Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Page 2 [Print without images]

Monday, February 13, 2012
Rankings: Detroit Clint Edition

By Greg Hardy
Page 2

Welcome to the most grizzled edition yet of ESPN.com's 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 under such extreme football withdrawal that it tried to buy pirated Blu-ray copies of 1990s Pro Bowl games -- from an undercover sting orchestrated by disguised NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who then fined us $85,000. To the results!

1. Clint knows Detroit

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 9.6 19.3

Credentials: It's amazing that the Red Wings have matched an NHL record with 20 straight home victories. But should we be surprised that great things are happening in Detroit? Hey, maybe sports too fell under what Clint Eastwood was talking about when he growled to us about the city in his "second-half comeback" monologue in his Chrysler Super Bowl commercial. Should we straight-up be getting sports wagering tips from a Clint Eastwood phone hotline? Can you tell us how far the Lions will go in their 2012 playoff run? Can Matthew Stafford break Drew Brees' passing record? Will Prince Fielder win the batting title with the Tigers? Will the Pistons hit double-digit wins by April? Here's the cold-hard reality part, though. Even if he did know, we're betting Clint would rather agree to star in and direct a reboot of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" before he'd tell us.


2. Phil Mickelson

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.5 9.3 18.8

Credentials: How great must it feel to beat playing partner Tiger Woods by 11 strokes in the final round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am? Of course, Lefty's too nice a guy to rub it in, but we're guessing part of him wanted to point out, "At least today you got a beat down by someone whose name you're heard of before you tied your shoes this morning."


3. Tony Romo

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.8 8.2 17.0

Credentials: Meanwhile, you probably couldn't help but notice that the Dallas Cowboys quarterback was Tiger Woods' partner for the pro-am Sunday. Maybe No. 9 could have provided Tiger with a little incentive to putt better if he would have promised him free Dallas Cowboys playoff tickets. Or if they could trade shoulder pads for a green jacket for a weekend sometime over the summer. We just hope Tony didn't try to bridge the pro-am friendship relationship line by humbly bragging that he's met guys who've won the Super Bowl.


4. Majoring in Linsanity

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.7 7.4 15.1

Credentials: We know you're sick to death of the media's infatuation with Harvard-educated athletes all year round, but we're putting smart money down on the fact that we need to comment on Jeremy Lin. The way he's brought the Knicks back from the dead, we're guessing he took classes at Harvard Medical School as well. That's why as soon as this week's column posts, we're off to Hollywood to pitch our spec script for a Jeremy Lin biopic, which we've titled, "The Harvard Basketball Network." Hopefully, a year from now at the Oscars, everyone will be saying the movie's catch phrase, "If you guys were the inventors of Linsanity, you'd have invented Linsanity."


5. Last-minute Valentine's Day presents

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.4 7.4 14.8

Credentials: Cupid help you if you're scanning ESPN Page 2 for romantic advice at any time of the year. But the least we can do is help you minimize your mistakes. For example, if you were trying to impress that Special Someone with an e-Valentine but mistakenly sent an invite to your fantasy baseball draft? Just play it off that you were trying to take things to the Next Level by sharing something that's important to you that you can do together. And if that Special Someone miraculously happens to win the league, well, won't that be a fun story to tell the grandkids.


6. Grammy fever

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.2 6.3 12.5

Credentials: It's not so much that we think we're going to hell for watching Nicki Minaj's exorcism stageplay, we're more worried that she made a deal with the devil that her career will last long enough to be the Super Bowl halftime headliner in 2042.


7. Jessica Korda

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.4 5.3 10.7

Credentials: America's got a new teen golf sensation thanks to her winning her first LPGA event, a six-player playoff at the Women's Australian Open. Well, it might be too early to call her a sensation just yet. We'll need at least one Us Weekly cover shouting rumors that Justin Bieber is trying to woo her before she gets that status. Plus, two Golf Digest covers that say she's helped Justin Timberlake improve his handicap wouldn't hurt, either.


