Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The W-List

There was a funny little post in the "Annals of Improbable Research" that attempted to classify a person's fame by the number of Google hits they got. The point being that we can finally quantify what it means to be "A-list", "B-list" or "C-list".

Keeping tongue firmly in cheek, I decided to see if any WNBA players were A-listers. Or even B-listers. The problem being that the paper is outdated - it considers Monica Lewinsky the ultimate B-list celebrity, and Monica's B-list status is long gone. I therefore modified the formula in question:

fame(dBJU) = 10 log [fame(JU)],

where a JU is a "Jesus Unit" - the number of one's Google Hits divided by one-tenth of the number of hits in Google when searching for "Jesus Christ". The concept is that Jesus Christ should always be an A-list celebrity with a fame(dBJU) = 10.00.

I tested 10 famous women's basketball names to see if any of them made B-list hood:

Candace Parker
Diana Taurasi
Lisa Leslie
Becky Hammon
Sheryl Swoopes
Tina Thompson
Sue Bird
Nancy Lieberman
Pat Summitt
Geno Auriemma

Unfortunately, not a single one of the names above made it into the "B-list". However, nine of the names made it into the "C-list". (Nancy Lieberman, sadly enough, only qualifies for D-list celebrityhood. Maybe we should add "Nancy Lieberman-Cline" into the search. Or "Mannatech".)

The one with the most hits? Candace Parker, with 350,000 Google hits. She tops Lisa Leslie, who registered 301,000 Google hits.

So what kind of stars are C-list celebrities by this metric? If the WNBA were a movie star or a singer, who would she be?

Here are some C-list celebrities by this tongue-in-cheek metric:

Jane Kaczmarek
Heather Thomas
Tracy Bonham

In my opinion, being a "C-list" celebrity gets you on the higher end reality shows, like "Survivor" or "The Amazing Race". (See Pat Summitt connive for the immunity idol! Or watch Bird and Dee navigate roads in Romania!) Being in the D-list gets you the lower end of the reality rainbow. ("Pass the Rock of Love" - watch twelve rabid B-ball fans compete to be Nancy Lieberman's new lover.)

In short, the formula in the paper above seems to be working just fine. In the sense that your average person, upon seeing Lisa Leslie, might say. "I know her! She's a famous WNBA player. What's her name? Parker? No, that's not it. I got it! Sue Bird!"

1 comment:

Patrick said...

OK...I would definitely watch a WNBA Amazing Race.