Make Some Noise

Penn state football is a large part of this schools culture.  Many people choice this school not just because of the great education they will receive here

A sold-out and white-out Beaver Stadium crowd celebrated the Nittany Lions victory over Michigan on Oct. 12. Penn State tied the game with 00:27 remaining in the fourth quarter and then went on to defeat Michigan 43-40 in a four overtime classic.

A sold-out and white-out Beaver Stadium crowd celebrated the Nittany Lions victory over Michigan on Oct. 12. Penn State tied the game with 00:27 remaining in the fourth quarter and then went on to defeat Michigan 43-40 in a four overtime classic.

but also because of the football games and what that means to this school.  James Franklin has said numerous times how the fans that attend the games at beaver stadium are a large part of the team’s success.  This blog post is not just about praising the great season the team is having; It’s about how much effect fans have on the outcome of a game.  Anyone at the Penn State Ohio State game this year would tell you that the crowd atmospheres played a large factor in the game.  Urban Meyers himself said that Penn State whiteout is a top five atmospheres in college football; he also said that he wishes Penn state would save it for other teams besides when they play Ohio State because it is so effective.

When considering crowd noise there are a two main categorizes to look at win percentage and penalties committed by the away team.  One team who has a known home field advantage is the Seattle Seahawks.  The stadium was once recorded at 137.6 decibels.  The pain threshold is at 130 decibels.  From 2002-2012 the Seahawks have been 59-29 at home compared to 33-55 when playing away .  At home over that ten year span they had a win percentage of .670, compared to their away win percentage of .375.  They won almost twice as many games as they did at home as they did away.  The average home win percentage is .572 since 1990 and the average away win percentage is .4278 since 1990.  The Seahawks have had a higher win

percentage at home than the average and a lower win percentage away which shows that the Seahawks just didn’t have great teams during that time but the crowd noise played a difference.  Also during this time there has been 143 false start penalties committed.  That’s roughly 1.625 false starts per game; the NFL average in 2013 for away teams was .48 .  This stat shows that away teams commit over 3 times more false starts at CenturyLink Field then the average away team does.  These stats are all from one team but shows how much effect one of the best crowds in the NFL has on an outcome of the game

I wanted to consider other sports other than the NFL so the next thing I looked at was fans effect on NBA free-throws.  ESPN sports science had a short episode on the effects fans have on free throw shooters.  In the video it says the most effective was to distract a free throw shooter with visual effects is with side to side motion not random.  Something that is more effective than visual effects is audio effects on free throw shooters.  According to ESPN sports science neither of these has a large impact on free throw shooter since the percentage missed between home and away games was less than a percent.  During the video it said that the Dallas Mavericks decrease the away teams free throw percentage by 8 percent over the course of three games by using coordinated visual distractions.  This data point is just an anecdote since it was only over three games.  To truly test this, it would need to be over at least a season long.  Comparing these two sports shows that crowd noise can have a largely bigger impact in football games.

1 thought on “Make Some Noise

  1. Samuel Deluca

    I have read about this topic before and it fascinates me. As a young child I did not understand how home field advantage was an advantage, but now the science proves there is a true advantage. So much so the Seattle Seahawks audience is called the “12th man” because it is like having an extra player on the field. For a cool video on the Seahawks’s home field advantage click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpOUrsYtPH8.

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