Home field advantage in pro sports is often said to be more of a psychological one-up rather than a true statistical fact. For example, while home teams in the NFL win up to 57% of the time in the regular season, in the past 5 seasons, the winner of the Super Bowl has had to win at least two games on the road.
The big advantage to staying at home to play, therefore, is the lack of travel required. As anyone that flies for business can attest, racking up frequent flier points comes with a downside: extended travel, in it of itself, can be an exhausting affair (even when you’re not flying coach). How much, or how little, an NFL team travels during the regular season most certainly isn’t a critical factor in their success; but, does have an impact on not only the rest time for players, but how much prep time they have for each game as well.
As the folks at Carey International have shown with this infographic, reproduced below, West Coast teams feel the most jet lag during the course of the NFL season — with frontrunner San Fran nearing 14,000 miles in the air over the next few months. Not surprisingly, our own Chicago Bears rank near the bottom of the list, as do most Midwestern teams, given their equidistance to both coasts.
Data can be fun, sports fans. For the original post, check out Carey International here.