This post is just the beginning of what will be one of my many research projects over the coming years. My college football team of choice which will remain nameless (for now at least) because they aren’t performing well enough for me to give them the free publicity, has a tradition with the fans that I will call “Color-Outs”. What this basically means is that the team will encourage all of the fans to wear a certain school color to the game so that the stadium/arena stands get flooded with that color. You may have heard of them…”Blackouts”, “Whiteouts”, etc.
What I really want to know is, WHY? I mean, I know why, it looks really cool, right? Or is there really a part of this theme that can actually make an impact on a game? If you are reading this blog you are more than likely a sports fanatic (or maybe you are just a friend of mine who is reading because I asked you to…thanks guys!) and us fanatics will do whatever we can to show support for our team and feel closer to the action. But what if I told you that dressing in all black with the rest of the fans can actually help your team win? Would you believe me? Well, I’m not here to pronounce any detailed knowledge yet, but it is something I’m going to be researching from past games and monitoring future outcomes as well, and will post my findings each step of the way. You will see many research projects like this on my blog and I hope you enjoy them…come to think of it, if you have an idea for one let me know.
I’m going to work to compile a database of all of the games in which a team has had one of these promotions, look at the outcome of the game, and see if there are any statistically significant trends that might lead me to believe there is an added benefit other than just having a sweet looking crowd.
My initial thoughts are mixed, but I think there may be something to it. These games help create some buzz amongst the fans, which may or may not lead to fans being more excited at the game, which then may or may not make them louder at the game, which may or may not pump up the home team’s players and scare the living hell out of the away team’s players (probably not the latter, although an insanely loud crowd during the away team’s third-down huddle never hurt anyone).
Where did it all start? Not totally sure on that yet, although I’ve read that Oklahoma State started it with an Orange-out in 2003. From there Penn State seemed to have perfected it during their big rivalry games with the White-out form (and have actually tried a Blue-out a couple times).
Teams like Georgia and Louisville have done their own Black-out versions, along with countless other schools. I’ll do some research and see what I find…think any teams lost at home during their White-out or Black-out games? I know of one that recently got crushed on national TV, but I’ll save that for the next post on the topic once I’ve collected more data.