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Have Sports Fans Ever Made the Earth Shake?

By Kevin Hellyer
Updated May 16, 2024
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The actual reading on the seismograph may be lost to history, but there’s no doubt that human exuberance can create an earth-shaking moment. Take, for example, the 1988 showdown between SEC powerhouses Auburn and Louisiana State University, played in front of a packed house at LSU’s Tiger Stadium.

Auburn led 6-0 late in the game, but with less than two minutes remaining, quarterback Tommy Hodson connected with Eddie Fuller for an 11-yard touchdown on fourth down. The extra point was good, and crowd, as they say, went wild. So wild in fact that the cheering and applause registered as an earthquake on a seismograph at LSU’s Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex. It’s known in college football lore as the "Earthquake Game."

"Geaux Tigers!"

  • Two days later, when researchers examined the seismograph, they saw a blip on the machine and traced the jagged lines to the time of the winning play. The ground apparently shook for 15-20 jubilant minutes.

  • Since then, fan activity has moved the needles of seismographs during other football games, including a 2011 NFL playoff game between Seattle and New Orleans, and the 2013 Iron Bowl game that annually pits Auburn against Alabama.

  • In 2022, musician Garth Brooks created a similar ground-shaking reaction at LSU by performing the popular song “Callin’ Baton Rouge” in the stadium. WAFB-TV reported that the moment registered as a small earthquake on an area seismograph.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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