This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. This one, by Jason Mitchell, has been selected to be featured. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.
UPDATE: Reminded by this Tweet from Maurice…
— maurice (@tallmaurice) April 19, 2016
… I decided it was a good time to re-post this Crosswalk piece from Jason Mitchell. It was originally posted last June 2.
It’s not because of Santa Claus, D batteries, or Tie Domi. It’s not because all the travesties that take place in other cities aren’t equally as/more disgraceful. No, it’s quite simple and calculated actually: The sports fans of Philadelphia have given their teams the worst advantage to win a game when playing in front of a home crowd. Over roughly the last 10 years in the four major sports in North America (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL), Philadelphia teams have performed worse at home than any other team in their respective leagues.
To find out how well a team uses their home field advantage, you compare a team’s overall winning percentage over the last 10 years to their home winning percentage over that same period. For instance, the Phillies have a .543 Win Percentage – good enough for 5th in MLB – over the last 10 years. Their winning percentage at home over that same span is a .558, which is only good for 13th. That small .015 improvement they see at home is slimmer than every other team in baseball over that same time period, with the average MLB team being .041 better at home.
OK, big deal, the baseball team is a few points off the average, that doesn’t prove anything, right? Maybe not… until you look at the other sports. Using the same formula and time span, the Eagles, Sixers, and Flyers all rank dead last in home field advantage. The Eagles are the worst home team in North America, as they are the only team that actually owns a better overall road record than home record, in any sport. Each of these four teams have finished in first, second, and last place. Some years they have sellout crowds, some years they play in front of empty stadiums. Different players, coaches, managers, GMs have all come and gone. One thing, the only thing, these teams all share in common over the last 10 years is that they play their home games in front of a Philadelphia crowd. When compared to other cities, there is no correlation from sport to sport. There isn’t one other city who can claim their teams are all in the top 5, bottom 5, or all middle of the pack. Here are the numbers from the last 10 years:
|Team||Total W%||Home W%||HomeAdv%||LgAvg||Lg Rank|
* Data compiled from www.sports-reference.com *
This is the Philadelphia Home Field Advantage– the worst home field advantage any team can get. And here why it’s all your fault
The ultimate consensus after a host of books and research papers is that the most consistent factor in Home Field Advantage is Umpire/Referee bias. To save you some heavy reading, the evidence concludes that a subconscious nature in humans to appease to their surrounding majority causes game officials to lend an edge to the crowd favorite. I have no interest to argue/prove that theory, much smarter people have already done so. Based on the chart here, those findings would suggest that when officials are in front of a Philadelphia sports crowd, they have the least amount of desire to support the home team than anywhere else.
My conclusion: The image/attitude/stereotype of Philadelphia fans being the worst in sports has diminished the universal advantage that all other cities’ teams are granted. So when you see the idiot at the stadium showing off what a true “Philly” fan he is, just know that he’s part of the problem. When you hear the dopes on the radio brag how loud they booed Ryan Howard for striking out, tell them that they are why that borderline strike call didn’t go his way. When you read the filth that is posted on CrossingBroad (everything except this, of course), that’s the stuff that helps spoil our chances.
It’s your fault that we’re all stuck in this mess together. Well, you and Ruben Amaro Jr. Thanks a lot.