Home field advantage? Who cares?
~Matthew Scherger, BreakingCNU Editor~
Another semester, another CAC tournament. Once again, the basketball teams storm through the regular season conference play.
Despite some close calls, both men’s and women’s teams begin the tournament with that number one seeding, winning the right to host the games.
The home field advantage is undisputedly huge for CNU in particular. The teams have a combined record of 23-5 in conference, but not a single loss this season was at home.
How has CNU maintained this dominance at home? While “home field advantage” has been a factor in every sport since the beginning of time, there seems to be an almost magical aura surrounding the fields here in Newport News.
Is it the crowd? Is it the band? Is Trible secretly intimidating opposing teams before they get here?
It could very well be any of these or all of these reasons (probably not the last one though).
As a CNU student, I enjoy watching my team win week in and week out from the relative comfort of our own fields.
As a sports fan, some of these games get real boring, real fast.
It was amusing the first time I watched the pep band tilt a player off the court for the remainder of the game.
All it takes is one missed shot to get the entire band to shame you about it.
Now, it’s almost expected that at least one player per team will choke and be subsequently benched once a game.
How have teams not managed to overcome these obstacles?
Crowd noise and taunts are hardly new to the game, and if you have ever attended a CNU game, it’s not like our taunts and cheers are any more clever than anything I’ve heard from any sports fan who has had more than a single drink.
Yet, these college teams are struggling to deal, and it shows during these big games.
The Captain’s aren’t immune either. All their losses were on the road in conference play, and more than one of them (per team!) were against teams they should have, for lack of a better word, stomped.
Yes, the Captains can perform when they’re enjoying the fruits of the band and crowd’s labors, but when the ball is on the other court?
Not so much.
Teams practice their shots. They watch film on the other team. But do they prepare for the mental war that CNU wages on other players?
Home field advantage has always been treasured, especially for playoffs.
You never know when your fan base will show up in force and shove their team over the finish line.
But when teams can’t perform under this pressure, it leads to lackluster games.
No team wants to drop a game at home. No team wants a game to be decided before tip-off either.
Anyone can win when you have a couple hundred fans on your side. I’d like to see a team stay composed and measured when the chips are down.
As a CNU student, I don’t want to see a team come here and trash our team.
But like I said, as someone who enjoys watching competitive sports, I would like to see them give our team a good game.
I want every single team to come to CNU this week prepared to deal with our home field advantage.
This tournament will be a lot more entertaining if eight good basketball teams fight for their right to the title of CAC Champion.
Because if the CNU magic stays in effect, we might as well just crown CNU now.