Rankonia: The Triangle Power Rankings
1. Lob City, Concept
The video posted above, which shows Blake Griffin coining the phrase “Lob City,” is hilarious. The only thing more hilarious is Grantland director of business stuff David Cho’s attempt to explain “Lob City” in a single 63-word sentence: “This is most definitely a thing, and when you check Twitter late at night on the East Coast, you’re going to see it and be like, ‘Wait, what is Lob City again?,’ and we are here to remind you that it is the name coined by Blake Griffin when he anticipates the joining of Chris Paul to the non-Lakers L.A. franchise.” Wow.
2. Chris Paul, Lob City Clippers
From Chitown-native-turned-Los Angeles transplant Robert Mays, who has apparently disregarded Derrick Rose’s entire existence: “I have no idea how, but through some strange happenings, I managed to completely forget that he is Chris Freaking Paul. It took about a quarter of one preseason game for me to be convinced that he’s going to be the MVP of the league.”
3. Derrick Rose and His Moms
Super-sassy Amos Barshad nominates the urban fairy tale that is Derrick Rose for “getting, like, $100 million and saying, ‘I think I can finally say this now. Mom, we finally made it.'” (cue Jeffersons theme song).
4. Neymar, Santos
From Brian Phillips, on 19-year-old soccer phenom Neymar: “His team got eviscerated by Barcelona in the Club World Cup final, his only real scoring opportunity was stopped by Victor Valdes, he did nothing to validate the “better than Messi” hype being flung around by Pele … and yet he is somehow 20,000 times more famous than he was two weeks ago. That is hashtag-grade #winning.”
5. The Davidson Men’s Basketball Team
The Encyclopedia Brown of Canadian Superstar Discovery, Michael Weinreb, found something on the Internet that he’d like to share with you: “Davidson! No Steph Curry, but a 23-year-old Canadian exacts revenge on his behalf.”
6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger is an inquisitive man. Luckily for him, the loser of our “Who has to follow James Harrison on Twitter” contest, Triangle co-editor Sarah Larimer, is there to provide Big Ben with the answers he desires:
7. Katie Baker, Grantland Staff Writer
For directing us to the “2012 Inside Lacrosse All-Team Powered By Flow Society,” and no other reason.
8. The HBO Real Sports End of the Year Round Table: Bryant Gumbel, Armen Keteyian, Mary Carillo, Frank Deford, Andrea Kremer, Bernard Goldberg, and Jon Frankel
There is a weird, disconnected beauty in watching and listening to these professional journalists talk about sports the way a university board of trustees discusses campus alcohol policy. Pretentious, informative, and highly unentertaining, I respect all of you for sticking to your guns and refusing to lure me in with accessibility. Can’t wait for 2012.
9. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Potty-mouth Shane Ryan, on that quarterback who is 0-1 in his last one games: “More than 1.5 million Americans voted for him to make the Pro Bowl, tops among NFL players. And this is for a dude who, in all likelihood, will not be able to play in the Pro Bowl due to more important obligations. A.k.a the mothaf***in’ Super Bowl. That’s popularity. Also, he’s about to erase Brett Favre from the collective Green Bay memory by winning a second title. After this, the only fans in Wisconsin still wearing the Favre-4 jerseys will be dudes who ride snowmobiles to work. Which, to be fair, is a healthy number, but the point is this: Rodgers is the people’s champ, the thinking man’s hero, and the One True Idol of Midwest America. This holiday season, he inspires me to Lambeau Leap into the arms of my unsuspecting, terrified family.”
10. Kenny Williams, Chicago White Sox GM
In an attempt to get on Longreads (respect), Jonah Keri wrote an essay on Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams:
“Ever since Moneyball, we’ve fallen all over ourselves to praise baseball front offices for their genius, with a focus on general managers. The Red Sox and Theo Epstein had a book written about them. I played kissy-face with Andrew Friedman and the Rays. We even got a Moneyball backlash book about the Braves.
“Kenny Williams is more interesting than any of these guys.
“When this offseason started, the White Sox were widely rumored to be shopping a bunch of young veterans, including starting pitchers John Danks and Gavin Floyd, and slugging outfielder Carlos Quentin. With the Tigers looking strong and Mark Buehrle on his way out of town, it made perfect sense. When Williams went a step further and traded closer Sergio Santos — locked up dirt-cheap for six years — for a minor leaguer, it seemed this winter would be even more purge-y than feared.
“Nope. When Williams couldn’t find the real deal for Danks, he changed course, signing the lefty to a five-year, $65 million contract. This is the same GM who traded for Jake Peavy when he was injured, who took on Alex Rios’ multiyear contract when the Jays dumped him for nothing, and made multiple other moves that no one saw coming.
“Some of these moves have blown up in Chicago’s face. Peavy’s a one-man disabled list, Rios looks terrible, and the Santos deal is a head-scratcher. But the cool thing about Williams is you can’t begin to slap a label on him. He isn’t Moneyball, he’s not the great defender of Scout’s Honor, he’s not new-school or old-school or Wall Street or Jump Street. He just looks at what’s out there, and dives right in. Even if it means blowing up what he had planned 10 minutes ago. Dude’s more flexible than the Romanian gymnastics team.”
Grantland Staff Writer Chris Ryan contributed to this blog post.
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