Since when did Moby Arena become such a home-court advantage?
Sure, a lot of teams play better after sleeping in their own beds, but this year’s Rams hoops teams are as similar as Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan when playing on the road compared to at home.
Men: 13-3 at home, 1-7 on road
Women: 11-1 at home, 2-9 on road
Now Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, that’s a nice place to play if you’re a Blue Devil. When I watch those games on TV, I get the feeling that if I don’t root for Duke too, the fans will start taunting me. And that’s just for women’s games.
BYU has a nice little home-court edge as well. Prior to a loss earlier this year to Utah, the Cougar men ran off 44 consecutive wins at the 22,700-seat Marriott Center. I guess that all figures, though. Each player and coach invites each member of his family and all of a sudden you’ve got a sell out.
But CSU’s Moby Arena? We’ve got a student section that wouldn’t put Big City Burrito at maximum occupancy. And student attendance at women’s games rivals that of a fourth-grade four-square tournament.
Yet, in their last two games, the women recorded the two biggest wins of their season with back-to-back victories over Utah (18-4) and BYU (14-8). Both games were at home.
In their last two games, the men dropped two of the most disappointing games of their season to Air Force and New Mexico – the two worst teams in the Mountain West. Both games were not at home.
When the women played Utah and BYU on the road, they lost. When the men played Air Force and New Mexico at home, they won.
Is there really some sort of Moby magic? Guess so. Here’s 10 reasons why:
10. That Rams head hanging above the band’s section – the one showing the crowd volume – is really intimidating opponents this year. The band must have added a new drummer.
9. The visiting team looks up at the Jumbo Tron above mid-court and thinks it is ahead by five, but then realizes some lights are burnt out. The Rams are actually up by eight.
8. When on the road, the CSU basketball teams are sometimes put on the court in front of some 10,000 people. But they feel more comfortable playing in front of the 3,235-average at Moby.
7. The Star Wars song the band plays at the 4-minute media timeout pumps up the CSU crowd and players like no other. The Rams just make sure they’re ahead with four minutes to go, then a win is inevitable.
6. The Rams play like they’re expected to at home. And so does every other team they play.
5. All those frat boys next to the band are really getting into the heads of visiting men’s teams. They were last heard telling a Utah player and his pink socks not to mix whites with colors.
4. A feeling of closeness fills the locker rooms at Moby. That’s what you get when the dressing quarters are the size of Clark C-255.
3. The altitude. (That’s always a factor when it comes to sports being played in Colorado.)
2. That crazy Jumbo Tron again. Visiting players are just mesmerized by the fact that we’re in the 21st Century, yet that thing can only project four colors.
1. It’s just a matter I can’t explain. I’m thrilled that when we watch, they usually win. But heading up to Laramie this weekend, I’d like to see the men win and justify the bad-mouthing us Rammies are bound to give the Cowgirls.
Jon is a senior journalism major and the Collegian sports editor.