I was going to post this yesterday to capitalize on the NFC Championship and all, but with it being MLK Jr. Day, I knew I'd only get the fewest eyeballs possible. So I'll troll the Seahawks "12th Man" fanbase today, and maybe Seattle fans will attempt to read and understand words that aren't "LOUDER" on some dumb sign.
"Hey, guy holding up the inventive LOUDER sign, chug poison." – TheSportsHernia
I'm not entirely sure what started Seattle's obsession with the noise of their stadium and crowd. Back in the day, these were the types of conversations we'd have about Arrowhead Stadium, but the narrative has shifted to Seattle in recent seasons. Now it's all Beast-Quake this and LOUDER that, so we really need to get some things straight.
Seattle is not some noise hellhole from which no man or team can escape. The Seahawks have manufactured this storyline to get you to talk about something other than the rain, I guess. And the networks happily keep the noise about it in your ear.
To start, FOX announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman repeatedly marveled Sunday at the legitimacy and grassroots nature of these crazy loud Seattle fans. They're THE 12th Man! Only the Seahawks pay Texas A&M University $5,000 a year to use the term, considering the Aggies hold a trademark on said "12th Man." At least six other NFL teams have used "12th Man" in their recent histories. If you're a Seahawks fan, you might point out that Seattle raised a 12th Man flag in 1984, six years before the TAMU trademark in 1990. I'd point out that TAMU documents their use back to 1922, and this entire paragraph is just to show how muddied your grassroots fanbase name appears to everyone else.
Then we get to the actual noise itself. Did you notice how in the early game, Peyton Manning's "OMAHA" cadence was louder than anything else? And then in the late game, all of a sudden it seemed like the crowd noise was overpowering everything? Hmmm, it's almost as if the networks are compliant in narrative-pushing, jacking up the mic-levels of what they want you to hear.
"Fox audio person is fidgeting all over with the crowd audio track levels. Keep that in mind whenever they say it's 'loud'" – Tim Burke
Tim is the one to trust on this, seeing that he's monitored the crowd audio tracks on broadcasts, finding these discrepancies before. Can't wait til KDKA jacks up the Mike Tomlin postgame audio next season every time he says OBVIOUSLY just to lower that boom even harder.
But back to the decibels and why the title says that Pittsburgh wins, just like Super Bowl XL. By the way, how'd that 12th Man enjoy benefiting from TWO ref flubs in a championship game? Gotta wonder if 9ers fans will follow Seahawk suit and complain about that til infinity.
The Seahawks fans recently took the loudest record from Arrowhead, notching about .5 of a decibel more than KC fans did just months prior. Their record came in at just over 137 decibels. Pretty awesome, especially when you have people from Guinness there and the fans are actively trying to beat a benchmark. But for the freakin' NFC Championship, when pure emotion should be pumping everywhere, the Seahawks managed about 107 decibels on the few meters FOX showed on-screen. That's…pretty weak. So, the "loudness" is just for show when you need something in return.
And not that 107 decibels is bad, per se. That's some quality support for the team, but now let's put that in perspective.
The Seahawks have been the class of the NFC all season, the defense is incredible and they just haven't lost often these past two seasons. They have some fantastic players on both sides of the ball. The fans should be batshit insane in the NFC Championship game, then, no? If 137 decibels is madness, what was their 107 in the NFC Championship game closer to?
In 2012 our Pittsburgh Pirates were in the middle of their eventual 20th-straight losing season. I'd tell you to imagine that kind of agony but you literally cannot with it being the only-such record in professional sports.
With that said, here's two videos from PNC Park that season, from June 8th against the Royals and July 3rd against the Astros. Not exactly the Yankees or Tigers or anyone.
That one was for a pitch by then-closer Joel Hanrahan.
That's for a Pedro Alvarez pinch hit.
I've de-embedded them because they're causing problems. For this site, not just the Seahawks fans' arguments.
In both moments, for a perennially-underachieving baseball team providing mediocre memories in the middle of summer, PNC Park nearly reached 100 decibels. PNC Park holds 38,000 on a good (see, 2013 season) day. CenturyLink Field houses nearly 70,000. Remember that 107 the "12th Man" got in the damn NFC Championship? Pirates fans in 2012 see that and laugh.
So just as a reminder, while Seattle fans might be loud and stuff now that the team is trending upward, remember that much of the noise about the noise is just that…noise.