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The CLink may be a sound garden, but is that a good thing?

Please scream an answer at your device for added authenticity

open wide, expel sound

Six things about noise before you get to make yours.

One, fans of the Seattle Seahawks have long been known for making more noise than the average stadium filled with humans.

A Chicago Tribune story from September 1989 is linked here, in which the reporter states:

This year the National Football League has a new rule that makes excessive crowd noise illegal and penalizes home teams whose fans refuse to quiet down enough for the opposing team to run its plays.

Needless to say, the rule is controversial, especially in cities such as Seattle, where there are loud fans and a domed stadium, and Washington, D.C., where the stadium is open but the fans are so loud they can be heard a mile away. Indeed, Seattle fans already are in an uproar since the Seahawks were penalized three times during a preseason game after the Kingdome crowd expressed its displeasure with the new rule.

If you have footage of the occasion, link it in the comments! I know I’ve seen it around the interwebs but can’t locate it on the spot.

Two, CenturyLink Field was built with acoustics in mind, with the goal of increasing noise at field level. Check out this excellent fanpost from October 2013, which retells a lot of the thought that went into the cathedral’s design. One of the many money paragraphs therein:

Bill Steward, the sound engineer responsible for measuring the record-setting 136.6 dB Niner-beatdown, extrapolated, "The curvature and angles of the canopies act to focus the sound energy onto the playing field, producing higher noise levels."

Three, the aforementioned 136.6-decibel noise measurement stood, for a short time in 2014, as the Guiness World Record for noise generated at an outdoor sports event. Some other NFL team topped it later that season, nobody knows who and nobody cares anyway.

Four, the crowd’s performance has been badmouthed for the past three of four seasons, since the Owl was captured. But when they pump it up, the whole place still shakes. You have heard that it shakes, right?

Five, the home-field advantage at the CLink has been recently documented to be higher than average. It’s also one of the loudest places to play. Coincidence? Mayyyyyyybe

The 2002-2012 results tell the tale of a dramatic difference:

Across the NFL, Freakonomics writer Stephen Dubner found that home teams win 57.3% of the time. At the CLink, the Seahawks win 67% of the time. There are teams that have even better records at home (such as New England), but remember, those teams win most of their road games as well because they’re great teams. During this span Seattle is only four games over .500, making them an average team.

An MMQB analysis goes one step further and finds that the Seahawks are the best team by point differential at home, since 2012.

Point Differential at Home vs. League-Average Team

Seattle 13.8

Denver 12.2

New England 10.2

Green Bay 9.3

Baltimore 6.7

Those are the top five. Notice how Seattle is more than twice as good as the fifth-best team.

Six, the players routinely express thanks to the fans for the extra noise; but how much of that is authentic? Former Cardinal and now-former Seahawk offensive lineman Bradley Sowell weighs in:

I’ve been punished with this noise for years, man. It was really cool. It was actually surreal, though. Coming to this place, it’s always been so tough to play in, and now you’re a part of it. It was really neat.

Armed with six points, yell at the poll.


Does deafening crowd noise help the Seahawks on defense?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Yes, when the crowd is at its loudest, that enhances the home-field advantage quite a bit
    (728 votes)
  • 28%
    Helps some but let’s not get carried away
    (307 votes)
  • 0%
    Neutral; noise is neither a negative nor a positive
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Not really, not on the whole. Feels like too much noise sometimes even hinders the team
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    It’s a definite negative for the home team, fans should dial it back
    (6 votes)
1068 votes total Vote Now