The Wednesday evening link-a-thon continues with a post from The M Zone regarding the presence of jingling keys on "key plays" and the lack of noise from Michigan fans.
I will be at the opener this Saturday. It will be the 27th game at the Big House. And since I first started going to games there in 1992, the stadium has gotten quieter and quieter over the years. I'm not sure why, but it seems that fans just aren't as apt to stand up and cheer, or at least make noise to give the defense an advantage in key play situations.
As a former player in high school, I can tell you that as an offensive lineman, a hostile crowd can be a big distraction. Hearing the play count, the cadence, etc...are very difficult if you're in a loud stadium. The key is when you're trying so hard to focus in on the play count, or audible...and the crowd is going crazy, you can easily lose concentration on what your job is on that play.
But on the flipside, if you're on defense and your home crowd is deafening, its a huge, huge rush. The adrenalin is flowing. You know the offense is rattled. Its a huge boost to your confidence.
So I will join the bandwagon with other UM bloggers and please ask all true blue fans at the games this year to get off your butt and make some noise. It makes a difference. Trust me.
But don't take just my word for it, even Michigan RB Mike Hart weighed in on this issue:
"That's when you need the stadium," he said. "That's the one thing we really need to do this year as fans, as everyone - make it extra hard for teams coming in here. Show them it's not the same Big House. It needs to be a lot crazier."LSU, Oregon, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Florida, Texas...all of them are smaller then Michigan Stadium, yet all of the them have a reputation of being a lot louder than the Big House. And those were just off the top of my head.
There has been the argument of the stadium design that isn't conducive to making the crowd any louder. But even though the Big House in an open-dome design with no reflecting surfaces to bounce the sound back to the field, doesn't make a difference when the ones supposed to be making the noise simply just don't. Rattling keys and slo-mo waves are cute...but they have no effect on the outcome of a game.
Screaming at the top on your lungs and cheering loud for your team actually do make a difference. So, if you find yourself at the Big House this fall and you get the feeling that a big defensive play is crucial to the success of the team, then please please please, from one Michigan fan to another...GET UP AND GET LOUD!