He jogs into the stadium, his helmet strapped on and his arms swing across his body. His jersey number flashes across his chest. Today is the day, he repeated to himself over and over again. He knows. But it still doesn’t feel real. This is what he has been dreaming about for so long. This is what he has been waiting for. Everything is on the line, all the blood, sweat and tears has led up to this moment. The Super Bowl. But this year will be different. Players will not hear the thousands of fans cheering them on as they enter the stadium. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 22,000 fans will be let into the stadium, with 7,000 of the people in attendance being Frontline Health Care Workers who have been working nonstop during the pandemic. Those who manage to procure a ticket will have to pay a hefty price to sit in Raymond James Stadium. To compensate for the limited amount of fans allowed in Raymond, ticket prices for the Super Bowl will be at record breaking prices. Financially, it would be better to watch the game in your own living room on Sunday (just like the millions of others who will be watching from their couches). It will also be safer for fans to stay home amidst the growing number of people who have tested positive in the coming months for COVID-19. Not only will this be the first (and hopefully the last) Super Bowl to happen during a global pandemic, this will also be the first time an NFL football team will be hosting the Super Bowl at their home stadium. The NFL relocates the Super Bowl every year to ensure that neither of the teams get home field advantage but this time, Super Bowl LV won’t be on neutral territory. Tom Brady and the No. 4 seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the favorite No. 1 seed Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers 31-26 in the NFC Championship game. These will mean three things for the outcoming game:
This is Tom Brady’s tenth time going to the Super Bowl (with the possibility of inheriting a seventh ring on his finger), making him the quarterback with most Super Bowl appearances in NFL history
There is a possibility that Tampa Bay will be inheriting another championship for its city during the year of the pandemic. As the Tampa Bay Lightning won against the Dallas Stars to bring home the Stanley Cup last year when the teams were playing in the “bubble” at Edmonton
The Buccaneers will have home field advantage
And with the midst of the pandemic giving to the lack of fans, will the Buccaneers still be considered to have home team advantage? It is a possibility. Let’s examine this!
We can’t ignore how it’s statistically proven that teams tend to perform better in their home turf: the winning percentages for home-team of home performers varies from just above 50% to as high as 70%. That’s given by a variety of factors. One of them is just the environment in general. They are more familiar with the stadium itself and are able to perform their plays more easily. Another factor is that the home team knows they have the advantage, which tends to give them more confidence, and overall, expect to play better. There are multiple studies that have linked expectations of success with positive performance outcomes. [ Home-Field Advantage (SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY) – iResearchNet ]
To say that Buccaneers would have an advantage is likely, based on the statistics. Especially considering that their fans will be in the stadium cheering them on instead of the other team. As we are all familiar with the 12th player on the Seattle Seahawks, who being the loudest stadium in the NFL has been associated with their team recording the highest stats in home field wins. Though the Buccaneers aren’t as recognized as the 12th player of the Seahawks, it’s still an advantage to have one’s own fans at their own stadium. Nonetheless we still won’t know if the stats match up to how the Buccaneers perform on Sunday, for anything could happen during the Super Bowl. For example losing the game winning touchdown, because the QB throws an interpretation at 1st and Goal or a team having the lead by three touchdowns until the third quarter. Either way there’s no denying that the Buccaneers will receive a warm welcome on their own turf. However, as mentioned above, there will be a limited number of fans, and a supportive audience is the biggest factor into better home team performance. They tend to be the biggest motivator for players to perform better. We also can’t forget the rise of the top team in the AFC: Kansas City Chief, who won against the Buffalo Bills 38-24 in the AFC Championship game. Their star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, who was the first NFL player in history with at least 30 completions and 300 passing yards in four consecutive games, has been rising up the ranks and is projected to become one of the best quarterbacks the league has ever seen. In the regular season, the Chiefs and the Bucs met once, with the Chiefs beating them 27-24. The Kansas City Chiefs will have the possibility to win back to back Super Bowls. Seven out of the 32 teams in the NFL have won back-to-back Super Bowls: Green Bay Packers (1966-1967), Miami Dolphins (1972-1973), Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-1975 and 1978-1979), Dallas Cowboys (1992-1993), San Francisco 49ers (1988-1989), Denver Broncos (1997-1998) and New England Patriots (2003-2004).
Let’s see if the Chiefs will be added to the franchise’s history.