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Beside The Points For Monday, Oct. 16, 2017

Things That Caught My Eye

Mr. Kaepernick Goes To Washington

On Sunday, representatives of Colin Kaepernick — the free agent NFL quarterback best known for launching a league-wide protest over police mistreatment of African-Americans and who has not been signed to a roster — filed a complaint alleging collusion between teams essentially blackballing him from the league. While this is interesting in and of itself, there’s a bigger component of the filing that affects the whole operation: Under the collective bargaining agreement, the entire CBA can be terminated if there’s clear and convincing evidence of one incident of collusion involving one player. Whether there’s actual evidence is to be determined, but the Kaepernick case now has immense ramifications and could potentially give players lots of leverage over NFL owners in a hypothetical negotiation resulting from the threat of CBA termination. [NBC Sports, ESPN, Mike Freeman]

Cricket picks up in the U.S.

Increased immigration from the Indian subcontinent has primed the U.S. Cricket for growth. For instance, in the Washington Cricket League there are 42 teams, with another 18 competing in the Washington Metropolitan Cricket Board. The sport is huge around the world, and according to the International Cricket Council there are 200,000 U.S. players on 6,000 teams in 450 leagues. I have failed at literally every other sport; maybe in cricket I will finally find my true calling. [BBC]

40-year-old Bostonian achieves personal milestone in New Jersey swamp

Congratulations to Mr. Tom Brady of New England who set a record yesterday when playing in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. After defeating the New York Jets, he beat two retirees — a Mr. Brett Favre and one Mr. Peyton Manning — in cumulative number of regular season wins in the NFL, with 187 across his career. Congratulations. [ESPN]

Best football team in New York

Currently 5-0, the Columbia Lions are the winningest football team in New York City, beating out all the other college teams, the local professional football team, and also the Giants. This is legitimately insane: Columbia, which won again Saturday, hasn’t had a winning season since 1996, and since 1982 have finished .500 or better on only three occasions. [FiveThirtyEight]

College football flips the table

This was a ridiculous weekend in college football. Clemson lost to Syracuse, dropping its chances of making the playoff from 55 percent to 29 percent according to our playoff projections. Washington lost to Arizona State, dropping its chances of making the playoff from 43 percent to 23 percent. Their losses appears to be gains for Ohio State and Wisconsin. [FiveThirtyEight, ESPN]

Vegas, you’re full of it

Right now Las Vegas bookmakers have the Golden State Warriors with around a 47 percent chance of repeating as NBA champions. Our CarmELO system has them closer to a 38 percent shot of repeating. Feel free to use this information of the house edge to fleece your friends at your own leisure. [FiveThirtyEight]

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

Big Number

-29.4 points

Aaron Rodgers was injured yesterday and may be out for the rest of the season. This is a massive deal for the Green Bay Packers. With Rodgers starting for all the remaining games, there was a 79.6 percent chance Green Bay made the playoffs and a 53 percent chance they win the division. Without him, those chances drop to 50.2 percent and 25.1 percent, a massive swing of -29.4 points to make the playoffs. [Brian Burke, ESPN]

Leaks from Slack: Gnats


Washington easily the most disappointing franchise in Wild Card era history according to Elo


[Screenshot of a color coded spreadsheet mentioning:

  • 0.00: Washington actual league championship series appearances in wild card era
  • 2.03: Washington expected league championship series appearances in wild card era
  • -2.03: The difference between those numbers
  • {rows and rows of higher numbers}: That difference but for all the other teams who play baseball.

…and other information]


obviously a huge shortfall between expected LCS appearances and actual


Oh, and don’t forget
Women in FIFA18 story mode!

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.