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Article on Lambeau and Home Field Advantage.

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by PackOne, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. PackOne
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    PackOne Cheesehead

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    Lambeau Field … A Bad Thing?

    For most Packer fans, this season’s loss at home in the NFC Championship game has been a bitter pill to swallow. Lambeau Field has always been a renowned venue creating a major home-field advantage for the Green Bay Packers. For decades, Packer fans have hoped beyond hope that when the post season rolls around, the green and gold will take the field in Wisconsin. However, after this year’s heartbreaking loss, maybe it is time to investigate the mystique. And when you do, you may find yourself a little surprised.

    Dr. Daniel Voyer, a researcher at the University of South Alabama, seems to have a different take on the subject. “The finding that the home win percentage is lower for critical championship series games than for non-critical ones has been observed in a number of sports,” states Voyer in a study on home-field advantage in the Journal of Sports Behavior. This shouldn’t surprise anyone considering the Packers have lost three of their last five playoff games in Green Bay. The real world applicability of Dr. Voyer’s study may help ease Packer fans pain, while offering insight into home field advantage and its importance in championship competition in professional sports.

    As far as Packer fans are concerned, the outlook is grim. The study found that teams playing in championship related games at home, tended to lose more than when playing at home in the regular season. With the retirement of Brett Favre, the Packers now have the youngest, most inexperienced roster in the league. According to Voyer, that could be recipe for disaster.

    Voyer analyzed data from several years of NHL championship games, in an effort to confirm previous studies that home-field advantage was not necessarily a benefit in the playoffs, especially if the team was inexperienced in being champions. “As expected, the home team winning percentage was significantly larger in non-critical games than in critical games” states the author. Voyer found that as the pressure to succeed in important games at home is increased, the play on the field often decreases.

    With such a young team in Green Bay this year, the inexperience of dealing with big time pressure may prove itself to be a problem. Even if the team performs well in the regular season, this study proposes that it isn’t necessarily a sign of future playoff success.

    This could help explain how a young Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was able to lead his youthful team to SuperBowl XL entirely on the road. Or perhaps how rookie quarterback Tom Brady took his New England Patriots to SuperBowl XXXVI running smack dab through Heinz Field in Pennsylvania.

    If you’re a Packer fan there is no reason to lose hope, but it might be wise to re-evaluate just how happy you are to have your team at Lambeau in next year’s playoffs. Perhaps the anxiety on the youngest team in the NFL will be too much to handle in front of the home crowd. Perhaps the fanatical cheering coupled with the high expectations in Green Bay actually does more harm than good.

    Either way, one needs to take a step back and think long and hard the next time they wish for a NFC Championship game at home. According to this study, quite possibly, home field advantage is only something … when the game itself means nothing.
  2. PackinSteel
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    PackinSteel Cheesehead

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    Nice read Packone. Sooo - the upshot appears to be that Packer fans should boo and throw beer at the next Lambeau playoff game. :lol:
  3. favre2driver
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    favre2driver Cheesehead

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    lol, I wonder if that'd work
    :shock:
  4. IronMan
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    IronMan Cheesehead

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    That's alcohol abuse! :nono:
  5. mkapp
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    mkapp Cheesehead

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    :penflag: Party foul!
  6. Greg C.
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    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Home field advantage in the playoffs has been way overrated for a lot of years now. But I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a disadvantage. The team that plays better wins, period, so I'd rather have the Pack at home where more of their fans can see the game. There's nothing like Green Bay on game day.

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