The Top 5 Whiteout Crowds in Sports

J FCorrespondent IMay 8, 2011

The Top 5 Whiteout Crowds in Sports

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    The first recorded sighting of a "whiteout" takes us back to the late 1980s. The theme has since been utilized by many teams to create a crowd of unified fans and ultimately an intimidating atmosphere.

    It has become a common sight at professional games all the way down to high school football contests, where students may even shoot massive amounts of baby powder into the air to create an even whiter effect.

    It must be a lonely feeling when players of the opposing team look into the stands and are suddenly suffocated because they are drowning in a sea of white.

    It appears everyone is against them, and they are. Only the most mentally strong players can combat the effects of a whiteout, and that is why many teams have used such a showing of team pride in their stadiums recently.

5. BYU Cougars

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    Dating back to 2006, Brigham Young University has been asking its fans to participate in designated "whiteout" games.

    The Cougars had been welcomed by overwhelming one-color crowds on their road trips and decided it was time to return the favor.

    Responding to allegations that they appeared Skittle-like, the BYU fans stepped up to support the Cougars unified in clothing with no color.

    In last season's opener, the crowd was encouraged to wear white as eventual National Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette and the Cougars broke out their new uniforms to take on Fresno State.

4. Miami Heat

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    Also dating back to 2006, the Miami Heat began the pathetic promotion to encourage the team's weak fan base to show up to games.

    It's amazing that they had to cover the seats in white to capture the true effect of a "whiteout" because there wasn't always a full house to watch the team that would go on to win the 2006 NBA Finals.

    However, I suppose the combination of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh has created a little more fan interest in southern Florida and now the American Airlines Arena is a worthy whiteout during the 2011 NBA Playoffs.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins have used the whiteout theme recently in the playoffs to pump up the crowd at Mellon Arena and now in the new Consol Energy Center.

    The results of the promotion can't be questioned after the Pens made a run to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals and took Stanley home in 2009 after a rematch with the Red Wings.

    Supposedly, the whiteout is a hockey tradition, and the Pittsburgh fans certainly didn't let it down.

2. Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Over 100,000 fans clad in all white shouting "WE ARE" with an across-the-field response of "PENN STATE!" is more than enough to cause any opponent to tremble.

    Beaver Stadium one of the biggest sports stadiums in the United States, and is home to the nation's top student section.

    The whiteout theme makes it an even tougher place to play. During a 2005 matchup with rival Ohio State, the Buckeyes had to call multiple timeouts because the stadium was too loud for the players to hear the plays.

    That game, which PSU won 17-10, is known as the whiteout's emergence in Happy Valley.

1.Winnipeg Jets/ Phoenix Coyotes

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    The Winnipeg White Out is credited with being the original occurrence of the theme.

    In 1987, the Winnipeg Jets (now the Phoenix Coyotes) were facing the Calgary Flames in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    The Flames used the "C of Red" (all fans wore red) tactic to intimidate opponents, so the Jets came up with the whiteout atmosphere in response.

    The Jets ended up sweeping the series, and instituted the whiteout for every following home game.

    The Phoenix Coyotes have continued the tradition, and have been involved in legal disputes with Penn State because they claim they coined the term "whiteout."

    PSU's whiteout has become superior, but the tradition of the Winnipeg White Out gives the Jets/Coyotes the top spot on this list of the best whiteout crowds in sports.

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