8. Lance Armstrong, triathlete

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 4.8 10.0

Credentials: Look who finished in second place in the Panama half ironman. Not bad for his first go at being a professional triathlete, and it shows he's got all sorts of room for improvement. Obviously, the seven-time Tour de France winner has a huge advantage in the cycling portion. But, Lance, here's a hint for your next ironman attempt: You don't have to carry the bicycle with you under your arm during the swimming portion.


9. A.J. Burnett

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 4.4 9.7

Credentials: Rumors are swirling that the Yankees are gearing to deal the right-hander to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sources close to the talks say the Pirates are prepared to sweeten the deal by promising not to qualify for the playoffs, to spare the Yankees the embarrassment of having to face him in the World Series.


10. Kevin Youkilis

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 4.2 9.5

Credentials: Here's the best part about the news that Boston's first baseman is engaged to one of Tom Brady's three sisters: Even if Kevin doesn't change his name to Youkilis-Brady, getting that stitched onto the back of a Red Sox jersey would be the perfect gift for all fans of New England sports royalty around the globe.


11. Jose Canseco

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.2 4.1 8.3

Credentials: Just when you thought the former All-Star's career couldn't get juicier, he's tweeted that he and his passport are on their way to try out for a team in the Mexican League. His sights are set on the Quintana Roo Tigers, who play out of Cancun. Call us skeptical on his odds to be an opening day starter, but we're thinking there's a real fine line between prolonging your ballplaying career at age 47 and just trying to get a real early start on spring break.


12. Vikings stadium

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.0 3.1 7.1

Credentials: Things couldn't be more of a mess in Minnesota. The team is on year-to-year lease at the Metrodome, assuming the place doesn't collapse in the midst of a snow flurry before training camp. Politicians have more pressing infrastructure needs in the state than forking over tax loot for a $1 billion stadium. And it's not like team owner Zygi Wilf can rent the Irsay family's moving vans to haul everything to Los Angeles on short notice. Our solution is obvious: Trade for Tim Tebow. Once he hears the town needs a new facility, he'll put his Philippines orphanage-building skills to work by taking off his shirt, buckling up a tool belt and commence hammering 2-by-4s together. Then local Vikings fans will put down what they're doing and pitch in faster than you can say "Amish barn raising." All Timmy will need is a steady supply of lumber from Home Depot and a few pitchers of lemonade, and this'll be solved by sundown.


13. Spring training

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
3.1 2.3 5.4

Credentials: If you're not excited about pitchers and catchers reporting, just imagine for the next few days that baseball is having a labor dispute stare-down. Then when your favorite team does show up for its Cactus/Grapefruit proceedings, breathe a sigh of relief that cooler heads prevailed. Life always feels fresher when you feel like you've dodged a bullet.


Also receiving votes
• Whitney Houston's "Star-Spangled Banner": It's what perfection looks and sounds like. We'll always listen one more time so we don't forget.

Never receiving votes
Fodesinbeed Annodue: If you're 11 or under and saw "Phantom Menace 3D" over the weekend, congratulations on seeing a "Star Wars" movie on the big screen for the first time! For the parents, condolences on shelling out all that extra cash on a 3D conversion process that didn't work and rewarding George Lucas for making us pay to see his worst "Star Wars" movie again. Even one of the best parts of the movie, the Tatooine podrace, has to be ruined by the two-headed sports announcer, Fodesinbeed Annodue. (No, we didn't know that name off the top of our head, we had to Google it, there is a limit to our Star Wars geekdom.) This character's dialogue is so idiotic, it makes Annoying Orange sound like one of Gene Hackman's pep talks in "Hoosiers." The most insulting part: Didn't Fodesinbeed Annodue do any homework before it got into the broadcast booth? Here's its entire introduction for the character we're supposed to be paying attention to: "And a late entry: young Anakin Skywalker, a local boy!" Uh, thanks, got nothing else to educate the broadcast audience? Something like, "Get a load of the only human being in the field! And how is it possible that the only human who can pilot a garbage can at 500 mpg through narrow rock canyon walls is barely old enough to have his own library card!" We're pretty sure that if a 10-year-old Wookiee was a starting cornerback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chris Berman would make a big deal of it. And at least provide a wacky nickname.

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