Crowd Behaviour

Ok, so I will start by pointing out I'm Australian so I spell beviour, colour, favour and many other words with a 'u'. I'm sure you can all handle it.

I have travelled a lot of the world (mostly in pursuit of sports) and have been a Jazz fan since the 90s when I saw my first ever game on TV (unfortunately we lost to Jordan and the Bulls). As a side note, my favourite player of all time was Jeff Hornacek and even he seemed surprised when I told him that. Jingles, Rudy and Spida are certainly growing to that level for me but I doubt they could overtake him even when we win a title (simply because he was my childhood idol).

I have observed quite a few different things crowds do in different sports around the world and it is fascinating. The issue of etiquette is also different in different places and environments. If it is true and some Jazz fans have said things to players about their family or anything personal, that is completely not on and should be stopped. As for other things, here are a few of my observations from around the world and a suggestion for how we can give our team the best advantage in Utah (unfortunately I can't make it to games from Melbourne).


This is where the crowd is most noticeable. They have songs and chants that are non-stop. They also boo every time a player who is disliked (often for having played for a rival or having a negative history with the club) touches the ball. I've been to many games throughout Europe and normally the main key is that the noise is deafening. It is intimidating to the opposition and enthusiastic for the home team.

I went to a game at Millwall in London where the abuse at players and referees was completely and utterly disgraceful. However, the songs and chants to support their team were amazing.

The best atmosphere I've been to was actually a World Cup qualifier between Australia and Uruguay where the Uruguayan team were mercilessly booed throughout the game at every touch (non-stop). The Australians were cheered with every pass. Can Utah fans do this? Is it appropriate? It really is worth considering as no single player is being harassed; it is simply intimidating to give your team the best chance in a game.


There is a clear distinction based on hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, we are extremely polite with clapping and cheering. There is very little booing or chanting but maybe some singing of songs in the crowd. In the Northern Hemisphere they are far more boisterous. The crowds sing non-stop (e.g. the English National Team has Swing Low sung all game) with the only stop being for opposition kicks at goal where the crowd goes completely silent. You'd be amazed how intimidating it is for a kicker to have 80 000 people dead silent while they kick (normally someone will break the silence though). The added bonus is when they lean to one side and then change to lean the other way during the kickers run up. This has a psychological effect and can actually mess with aim.

American Football

Very similar to basketball with the occasional chants of "Defence" or "Go [team] Go!" Not much to take from this to be honest but a lot of fun.


Having followed the Jazz on a 9 game holiday some years back (and having the Salt Lake Tribune refer to me as "Superfan") I got to experience a few different stadiums. Miami was loud. Orlando was like a library where 2 other Jazz fans and I almost made it a home game for us. Atlanta was loud and fun. Charlotte was a massive party as they were unveiling the return to the Hornets that night. Memphis was loud but seemed very welcoming. Staples Center just seemed like a tourist attraction and didn't have much going for it. I found the same at MSG in New York too on another trip.

Ice Hockey

Been to a few games in Calgary and really it is the same as basketball and NFL in many respects but they actually turn the Stars and Stripes into a game to yell "Red" & "Sea" which seems disrespectful to me.


Finally, the point I wrote this. My suggestions are as follows:

1. Boo mercilessly whenever the opposition has the ball (can include whistling) as it is intimidating.

2. Cheer loudly for our team as usual.

3. Free throw. This should be fun as players are used to having booing and screaming with waving strips. Try something different. The players are used to silence in the gym too so everyone should be loudly hissing or going "shhhhh" whilst leaning to their left. As the player goes through the motion to shoot, the whole crowd behind the goal leans over to their right.

Just a few ideas.

Good luck!

Go JAZZ!!!

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.