St. Charles Herald-Guide

Football is not a noise game

Our View - December 9, 2013

The gridiron has provided the location for a lot of thrilling sports activity in recent years. It is supposed to be a contest of how the players handle the oval football in running for touchdowns, throwing and catching passes, kicking the ball and getting it away from the opposition.
But lately, another element has entered the competition - noise from the fans.

At the New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers game two weeks ago in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, part of the overhead screen showing the status of action on the field was a decibel measurement of noise coming from the fans.

That was supposed to indicate the way the game was going, encouraging the fans to make more  noise.We’re not criticizing fan patriotism or even the decibel potential in their voices, but that should not be on the scoreboard.

One of the great things about watching football on television is that one does not have to put up with fans blocking their view of the action when they stand up in front of them. There is also a volume control on the TV that can save their ears from the noise that emanates in the stadium.

When the Saints played in Seattle Monday night, they were playing the team that claimed the highest decibel rating among fans in the National Football League. The opponents probably would have won the game anyhow, judging from the final score, but even thinking about a decibel rating as a team strength is going a little too far in rating teams in the league.

It’s time to bring sports back to appreciation of the physical talents of the players and not to how many decibels their fans can emit. Take those figures off the scoreboard and let’s get back to the purpose of the game.

Enjoy it with cheering but don’t overdo it. Medical  experts, incidentally, claim that loud emissions from our vocal chords that bang against our eardrums can have a bad effect on our health.

So maintain your control and keep healthy while letting your team know you appreciate their talents without overdoing the decibels. That will keep football as the fun spectacle that it is.