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As I stood in Metlife Stadium just this past weekend and screamed my head off for the majority of the game, I thought to myself, when fans scream does it actually affect the outcome of the game? Is it worth having a sore throat and no voice for the next few days? For me, the answer will always be yes because I live and die by Penn State football, but for others who aren't as interested, convincing them to yell and scream the whole game may not be so easy. According to this website, it seems like fans screaming and rooting for their team definitely does effect the game. 
As most of us should know, there is nothing quite like Beaver Stadium, let alone the student section. Although I'm just a freshman, I've had the opportunity to watch a game in the student section with my older sister and it was definitely an experience I won't ever forget. A team of researchers that were graduate students in the acoustics department from Penn State were interested in the affects the crowd noise had on the field during the game. They did a study to see what sections are the loudest in the stadium and where on the field is most affected by the noise. The team used sound level meter (SLM) and sound pressure level (SPL) devices to measure the sound in decibels all throughout the stadium. What were the results? After the study, the team came to the conclusion that when the home team has the ball the average noise is between 75-80 decibels, while when the away team has the ball it rises to 100-110 decibels. Now for me, those numbers did not really mean that much since I'm not very familiar with decibel units, but as the research team put it, "that is the difference between a normal radio playing and the speakers at a rock concert." The study also concluded that the student section is the section that makes the most noise and that by shifting the students to be sitting around the entire end zone, rather than just part of it like it was set up for years, would greatly increase sound. So for those of you who ever wondered why they shifted where the student section was, you now have your answer. So all this talk about home field advantage is very real. Yes, it's worth you screaming as loud as you can. Yes, it's worth not having a voice for a few days. Yes, you should be proud you are part of the loudest section in a stadium that holds over 108,000 people. And yes, just because you are one person you still can scream make the stadium even louder.
According to this article that mentions the top 25 loudest college football stadiums, Beaver Stadium is number 5. If you ask me, that is pretty impressive and this is definitely due to all of you; the student section. Michigan's stadium, often referred to as "The Big House" was number 12 on the list and nothing made me happier to see one of our biggest rivals lower than us on the list. With that being said, Ohio State was number 2. That did not sit as well. So if you're one of those fans who are competitive with other schools, especially our rivals, there's one more reason scream as loud as you can. Well, if you even need a reason.

To hear the real life sound data the team gathered for Beaver Stadium, click on the link I posted above.

Works Cited
Porter, Steve, Andrew Barnard, and Stephen Hambric. "Acoustical Society of America159th Meeting Lay Language Papers." Evaluation of Crowd Noise in Beaver Stadium During a 2009 Penn State Football Game. N.p., 19 Apr. 2010. Web. 02 Sept. 2013. 
"Google Images." Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Sept. 2013.


1 Comment

Hey Mackenzie!
Just reading this post makes me excited for the game this Saturday! The noise levels definitely make sense! Did you find anything about the difference between the noise level of Penn State scoring a touchdown compared to the noise level when the defense has the ball? Here's a youtube video of the highlights from the game this past weekend! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvCZFq0x9Qk

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