The noise from Sunday night’s record-setting Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field continues to resonate in San Francisco, where some tender-eared fans are complaining the 12th Man gave Seattle an unfair advantage and should be silenced.
Judy Spelman and Rich Schiller wrote a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle about what they called “unsportsmanlike conduct”
and “as big an advantage over an opponent as any performance enhancing drug and which, to their shame, NFL officials turn the same blind eye they have to concussions and drugs.”
Needless to say, the letter isn’t going over well here in Seattle. But in an exclusive interview with KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show, Rich insisted something needs to be done because the noise was unfair to his beloved 49ers.
“I mean it’s really important for quarterbacks to be able to get their signals out for everybody and it needs to be a level playing field where both sides get the information just as easily. It certainly doesn’t happen if the sound is too high.”
Rich and Judy proposed monitoring decibel levels at all games and asking fans to keep it down. If they get too loud for more than three games, a team would lose their home games for the rest of the year, including playoff games.
“If they’re told that, I believe, enough times, that there could be some repercussions, then it’s probably going to be better,” Rich says.
Judy says it’s clear the San Francisco receivers were confused because they couldn’t hear the plays.
“I don’t think it is sour grapes at all. I think what we’re saying is you put a whooping on the field because you had an unfair advantage. If you couldn’t hear your signals and we could hear ours, you would have lost and we would have won,” she says. “Home field advantage is a good thing everywhere, but I believe it doesn’t have to be with noise.”
It sounds like a joke, but they insist they’re serious.
“We think it’s dirty play. What you really want your team to do is to be the best team and you don’t want the play or the outcome of the game to be distorted by an outside force like extra fan noise,” Rich says.
The couple plans to send letters to every NFL city and launch a petition drive to get fans to demand the league change its rules and silence Seattle.
“Home field advantage is a lot of things. Seattle is the only place where it includes noise,” she says.
While no one on the 49ers complained, Judy says when the fans get behind her effort, they will.
“It’s like a political leader. You wait to see what your constituents want, you let people speak first and I think the fans need to speak. I expect you would hear from other teams.”
Something tells us they’ll hear plenty. It just might not be what they’re hoping for.