Page 2 Power Rankings: Jacko edition

Originally Published: June 29, 2009
By Patrick Hruby | Page 2

Welcome to another edition of Page 2's weekly Power Rankings, where the confusion of a world in which Donald Fehr is dismissed and unlamented for the cardinal sin of being very good at his job is replaced by the clarity of making a list:

1. MTV

Finally played videos again! And all it took was ...

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10 6 8 5

Credentials: Spaceships. Creepy private eyes. Paramilitary gunmen. Dancing zombies. "Street Fighter II"-worthy car beatdowns. Magic Johnson as an Egyptian royal guardsman. A surprising number of insanely attractive women. One extremely fortuitous bath towel. Mascara-dipped street gangs. Tommy guns. Bubbles the Chimp. Heavy D. Macaulay Culkin. All right there on the screen. The wonder isn't that Michael Jackson was supremely weird -- it's that anyone ever found his weirdness surprising.

1a. Generalissimo Jackets

End of an era?

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1 4 8 20

Credentials: Jackson gone, but Cap'n Crunch, Nutcracker toy soldiers and Roger Federer remain to shoulder the faux-Third World dictator sartorial mantle. And also the epaulets. Always the epaulets.

1b. Rockwell

Dreams of somebody watching a reunion tour dashed

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9 3 6 7

Credentials: Glass half-full: The incessant car insurance commercials keeping Rockwell's abbreviated musical legacy alive are now more poignant. Glass half-empty: Even Geico cares only about the part of the song sung by Jackson.

2. U.S. National Soccer Team

Worst Spanish loss since the armada

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6 9 7 5

Credentials: Never mind startin' wars, emitting greenhouse gases, wearing fanny packs abroad. If we ever win a global tournament in a sport we barely care about -- and can't even bother to call by its correct name -- the rest of the world is going to be seriously annoyed.

2a. Egyptian National Soccer Team

Have never even heard of former NFL'er Eugene Robinson

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5 10 9 10

Credentials: Team blames Confederations Cup loss to United States on media "lies" about its players consorting with -- and being robbed by -- prostitutes following a victory over Italy. The moral? Tip the service like Johnny Depp, and this doesn't happen.

3. Joanna Krupa

Prettier than Tom Brady, gutsier than Tony Romo

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5 6 8 8

Credentials: Playboy model publicly throws "Superstars" teammate Terrell Owens under the bus, drops on-camera F-bomb and refuses to shake hands, eliciting not a whit of sanctimonious criticism from live-to-moralize sports media. Where's the outrage? Just look at her ... er, what were we talking about again?

4. Gov. (for now) Mark Sanford

Perfunctory "Evita" joke goes here

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10 7 6 8

Credentials: Mysterious disappearance actually the result of secret trip to Argentina to visit mistress. Too bad Brandon Jennings can't use the same excuse.

5. Taylor Griffin

He's No. 1!

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2 5 6 8

Credentials: Harlem Globetrotters make brother of top NBA draft pick Blake their No. 1 selection; in related news, the Globetrotters have a draft; in related-related news, chagrined Page 2 writers vow to ready Globetrotters mock draft in time for 2010.

5a. Blake Griffin

Not here to talk about the past, a philosophy that previously has worked out so very, very well

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10 5 5 5

Credentials: Responds to becoming top pick by historically putrid Los Angeles Clippers by stating, "I'm not worried about what's happened in the past, I'm only looking forward to the future" -- a statement that would make a lot of sense if said future didn't involve the Clippers.

6. Ricky Rubio

Como se dice "I thought Kevin McHale already had been fired?"

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8 9 6 7

Credentials: Spanish boy band sensation/ballhandling whiz selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who proceed to take fellow point guard Jonny Flynn with the very next pick, perhaps preparing for Biblical flood. Wolves don't need a general manager -- they need a carpenter.

