A couple of San Francisco area residents think Seahawks fans were just a tad too loud in Sunday’s win. They want the NFL to make fans pipe down or lose the rights to home games.
Seahawks fans set a new world record for the loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium, cheering for their team at a whopping 136.6 decibels. The noise disrupted the Niners and helped the Seahawks to a 29-3 win.
In an online letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, Judy Spelman and Rich Schiller said Seahawks fans were “juiced on noise” and they accused the team and fans of “unsportsmanlike conduct." They said the noise “surely creates as big an advantage over an opponent as any performance enhancing drug.”
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The pair want the Seahawks to ask fans to quiet down. They also want the NFL to implement a new rule to allow the visiting team to stop a game if the noise surpasses a certain decibel level. If the rule is violated in more than three games, the “offending” team would lose all its home games for the remainder of the season and playoffs.
“At a time when the world seems sour, sports give us a place of joy, community and hope, and to have it spoiled is a bigger loss than it seems on the surface,” writes Spelman and Schiller.
Ellen Gust of Palo Alto, Calif., posted her support of the idea.
"It wasn't a game of skill anymore," Gust wrote. "It was an exhibition of excessive stadium noise, posturing obscenities in your opponent's face to draw a foul and street-punk behavior to fire up tensions to gain any advantage to get the win.
"I hope the NFL will listen before the fans go deaf. Please stop the excessive stadium noise, and just play football," she added.
Chances are the Seahawks and NFL will listen with deaf ears. The NFL announced in April that it would allow teams to use video scoreboards to encourage crowd noise during entire plays. Although the scoreboards can only use audio prompts until 20 seconds remain on the play clock -- down from 30 seconds -- video prompts now can be used any time.
Hearing experts say that exposure to 130 decibels for about a minute could lead to some permanent hearing loss.
The performance enhancing drug reference in the letter may have been a veiled swipe at Seahawks players. Defensive end Bruce Irvin is currently serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy. Cornerback Brandon Browner served a similar suspension last season. Cornerback Richard Sherman was also suspended last year, but it was overturned on appeal.