Extraordinarily Small Panel of Football Writers Rank Seattle's Qwest Field 3rd-Toughest Place To Play

Eight divisional bloggers at ESPN.com got together and constructed their lists of the ten toughest stadiums for opposing teams to play in. Actually, they probably didn't get together, instead choosing to e-mail their lists from home instead of showing up to some arbitrary cafe to physically construct their lists in each other's company, while sipping cups of joe* and shooting various shits.

*Except Mike Sando. I bet Mike Sando would order a mint julep. He seems like the type. Also, this cafe serves mint juleps.

The two places ranking ahead of Qwest (the CLink hasn't caught on yet, I guess), are the host stadiums of the two teams to play in the most recent Super Bowl -- Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and Lambeau Field in Green Bay, ranking second and first, respectively. Considering that the Packers and Steelers typically field good teams, and the Seahawks typically field... teams, this is good company.

As you could probably guess, voters for Lambeau and Heinz invoke history, aura, ghosts, tradition, etc as reasons they valued those fields -- further illustrating the gigantic gap between players and writers (I can't imagine Drew Brees or Ray Lewis having their level of play affected by abstract qualities). In reality, I think the fact that Lambeau and Heinz are homes to particularly loyal fanbases (judging by consistency of sold out games and difficulty for out-of-towners to get tickets) and are cold-weather venues have more to do with the difficulty in winning there than the fact that Bart Starr and Franco Harris used to play in the same place.

Qwest scores points for it's league-wide reputation as an uncomfortably loud place to play. The Giants' 752 false starts and the BeasQuake are mentioned, and it was listed on all eight voters' ballots well as snagging two first-place tallies. The sound-engineering that went into Qwest's construction is well-documented, but having an acoustically-friendly environment doesn't mean much unless 60,000 nuts are packing it to cheer their brains out.

I can keep going on about this, but honestly, why bother? You guys don't need me to tell you that Qwest Field kicks ass, but it's kind of cool to see that some writers think so, too. Now, whenever this season gets going, let's make sure Seattle is a place no team looks forward to playing in.

PS - I apologize for not posting for a while. I've been busy growing a beard. Also, you can now follow me on Twitter @JacsonBevens

PPS - Everyone calls Lambeau Field "the Frozen Tundra." Has the word "tundra" ever been used without the words "frozen" or "Toyota" preceding it?

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