Seattle Seahawks faithful are responding to San Francisco 49ers fans who are calling on the NFL to cut down the noise the 12th Man is making at CenturyLink Field.
Their responses are being posted in Niners territory – the same San Francisco Chronicle blog where the complaint was first posted.
This all started when Judy Spelman and Rich Schiller equated the noise level in Sunday’s 29-3 Seahawks win over San Francisco to “unsportsmanlike conduct." At 136.6 decibels, the 12th Man set a new world record for the loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium.
They called on the NFL to establish a rule to set a noise level ceiling. Teams that violate that rule more than three times would give up their home games.
“At a time when the world seems sour, sports give us a place of joy, community and hope, and to have it spoiled is a bigger loss than it seems on the surface,” writes Spelman and Schiller.
Seahawks fans wrote in to the Chronicle to give their two cents and more.
“I could not agree more. The writers do seem sour, very sour. Sports do give us a place of joy, community and hope. We Seattleites call that place CenturyLink Field - home of ‘the 12th Man.’ We are loud because we are proud of our Seattle Seahawks,” wrote Chris Miles of Seattle.
“To tell fans that they cannot cheer for their team above a certain decibel level is like telling children they can only eat one piece of candy every day after Halloween,” wrote Michelle Abbott of Seattle.
“I invite all 49ers fans to break the record when the Seahawks come to play in San Francisco,” wrote Jacob Landsberg of Mukilteo. “Also maybe the weather should be banned, because rain could make everyone wet and/or slip and fall.”
Spelman and Schiller spoke to KIRO-FM talk show host Dori Monson Wednesday. Spelman said they don’t believe their position is sour grapes for the loss, then suggested that the 49ers would have won if the 12th Man would not been a factor.
“If you couldn’t hear your signals and we could hear ours, you would have lost and we would have won,” said Spelman. She noted that when Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick was throwing interceptions, it appeared as if the receivers ran the wrong routes. She suggested they may not have heard the right signals.
The pair also indicated that they would feel the same way if 49ers fans did it in San Francisco. They said they want to see the games decided by the skills of the players on the field, not by outside influences.
“We think it’s dirty play,” said Spelman. “You don’t want the play or the outcome of a game to be distorted by an outside force like extra fan noise. If it’s really just enthusiasm … why aren’t you yelling at the same decibel level when (the Seahawks) have possession?”
The pair said they think the problem is specific to Seattle and they hope fans across the NFL will speak up and get their teams to push the league for stricter rules.
Spelman and Schiller say they’ve received hostile phone calls as a result of their letter.