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?