Recently a couple of Connect Hearing head office staffers ventured down to Seattle for a Seahawks-Cowboys football game. The comment when they returned: “It was SO loud my ears were ringing for three days afterwards!” This proclamation was accompanied by big smiles and a “You have to go hear it!”
Officially, the 12th MAN phrase is registered by the Seahawks and describes its incredible over-the-top, loud fans. In fact, Seattle fans became so loud the NFL instituted a noise rule in 1985: “Loss of team time out(s) or five-yard penalty on the defense for excessive crowd noise.” CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks home, is now considered the loudest stadium in the NFL. Game day 12th MAN cheering can reach 112 decibels (when the opposing team is on offense) and get relatively churchmouse quiet at 87 decibels when the SeaHawks are on offense.
All this noise isn’t about fooling around - the yelling can result in false start penalties and missed field goals. CenturyLink Field averages 2.36 false starts per game – the highest in the NFL since 2005. Essentially the fans are using crowd noise as an offensive tool.
To give context to just how loud CenturyLink and the 12th MAN are let’s compare 112 decibels to those listed on a Connect Hearing industrial safety poster:
Jackhammer: 100 – 120 decibels
Thunder: 120-130 decibels
Jet plane take-off: 140 decibels
Prolonged exposure at these noise levels can, and will, cause hearing damage. So if you’ve been a Seahawks fan since the 80s it’s probably a good idea to get your hearing tested.
New to the game or going for the experience? Make sure you take a pair of Connect Hearing ear plugs.
The number 12 jersey was retired by the Seahawks so it will forever only represent the fans. Make sure you don’t retire your hearing along with it – yell louder than the next fan, but protect your hearing at the same time. Here’s to a winning season!