By Jim Moore
Along with everything else at stake Sunday night, the 12th Man will attempt to turn CenturyLink Field into the noisiest stadium in the world.
Already unofficially recognized as the loudest stadium in the NFL, CenturyLink will try to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records when the Seahawks host the 49ers. The current record is held by Türk Telekom Arena in Istanbul, where a decibel sound level of 131.7 was recorded at a soccer match in 2011.
Former Seahawks Joe Tafoya and Kerry Carter run a marketing company in Kirkland called JumpIt Media. Tafoya was contacted by Volume 12, a Seahawks fan group, and asked to put the world-record attempt together. Tafoya submitted an application this summer to Guinness Book of World Records and it was accepted. Since then, news of the world-record bid has drawn attention from NBC, CBS, the NFL Network and The Los Angeles Times among other media outlets.
“It’s a lot bigger than we anticipated,” Tafoya said.
A former defensive end who played on the Seahawks’ 2005 Super Bowl team, Tafoya has enjoyed seeing the fan side of things.
“To be a part of the 12th Man is such an important part of their day-to-day lives,” he said. “It’s a huge badge of honor. I feel like we have the best fans, and now we have a chance to prove it.”
Guinness Book of World Records will have a judge and a noise meter at CenturyLink Field. Specific guidelines must be followed, some of which involve the proper microphone and where it’s placed on the field.
The 12th Man will get three attempts, and Tafoya wants the first one to take place when the 49ers have their first possession.
“After that, the next two attempts, I want them to be organic,” Tafoya said. “If a big play happens, like a sack or an interception, those are the times I want them to be recording.”
It won’t be a slam dunk. It won’t even be a 3-pointer. At Seahawks.com, the official top noise level at CenturyLink is said to be 112 decibels. Whether that happened during Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Quake run in the playoffs against New Orleans three years ago or sometime else is unclear.
But Tafoya has heard unofficial reports from fans that noise meters have actually recorded 137 decibels at CenturyLink.
Tafoya said the 131.7 world-record level at Turk Telcom Stadium was artificially aided by what he calls PEDs – Performance Enhancing Devices such as horns, whistles and vuvuzelas. Those are not allowed at CenturyLink. Plus everyone screamed on the count of three. That also won’t be happening Sunday night.
A pre-game tailgate party, “Hear the Cheer,” will be held at Pyramid Brewery.
Asked if he had any advice for the 12th Man to prepare for the world-record attempt, Tafoya said: “Don’t scream or yell too much before the game game. Save your vocal chords. And instead of beer, try hot tea with lemon and honey.
“It’s gonna be really tough for us to break it. But if any sports venue can do it without PEDs, it’s CenturyLink Field. Regardless, at least we’ll have the mark for the loudest stadium in the NFL.”
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.