Disappointment Zone power rankings
Posted by disappointmentzone on 6 December 2006
While browsing SI.com the other day I saw on the right-hand side of the screen a curious link to a story that I never thought would be posted, at least not on the front page of SI.com. The link: Women’s College BB Power Rankings. I’m not kidding. It was below All Out Blitz, a college football catch-all, which seems appropriate at this time of year; and above View From The Ice, which I presume is about hockey.
I’ve heard stories about how SI.com is struggling in the online sports world, falling further and further behind ESPN.com in unique daily visitors. I happen to think that word-for-word, SI.com is better than ESPN.com. But every once and a while something like this happens and there is a moment of clarity and fact aligns with opinion. Looking around, it’s not so hard to believe that SI.com would be having problems drawing visitors. Maybe some of SI.com’s struggles have to do with running stories about hockey and women’s basketball on the front page of the website.
Maybe. I’m just speculating here.
I don’t want to pile on women’s sports, but are power rankings for women’s college basketball really necessary this early in the season? I know they must be worried about what the boys up in Bristol are doing, concerned that ESPN.com is scooping all the good ideas. But couldn’t SI.com wait until, I don’t know, March, before running front-page women’s college basketball power rankings? Just how many viewers are going to stumble upon SI.com and cry out in surprise, “Lo! Women’s college basketball power rankings! My life is complete! Wait a minute…what is ASU doing ranked ninth!?!?” Sixteen people? Four? Seven? How many people actually care about women’s college basketball in early December? I know zero such people. I presume that there are at least forty of them, maybe even more, scattered about this country. Matt Leinart is one of them, but even he probably doesn’t care about how well Georgia is playing right now. Maybe USC, but they aren’t even ranked, so who cares?
All of which is to say that a) I am not surprised that SI.com is faltering in the online sports world and b) the power rankings market is clearly saturated beyond reproach, which leads me to c) The Disappointment Zone Power Rankings.
If it’s good enough for women’s college basketball, it’s good enough for us.
Here’s how it’ll work. The Disappointment Zone is concerned primarily with six teams: Browns, Cavs, Indians, OSU Football Buckeyes, OSU Basketball Buckeyes, and Aston Villa. From time to time the Disappointment Zone will offer a complete hierarchy of these teams so that, perhaps, you can finally settle that bet about which Cleveland sports team is more powerful in a given week — the Browns or Indians, say. I know there is a great demand for such a service. We are nothing if not generous here at the DZ. Consider this an early gift in this time of holiday giving. No need for thanks, but donations are welcome.
A newly-instituted policy has it that the Disappointment Zone takes all its cues from Jim Waldon, who this week proved himself to be a beacon of reason and logic, rising above the thoughtless din in these hectic and trying times. A man whose example in the matters of the BCS is worthy of devotion and imitation. Accordingly, there is no promise that these rankings will ever, you know, make sense. If you think it’s tough trying to figure out which team is most worthy of a first place vote in the Harris Poll, don’t even consider attempting the mental calculus necessary to appraise the various conflicting merits of, say, the Indians and the Cavs. This is a highly professional operation (professional in spirit, that is; still amateur in soul). Don’t try this at home.
Herewith, then, the inaugural Disappointment Zone Power Rankings.
1. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are riding high this week due to a most-surprising victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. What’s more, instead of internally inflicted mental wounds — we are looking at you, Braylon — and internally inflicted physical wounds — speak up, Mr. Bentley, we can hardly hear you — the Browns joined the rest of the NFL this week when Charlie Frye suffered a physical wound inflicted by another team. Never before has a hurt wrist been a sign of normative behavior. Now the other teams at NFL Middle School won’t have to pick on the Browns at recess. We showed that we are tough. Finally, we fit in. We are normal. Cancel this week’s therapy appointment. We are good to go.
2. Ohio State Basketball Buckeyes
The oldest-looking teenager in history made his earlier-than-expected debut this past weekend. What’s more, he shot all his field goal attempts and free throws left handed because his right wrist is still injured from preseason surgery. Perhaps when Oden’s done carrying the Buckeyes to the promised land he can show Charlie Frye a thing or two about being a MAN.
3. Aston Villa
Aston Villa has been carrying the banner of Best Cleveland Football team this entire season. It’s past time that they bequeathed the banner, if only for a week, to that other football team. Villa still doesn’t know how to lose — which is why they are still ranked highly in the EPL and are but a shade behind the Browns here — but at some point the team actually needs to win a game. Until then they’ll remain in third place in the DZ PR. Because the middle of the pack is the PR equivalent of kissing your sister, which is what a tie is, which is what Villa does ALL THE TIME.
4. Cleveland Indians
It’s only the first week of December and the team has already addressed all of its primary needs, assuming Borowski passes his physical. The Indians still have cash on the table and will be in a great bargaining position should any team come a knocking. Mark Shapiro is the best GM in baseball. Let’s hope the team is good, too.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron has been slipping in the past few of games. The team can’t seem to win more than one game at a time. The team can’t score points. There is no shooting guard, but that’s obscured because the point guards are worse than absent. Just their presence is usually a detriment. Not only that, but Roger Brown called this in his last column for the PD. I’m not sure if Brown has been right about anything other than house prices of departing players. And yet there this prediction looms, like a ghost wafting its way through the rafters of the Q, or a thick fog on a early spring morning, or something equally not-that-lyrical and just-as-dimestore. For the love of decency, Cavaliers, you cannot let Roger Freaking Brown get the last laugh. With the way you are playing, we are about four months away from a guest column by Brown that reads nothing more than: “I told you so, bitches!” This cannot happen. Win a game.
6. Ohio State Football Buckeyes
If this weekend’s events taught us anything it’s that you have to show up if you want to win. Where were the OSU Football Buckeyes this week, or last week for that matter? At home. Sitting on the couch. Getting fat. Sage Waldon saw through your ruse. All these other teams were out there competing, proving themselves to be the best teams in the country. That’s why Florida is #1 now. The Buckeyes may have well been sharing a beer with the Wolverines. Just so you know, they are in the BCS championship game on a technicality (“winning”). And that the Buckeyes even have a shot at winning the BCS championship just proves that the whole BCS system is eternally flawed. How could this happen? This is why we need a playoff system in D1 college football. Because if there were a playoff system, it probably would have started last week, and since the Buckeyes didn’t play, they would have had to forfeit, which means they would have lost. Losers aren’t national champions. Nor are can they climb out of the Disappointment Zone Power Rankings cellar. Hope you don’t get too cold down there. At least you have sweater vests to keep you warm, Buckeyes. Losers.