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The Deci-Bowl: Seahawks Fans Try For Guinness World Record For Crowd Noise Vs. 49ers


I lived in Seattle for five years but I’ve never been to Qwest/CenturyLink Field, and quite frankly I’m not likely to go. My ear drums are two of my favorite body parts, and I don’t want them to get mugged.

49ers-Seahawks in about 20 minutes, and in addition to looking for a one-game lead in the NFC West Seattle fans will be attempting to set a record for crowd noise. Yes, this is a thing: the Guinness World Record people keep track of it, and Seattle’s 12th Man have decided this is something they want.

But some doctors have warned that this is folly. One is audiologist Brian Fligor of Boston Children’s Hospital:

The current crowd noise record is 131.76 decibels, set at a Turkish soccer arena in 2011. At that level, people can suffer immediate and permanent hearing damage, Fligor and other experts warned. In a society filled with iPods, rock concerts, subways and battlefields, loud noise is often overlooked as an environmental health hazard, they said.

The loudest official recording during a Seahawks game is 112 decibels. Fans and the organizing group of this Sunday’s crowd roar, Volume 12, believe they have a good chance at the Guinness World Record.

According to ESPN, there was actual seismic activity registered during Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown run in a 2011 playoff game with the Saints. From 2005, when the stadium was built, and 2010, there have been 127 false start penalties called against visiting teams. Seattle’s home record at CenturyLink is 59-29 (5-1 postseason).

So that’s a terrific home field advantage, obviously. But the old coaching adage about never getting too high or too low is pretty much ignored by Pete Carroll & Co., and The 12th Man. We’ll see how it plays out.

UPDATE: 49ers blocked a punt at 12:21 of the first quarter, and Cris Collinsworth is saying that someone in the stands blew a whistle, causing Seahawks’ linemen to stand up. 13th man?

Here's the 49ers punt block that Pete Carroll went bizerk over...


  • Randy Kaplan

    I don’t wanna be a spoilsport, but isn’t there something silly, juvenile, and strange about games being affected or decided by something extraneous and meaningless like how loud the crowd cheers? You don’t have to have a strong opinion about the noise, nor do you have to be a rocket scientist, to recognize that the Seahawks, especially their absolutely stellar defense, absolutely owned the 49ers, and if you gagged every person in the stands, it wouldn’t have made any difference in the final result. But really – do we want games decided by which home team is having a beer promo or the number of local shock jocks who have touted a “break the Guinness decibel record” day at the stadium? That just seems dumb.

  • Anonymous

    “You don’t have to have a strong opinion about the noise, nor do you have to be a rocket scientist, to recognize that the Seahawks, especially their absolutely stellar defense, absolutely owned the 49ers, and if you gagged every person in the stands, it wouldn’t have made any difference in the final result.”
    You have never tried to play sports in a noisy stadium. You are full of poop.

  • Randy Kaplan

    Of course I’ve never played sports in a noisy stadium – wouldn’t my comments have reflected it if had? But I don’t understand why that makes me full of poop, nor why my lack of playing experience in situations comparable to the kind of ambience and noise levels I’m talking about – something that I share with about 99.8% of the readers here – somehow invalidates my comments. Besides, what the hell is your point? Are you saying that my compliment to the Seahawks is wrong, and that if it had been quieter yesterday that the 49ers would have won? Trust me, I have absolutely no interest in arguing that absurdity with you or anyone else. The Niners played an absolutely awful game in every respect, and most high school teams would have had a good chance against them, the way they played. Maybe they would have beaten a team of Syrians who had recently been poison gassed, but that’s about it. JACKSONVILLE played better than SF yesterday.

    But if that ISN’T your point, and you believe that SF would have won but for the noise, aren’t you really agreeing with me?

    Are you this confused, or are you just this stupid?

  • A fan of the 1st Amendment

    Poor Colin didn’t know what hit him last night. I don’t think a lot of people gave my Hawks much of a chance to win that game, but we are used to the lack of respect as much as we are used to having to beat both the opposing team and the refs.

    Go Hawks! The road to the SuperBowl continues!!

  • A fan of the 1st Amendment

    Most people recognize having a great home field crowd helps the home team. That’s not what decides the whole game, but I think the players will tell you it definately helps. There’s a reason the Hawks have such a great home record and a big part of it is the 12th man. It’s as much a part of the game as the weather and celebration, though the league is ruining that. Next thing you know, we’ll have to be as quiet at a football game as a golf match. Stop with the stupid rules!

  • A fan of the 1st Amendment

    SF wouldn’t have won either way the way they played, but you have to admit the noise forces penalties and errors. It helped throw them completely off their game. I’m not saying that’s why we won. Obviously our D was great and Lynch had a great night, but the noise definately effects others teams.

  • Randy Kaplan

    Good comparison of the crowd impact to the weather. You’ve certainly got a very good point.
    Question – would it really be difficult or expensive to give a QB some kind of voice amplification system like a referee wears that can be clicked on and off, or to install radios in player helmets so that every player can be sure to hear the play call and snap count regardless of crowd noise? All the benefits of a 12th man, none of the downside? No additional rules needed? What do you think, 1stAFan? Would that be an idea worth discussing, or am I suggesting taking something out of the game that should stay in it?

  • A fan of the 1st Amendment

    No way. I think it’s part of the game to get in the opposing team’s head and cause them to screw up. I love it! It’s a mental game too and great teams and players can win regardless. Just my 2 cents though.

  • Randy Kaplan

    Thanks, again good thoughts, you’re schooling me.

  • richardfg7

    Just because you don’t like something does not make it dumb.What it does do is make you a buzz-kill. Go Seahawks !!!


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