Daily Archives: December 22, 2017

Beside The Points For Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

Things That Caught My Eye

Five years is kind of a hard cap

Marvin Lewis was head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals for 15 years and never managed to win a Super Bowl. Reality is, coach-quarterback combos that work tend to be the ones that click early. Every coach/starting quarterback combination who won a Super Bowl did so within their first five seasons of working together. [FiveThirtyEight]

Yeah I had a nasty case of the “Vegas Flu” once and learned I probably shouldn’t play roulette anymore

The Las Vegas Golden Knights are doing really well, and here’s one theory as to why their opponents appear off their game: They play hockey in Las Vegas, a fun place with booze and gambling and late nights on the town before hockey games. “Hockey flus” have historically spread in certain cities, be they “Roxy Flu” in Vancouver thanks to the Roxy club, or “Philadelphia Flu” because the team was a bit punchier than a typical squad. Vegas has played seven teams this season that as of Tuesday appear playoff bound, and all those good teams lost in Vegas. House always wins. [ESPN]

Fiesta Bowl pivots to Overwatch

There’s a groundswell of colleges and universities fielding competitive esports teams, and Thursday the Fiesta Bowl organization announced they’ll be partnering up with Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind Overwatch, to put on the Fiesta Bowl Overwatch Collegiate National Championships in February. It’s the first time a collegiate bowl organization and a games publisher have collaborated, and comes just as the Overwatch League, a competitive league with the backing of several NFL owners, is about to kick off. [ESPN]

40 bowls, each slightly better

This year there are 40 collegiate football bowls, the first season of bowl contraction since 1995, thanks to the Poinsettia Bowl folding. Yes, this year has what an analysis of Elo scores indicates is the worst bowl matchup in the past 30 years, Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky. But overall, quality is up based on the average matchup Elo score compare to last year, which had some rough bowls. [FiveThirtyEight]

Try out our fun new interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?

Slash & burn

Scoring is up in the NHL this season, but it’s not the fault of the goalies. A number of rule changes — including higher enforcement of slashing penalties — means an average of 3.3 power plays per game, which kickstarts scoring opportunities and plausibly scoring. [FiveThirtyEight]

Figure skating in Detroit

A program spun off from Figure Skating in Harlem offers ice skates, uniforms, coaching and instruction to girls who commit to practicing two hours a day four days a week and maintaining a B average or higher in the city of Detroit. For a sport that can cost into the tens of thousands for high-level instruction, the program — which seeks to recruit 300 girls by year end 2018 — is trying to be an on-ramp for those who aren’t born into affluence. [The Undefeated]

Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions? game!

Big Number

0.69 first downs per target with Gronk

Rob Gronkowski gives the Patriots offense a massive kickstart. When Gronkowski is off the field, the team this season notched 72 receptions, 771 yards, 100 targets and 0.32 first downs per target. When Gronk was on the field — even if he’s not the one getting the ball, just if he’s there and needing to be covered — the team notched 277 receptions, 3,429 yards, 400 targets and 0.69 first downs per target. [FiveThirtyEight]

Leaks from Slack:


College basketball rankings: OU’s Trae Young has stats better than Steph Curry’s

cbs going hard


:fire: :fire: :fire: :fire:
In fairness, these numbers are pretty insane


Oh, and don’t forget
Wes, you ham