments in sports history. At least for the sake of Scott Norwood, let's introduce the possibility that a kicker can win the Super Bowl if he can line it up just right.

2. Hole-in-one playoff win

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.2 9.1 18.3

Credentials: Case in point to prove our point about the 10-point field goal post proposal: Jonathan Byrd won Justin Timberlake's golf tournament in Vegas when he sank a 204-yard shot that no magician on The Strip could have duplicated without special effects. It makes for great highlight footage, but no one who was watching live was expecting it. That's wasted tension. Again, imagine a Super Bowl whose final play hinged on the referee's announcement that, "The Cleveland Browns have determined that they will try to hit the goalpost for a 10-point play." (We took the liberty of putting Cleveland in the Super Bowl just to continue your suspension of disbelief that this could ever happen.) That's an entire planet holding its breath, thinking, "He couldn't possibly hit that goalpost … COULD HE?!?!?" … and for any kicker who could consistently be that dead-eye from beyond 40 yards out, all of a sudden his salary would rival that of a left tackle.

3. NBA contraction

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.4 17.0

Credentials: Here's how dire the NBA's finances are: Commissioner David Stern is conceding the idea that cities such as Memphis and … uh … well, c'mon, no matter how many teams they'd have to cut, you've gotta start with the miserable Grizzlies. You're like that pathetic kid in fifth grade who whenever the teacher said, "Everyone passed the test -- well, except for one of you," everyone's heads knew where to turn. And not just because that dumb kid was wearing a Grizzlies jersey.

4. Your Halloween costume

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.8 15.7

Credentials: Time's running out, so you've got to decide: If you're going to go as Brock Lesnar, are you going to be seen as the prefight version or the postfight version? We suppose it depends on how many innocent children you want to scare.

5. Packing for London

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.0 7.2 14.2

Credentials: The NFL's international showcase game has been scheduled for quite a while now, but the timing couldn't be better for the 49ers and Broncos to flee the continent to play their game in Wembley Stadium. And not to say England isn't being sold a bill of goods on two teams that are a combined 3-11, but here's an idea that might be better for all involved: Change the game into a more interesting, more competitive match by staging a UFL all-star game, and let the teams do some good overseas by having Tim Tebow take everybody on the San Francisco and Denver rosters to do some charity work at his family's orphanage in the Philippines.

6. World Series-sized thirst

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.1 6.6 12.7

Credentials: If this past spring you had the Rangers and Giants as the teams to beat for the Fall Classic, you win a free case of ginger ale. For all you haters saying that TV ratings will plummet with two small-market teams in the mix, we're eager to study any spike in ginger ale sales as the true measure of whether baseball is still America's past time. Honestly, when was the last time you ordered a ginger ale if it wasn't on an airplane beverage cart?

7. No more "Flash"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 5.5 11.3

Credentials: Dwyane Wade has tweeted that he's ditching his Shaq-coined nickname. That's OK, because if this Miami Heat experiment blew up, we were going to suggest that he change his nickname to "Flush." Citizens of Cleveland, we're still sorting out your new nickname suggestions for LeBron.

8. Ochocinco's lost T-shirts

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.5 10.7

Credentials: To add some spice (or maybe just some fashion sense) to the Bengals-Falcons game, Chad Ochocinco threatened to send specially made T-shirts to the Atlanta locker room that had taunting messages on them. The Falcons said they never received any such packages. Or maybe that's just foreshadowing for the plot of an upcoming series of Hanes T-shirts commercials co-starring Ochocinco and Charlie Sheen as an inept delivery guy.

9. Helmet-to-helmet hits

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.4 10.7

Credentials: We don't want to oversimplify the problem, but can't the helmet makers figure out a way to manufacture larger helmets that can fit over current helmets? Or maybe that's another instance of how Mel Brooks is ahead of his time -- in the future, all football helmets will be the size of Rick Moranis' Dark Helmet headgear.

10. Oregon Ducks

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 5.5 10.2

Credentials: Lane Kiffin promised that if his Trojans beat you this week to derail your national title run, he won't say anything smarmy for at least 13-and-a-half seconds after the final gun.

11. Jay Cutler's interceptions

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 4.7 9.5

Credentials: Throwing four picks in one game is horrible enough -- but all to DeAngelo Hall? Including one that went 92 yards for a touchdown? So what was the real problem? Was it on Cutler for never accounting for where Hall was in the Redskins' secondary, or the Bears' coaches for putting Cutler on the field after three interceptions to the same guy? We're all about accountability here, people.

12. Richard Petty Motorsports woes

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.6 4.3 8.9

Credentials: If the organization's financial situation gets any worse, it'll make a serious dent on its ability to create any future Richard Petty android replibots. Seriously, who can see under that hat and sunglasses if there's still a real guy under there?

13. Katy Perry and Russell Brand

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.1 2.4 4.5

Credentials: Everything about their wedding in India went off perfectly -- well, except Elmo's drunken outburst during the "speak now, or forever hold your peace" part.

Also receiving votes
• "My Pookie Bear" ringtone: Yes, you can now download from that jingle from the commercial that's so annoying we can't get it out of our head until we get home and can spoon with our pookie bear. Meanwhile, we're waiting for the day when Burger King will let you download "The Humpty Dance" or Taco Bell will let you download "La Cucaracha."

Never receiving votes
• Kiss concert tickets: Here's our question about the soft-drink commercial that shows the members from Kiss in full makeup performing a concert alongside little-people versions of their personas: If that really was a real concert tour, would the ticket prices be more expensive or less expensive than tickets for a typical Kiss concert? As in, would it be more of a treat to be at that show and see that wildly unique pairing and therefore such tickets would need to be sold at a premium, or because so few people were going to Kiss concerts, in addition to slashing prices they're forced to add a gimmick like dressing up little people in Kiss makeup? More importantly: What are the odds that an all-little-person Kiss lineup consists of better musicians than the current roster? Or is it even possible that they could be worse?

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

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