By David Anderson
Ever since the Giants stomped into Seattle and slumped out after having slogged through 16 penalties, the most in a single game in the previous 56 years of Giant’s football, eleven of them for false-starts – a.k.a. “the failure to communicate” – caused by the 12th Man – the NFL has been toying with frenzied-fan sound control measures.
Obviously rattled, Giant’s QB Eli Manning had more than once raised his hands in frustration to the referee. He might as well have walked over, cupped his hands and shouted his complaint in the official’s ear – so he could be heard – for all the affect it had upon the delighted 67,000 obnoxious fans who responded by yelling louder still.
I bet one day if you google ‘obnoxious’ you’ll get Seattle Seahawks fans, being as how they’re synonymous – on Sundays anyway. In the meantime if you research ‘delay-of-game penalties’ guess what fans receive the notoriety for having most caused them?
And the coach of their beloved team, accused of subliminally accentuating the bedlam by piping in artificial sound to bolster crowd noise, then-head man Mike Holmgren – likely with a grin – as much as said ‘what?’ as if he didn’t hear the question, adding that he didn’t know what league officials were talking about.
“Let’s Go Crazy“ and “Raise the Roof” electronic messages aren’t necessary at CenturyLink Field in Seattle either – any more than PA sound – because for one thing there isn’t a roof – 30% of it is missing, which makes the fake meter-reading all the more impressive since one-third of the sound is escaping. And for two, Seahawks fans don’t need a read-out to ratchet up the volume. They’re so hard-of-hearing given how loud they’ve been yelling that each successive five-yard penalty requires superhuman effort in order to even hear themselves shout.
Which of course explains the reason behind the unbelieving and frowning NFL-types questioning the true source of the earsplitting, QB headshaking, inaudibles-the-only-plausible-
Seattle Seahawk fans would be pleased to know that their efforts have not gone unrewarded – or at least unrecognized – on and off the field. With Seattle no doubt chiefly in mind, there’s now a 900-word section in the N.F.L. rule book devoted to crowd noise – the equivalent of a college term paper.
Ostensibly – albeit officially – “our game is about our athletes and coaches playing at the highest possible level and being able to execute their game plans” said Roger Goodell, N.F.L commissioner, in response to a question about (Seahawk) fan noise.
Someone throw a flag for NFL interference.
For crying out loud.