Chalk Talk - Home Field Advantage

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Sports  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an article from Horn Sports about football and specifically the phenomenon of having the crowd behind your team.

Submitted: June 16, 2015

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Submitted: June 16, 2015

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Chalk Talk - Home Field Advantage
submitted Today, 05:20 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley\\

“The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live-long day. The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away…”

Every year in college football, tens of thousands gather in stadiums all across the country to watch their teams play the game fans love. With trumpets blaring, drums booming, and fans screaming, the noise can be quite deafening. In fact, in 1988, as Louisiana State faced off against rival Auburn University in Baton Rouge, LSU found themselves on the winning end of a last minute drive that sent Tiger Stadium into a frenzy. The celebration following LSU’s 7-6 victory was so tremendous that it actually registered as an earthquake on a nearby seismograph, leading to the now infamous name, “The Earthquake Game”.

Not unlike “The Earthquake Game”, one of the greatest college football games of all time, the 2013 Iron Bowl, created quite a commotion, as Tiger fans poured onto the field in celebration of Chris Davis’ 109 yard field goal return. Often referred to as one of the best college football games in history, Auburn and Alabama wound up tied with only one second left on the clock (a one second that actually required multiple replays and lengthy conversations between Nick Saban and referees to ensure that it should, in fact, be on the clock). Alabama attempted a 54-yard field goal, only to have it fall short and into Chris Davis’ hands and the rest is history. The resulting celebration measured on seismographs all across the state of Alabama.

Speaking from personal experience, I have had unforgettable opportunities to play in some of the loudest college stadiums across the country, including Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, LSU’s Death Valley, and Clemson’s Memorial Stadium (also affectionately named Death Valley). All of these stadiums, their institutions, and fans are rich with unique traditions, and while specifics differ, the common thread was the electricity in the cheers and cries of fans.

I have been in the middle of Bryant-Denny’s most overplayed song, “Sweet Home Alabama”, as fans add their own lyrics of “ROLL TIDE ROLL” after the chorus. As the opening kickoff was set to go up at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium, the fan noise was so deafening that our kicker stood an extra ten seconds before he realized that the referees had indeed blown the whistle to begin the game. I have also been in the crosshairs of LSU’s most notorious “Neck” chant (if you’re unfamiliar feel free to check it out online, however, make sure that there are no young children present).

Aside from stadium-wide chants, I have heard my name called directly in an attempt to distract me from my responsibilities. I always kept my cool except on one occasion in Lafayette, Louisiana…let’s just say The Ragin’ Cajuns are a harsh crowd.

Nearing one hundred thousand fans, crowds take on an identity of their own. With cheers and waves in unison, the mob becomes, as many stadiums claim, the twelfth man. Oddly enough, none of my memories come from on-field time – the silence that develops within a player’s helmet during game play is surprising. But when you exit the white lines and sit on the bench, the earsplitting roar comes back to life.

In DKR Texas Memorial Stadium, Longhorn fans may not be as nasty as some of their counterparts, but they certainly bring energy. As the season approaches, I expect a swarming crowd of fans all clad in burnt orange to bring a nearly indescribable presence to each home game.

“…Do not think you can escape them, at night or early in the morn’. The eyes of Texas are upon you, ‘till Gabriel blows his horn!”


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