JIM MOORE

Moore: Seahawks may suffer most of all teams playing without fans

Sep 17, 2020, 5:11 PM
Seahawks fans...
At least the first three Seahawks' home games will be played without fans. (Getty)
(Getty)

I would argue that the Seahawks will suffer more than any other team from not having fans at their games – for the time being anyway.

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The team has already announced that no fans will be allowed at CenturyLink Field for the first three home games against New England, Dallas and Minnesota. We’ll see if it changes for the last five home games.

Some teams are allowing a small percentage of fans at home games. Thursday night, for instance, the Browns allowed 6,000 fans to attend their game against the Bengals.

On Sunday, the Dolphins will allow 13,000 fans to watch their game against the Bills, the Colts will have 2,500 fans at their game against the Vikings, and the Cowboys will allow an unspecified number of fans to watch their game against the Falcons.

The Titans announced that a slowly escalating percentage of fans can start to attend their home games in October.

Maybe this will happen with the Seahawks too, but for now, you have to wonder how it will affect Pete Carroll’s team, which is used to having the loudest crowd in the league at their games – and yes, that includes you, Chiefs’ fans.

During a game against the Saints in 2013, the 12s set a Guinness World Record by reaching a noise level of 137.6 decibels. That kind of volume has contributed to false starts by opponents for years.

Do you think we’d be calling Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown run the Beast Quake if he had run through and over the Saints in the playoffs nine years ago if there weren’t fans in attendance? Of course not. The 12s made it register on the Richter scale.

If you don’t think the fans make that much of a difference for the Seahawks, you could point to last year’s 4-4 home record, and here’s my response to that. Since 2012, Russell Wilson’s first year in the league, the Seahawks have the second-best home record in the league at 53-16. New England is No. 1 at 65-12 but no one has ever compared the din in Foxboro to the din in Seattle.

Ask Carroll. Actually, someone did on Monday, wondering how much will be missing Sunday night without the 12s at the game.

“An unbelievable amount,” the Seahawks’ head coach said. “This is one of the greatest spectacles in sport, playing in our stadium.”

That world-record decibel level is about half of what we’ll be hearing on our flat screens Sunday night. Details are a bit sketchy and hard to determine after the first week, but the noise that’s being piped into NFL games is set at 70 decibels at kickoff.

The NFL says the crowd noise will be specific to each stadium, and if that’s the case, it should be crazy loud at CenturyLink, but I doubt that will happen. I’m hoping that whoever is running the controls gets a little frisky at some point and cranks up the volume.

But that won’t happen either. The NFL will monitor audio throughout the game to make sure crowd noise does not go above or below the required decibel levels, whatever that means.

If someone is caught trying to manipulate the audio, the team will be subject to fines, suspensions or possible loss of a draft pick.

It’s going to be different, that’s for sure, and Lorin “Big Lo” Sandretzky, the Seahawks’ most passionate fan, plans to be near the stadium no matter what. He told me in a Facebook message that he will be in the Northwest plaza, banging his Sea-Fence “and yelling as loud as I can.”

Big Lo has missed only one game in 35 years and even though he’s dealing with health issues, he wants to show his support, even if it’s outside the stadium.

“I’ve gotta be there,” he said.

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Moore: Seahawks may suffer most of all teams playing without fans