In honor of yesterday’s East Coast earthquake,* I did some brief research on earthquakes during football games. I didn’t find any naturally-occurring ones (if anyone knows of any, I’d love to hear about it), but I found two games where the crowd, the “12th man,” caused a tremor during a football game:
Auburn at LSU, October 8, 1988: Before a nationally televised audience, LSU scored what would be the winning touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the game. The crowd’s eruption was so incredible that it registered as an earthquake on the seismograph at LSU’s Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex.
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks, January 8, 2011: In a playoff game victory, Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch broke a 67-yard run to score the winning touchdown. The crowd goes wild! At almost the exact moment, at 4:43 pm, an old seismic monitoring system near Seattle’s Qwest Field recorded a small tremor.
Of course, the most famous sports-related earthquake happened over 20 years ago during the 1989 World Series. As the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants were getting ready to play Game 3 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, a 6.9 earthquake rocked the stadium and the entire area. It was a major earthquake causing life loss throughout the city, but no one in the stadium was killed.
*We live in Northern Virginia, and it was such a nice, low-humidity day yesterday that I decided my son and I would go into Washington, DC to see some of the monuments. We had a pleasant trip and left the city less than an hour before the earthquake hit. We met a nice family from Minnesota and took their picture for them. I told them how lucky they had been with the weather here this week. I wonder if they are cursing me now for jinxing them…