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Beside The Points For Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017

Things That Caught My Eye

Please ensure your heckling is unhelpful

A Yankee fan was tossed from a game Tuesday after attempting to call out forthcoming pitches to batter Gary Sanchez. Umpire Dan Bellino heard the increasingly helpful calls from fifteen rows behind home plate and had the man removed, because apparently it’s perfectly fine to yell stuff at a baseball game provided it is inaccurate and not helpful to the task at hand? [Yahoo Sports]

Metropolitan teams face toughest ice

Ahead of the starts of the 2017-18 NHL season, it’s projected by Micah McCurdy that the Metropolitan division teams will have the hardest road to make it to the postseason, with an estimated 92.3 points needed to qualify for the playoffs compared to 89.7 for the Atlantic division, 89.0 in the Pacific and 88.3 in the Central. []

What is wrong with yinz

The AFC North looks grim this year on the quarterback front, with the Steelers, Browns, Ravens, and Bengals all having considerable issues behind center: the latter two teams have the lowest-ranked passers in the league, Browns rookie DeShone Kizer has the worst completion rating in the game right now, and away-game Ben Roethlisberger makes Blake Bortles look like home-game Ben Roethlisberger [ESPN]

Protests are sometimes only unpopular as they happen

Last weekend all across the NFL, players, coaches and executives knelt during the national anthem to protest police violence against African-Americans. This was controversial, but most protests of this nature at least begin as controversial and with a negative net approval rating. In time, the view sometimes changes. [FiveThirtyEight]

Fountain of youth located in Cleveland, Ohio

Dwyane Wade is taking his talents to Cleveland where he’ll get to play alongside LeBron James. The reunion could be huge for Wade: He posted some of his best work alongside James, and LeBron is the kind of player who makes his colleagues play like younger men. [FiveThirtyEight]

Bear market?

Packers play the Bears this weekend, and the series is on the line: Right now the Bears have beat the Packers 94 times and the Packers have beat the Bears 94 times and they tied their games six times. A Green Bay win this weekend — they’re favored by 10 — would put them in the lead in their series for the first time since 1932. [ESPN]

Big Number


The Los Angeles Rams are on pace to post the largest change in average game attendance of — down 26,087 people from 2016 to 2017 — in the past 25 years among teams that didn’t change stadiums. [FiveThirtyEight]

Leaks from Slack

[This transcript of a private conversation between NFC East rivals lightly edited to remove extensive use of profanity]


If the Red Sox don’t lock down the AL East, it would sneakily be one of the rarest collapses ever


By my accounting, only 2 teams have ever come back from a 4.5-plus game deficit with 10 games or fewer left in the season


The 2012 Oakland A’s and the 1951 NY Giants


In fact, I believe only 8 teams have ever overcome a 4+ game deficit with 15 or fewer games left


Yankees trailed by 5 games with 7 to play


Oh, and don’t forget
Pistol Shrimps lose to Miss Demeanors 14-44 at Pan Pacific Park

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.