6a. Brandon Jennings

Will now use NBA millions to purchase working GPS device

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6 4 9 10

Credentials: High school-to-Europe-to-NBA prospect bolts Madison Square Garden just before draft, reportedly for fear of falling out of lottery and being alone in green room; after being picked 10th by Milwaukee, hustles back to be introduced by David Stern. Like coaches always say -- it's not how you start, it's how you finish.

7. Lowell Spinners

Determined to put Spencer Gifts out of business

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2 4 8 7

Credentials: Boston Red Sox minor league affiliate holds "B.O.S." giveaway night, in which fans receive bags filled with plastic feces. As opposed to bags filled with actual Washington Nationals tickets.

7a. Manny Ramirez

Wackiest minor league promotion since B.O.S. Night

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9 5 6 6

Credentials: Final line with Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes? Three at-bats, no hits, one walk. With minor league stats like that, Ramirez will be back to winning NBA championships in no time.

8. Dwight Howard

Center of indirect attention

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Credentials: Cleveland Cavs acquire Shaquille O'Neal to slow Howard down; Orlando Magic pick up Vince Carter to help him out. Even on summer vacation, Superman is an impact player.

9. The NHL

Scrooge McDuck? Anaheim fan

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Credentials: A Canadian judge finds that the NHL has been underfunding player pension plans by millions of dollars and shortchanging widows over multiple decades. Where's Donald Fehr when you need him?

10. Tiger Woods

Needs more waggle

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8 4 7 8

Credentials: A few days after hecklers at Bethpage Black tell Woods to "suck it up, you have your own video game," golfer loses to late-night host Jimmy Fallon at Wii edition of eponymous game. Next up? Nicking face with Gillette razor and choking on Gatorade.

11. American Justice

Swift and stern, unless you're famous

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5 7 3 9

Credentials: Man who stole one of Lance Armstrong's racing bikes in 2008 is sentenced to a three-year prison term -- three more years than pop singer Chris Brown received for pleading guilty to felony assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna. Whatever, back to watching "Law and Order."

12. Oregon Football

Ze goggles, zey do nothing!

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6 5 7 9

Credentials: School introduces new football uniforms, a green-gray-yellow-black-silver mélange that manages to look even goofier than previous eye-bleeding iterations -- largely due to a duck-wing shoulder decal that (sadly) is not a tribute to Michael Jackson's courtroom wardrobe.

12a. American Ingenuity

Baconnaise is just the beginning

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9 6 7 10

Credentials: Oregon uniform manufacturer claims duds are the "fastest-playing" in football, because of a 25 percent weight reduction. In other words: America's industrial scientists are now so proficient, they're engineering solutions to problems that don't actually exist.

13. Rodney Harrison

The hits keep coming

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5 4 8 4

Credentials: Tells radio show that Brett Favre is "pretty selfish," "brings so much attention to himself," and that "the circus shouldn't have to go on for three or four years." Pithy soundbites? Whip-smart command of the obvious? Former defensive back is going to fit right in as an NFL television analyst.

14. Bernie Kosar

The Next Food Network Star

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Credentials: A Miami Herald profile reveals that the bankrupt former NFL quarterback cuts French bread with a saw. Moron. He's never heard of a blowtorch?

Also receiving votes: The Sham Wow! dude, who now stands alone like Christopher Lambert at the end of "Highlander"; Pabst, the boxer-mix crowned World Ugliest Dog, probably because Jerome James' contract was ineligible; Mike Tyson, who is so not down with that square Leo Tolstoy; Victor Conte and his (perfectly legal) supplements, which never really went away; James Harden's country lawyer-themed NBA draft outfit, which was genuinely dapper; Jeff Goldblum, still alive!

Never receiving votes: Jon & Kate's divorce, which in any other week would have made the supermarket tabs seem cutting edge, instead of woefully behind the times; Sidney Ponson, who tested positive for a weight-loss drug, which is like Tayshaun Prince testing positive for Nandrolone; Shia LaBeouf, who told a video game blog he'd rather "eat glass" than play Wii with Megan Fox, even though we'd eat an entire windowpane for a chance to play Wii with Fox. But maybe that's just us.

Patrick Hruby is a columnist for Page 2.