The length of every football field is 100 yards. Every pitcher’s rubber is sixty feet six inches from home plate. The bases are ninety feet apart. Every basketball hoop is ten feet high, and every free throw line is fifteen feet from the backboard. Every tennis court is 78 feet long. The service line is 21 feet from the net. But when the game is played, all things are not equal. One athlete is playing before the home crowd and the other isn’t. The cheers that fill the stadium make a difference. We have all seen it, the power of encouragement. It is what sports calls the “home field advantage.”
Unlike last year, when the World Series was played with eerie silence amid cardboard cutouts, this year’s classic was greeted with thunderous crowds that vibrated the stands and echoed in the rafters. In Houston Astros fans were quick to forgive any past sins and welcome their heroes with standing-ovations In Atlanta the Braves fans tomahawked their way through three games and went delirious with a first inning grand slam in game 5. In all of sports, it is a different game when fans are present cheering the home team.