Sporting Life

Time to sling out the iPads and be part of a real, roaring crowd

The Singapore Slingers' John Fields interacts with fans after Game 2 of the Asean Basketball League Finals against the CLS Knights at the OCBC Arena. The Slingers will play the final game at the same venue tomorrow with the series tied at 2-2. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The sweetest music in sport doesn't arrive from stringed instruments or the percussion of baseball hitting wood. It's you yelling. It's your sister on her noisy feet. It's your dad going mental. It's what Vin Scully, the American sportscaster, called "the roar of the crowd". It shakes stadiums and unites strangers into a high-decibel horde.

This roar has magical properties. It gives life to stone arenas and resuscitates the dying team. It wards off exhaustion and has the rough edge of intimidation. It's the background music of conquest and it is unstoppable. As swimmer Penny Oleksiak once noted: "Even when I was in the water I could hear the crowd."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2019, with the headline 'Time to sling out the iPads and be part of a real, roaring crowd'. Print Edition | Subscribe