Whenever Seahawks fans get so loud in CenturyLink Field that the stadium seems to shake, I find myself thinking: Wow, this place is loud.
The thought process is not really a process. It just comes and goes, all done in a split second, and then I resume entertaining other random thoughts, none of which involve prime numbers or 18th century philosophers. I’ve got a simple mind, and when I’m watching a football game in a stadium, my brain is as light as a dry sponge.
See Marshawn run. Run, Marshawn, run!
So when I learned a Seahawks fan club, Volume 12, is attempting to certify CenturyLink Field as the loudest sports crowd ever measured in decibels, I must admit Seattle’s potential to set a Guinness World Record for noise never occurred to me.
Setting a world decibel record at CenturyLink Field would be a good thing, I guess, as opposed to a bad thing, although I tend it belongs somewhere in the middle: not as good as a touchdown, not as bad as a postgame riot that spills onto the sidewalks of Pioneer Square and is quelled, two days later, with the assistance of the National Guard.
My problem with Volume 12’s campaign to set a Guinness World Record on Sept. 15 – the Sunday night the Seahawks take on San Francisco in their nationally televised home opener – is that the scene will be contrived, which is another word for fake, which is the family-friendly form of a colloquial term abbreviated with the letters B and S.
The scene will be fake because the Guinness World Record representative on hand at CenturyLink Field won’t measure decibels throughout the game, waiting for the triumphant moment – say, Golden Tate sharing a disputed reception in the end zone as time expires – that may or may not distinguish Seahawks fans as the loudest ever recorded.
The sound-barrier challenge likely will be issued before kickoff, when the video board extols everybody to “Make Noise!” Spontaneity won’t be part of it, and doesn’t the exhilaration we get from a crazed stadium roar lie in its spontaneity?
The loudest crowd noise I’ve ever heard was in the Kingdome, during the 1995 Mariners playoff series against the Yankees, when Ken Griffey Jr. scored from first base off Edgar Martinez’s line-drive double down the left-field line. I thought to myself, briefly: Wow, this place is loud.
I had no idea the noise that gave me goosebumps then – and instilled me with a memory that induces goosebumps to this day – was quantifiable, something worthy of a recognition in a record book.
In any case, the official Guinness World Record for crowd noise belongs to fans of the Galatasaray soccer club of Turkey. On March 18, 2011, during a match against Fenerbahce, 52,695 of them filled Trk Telekom Arena to register a 131.76 decibel reading on the third attempt.
The first try, recorded at 8:50 p.m., measured at 112 decibels. The second try, recorded at 9:03, went to 130 decibels. Surely the P.A. announcer at Trk Telekom Arena was prodding the fans to exert themselves one more time for a chance to make world history – “Is that all you’ve got? I can’t hear you!” – and the third try set the Guinness World Record level at 131.76 decibels.
Will the 12th man break that mark at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 15? Can Seahawks fans muster enough energy for inclusion into a record book that in 2013 ranked Zeus, a Great Dane from Grand Rapids, Mich., as the world’s tallest living dog?
(Zeus has been measured, from tail to head, at 7-feet-4. The dog’s owner, according to the Huffington Post, says she’s frequently asked: “Is that a dog or a horse?”)
Seahawks fans aspiring to participate in the monumental event of Sept. 15 figure to join some select company. A 2013 reality TV series, “Guinness World Records Gone Wild,” identified the best among us at swallowing live cockroaches, and catching arrows blindfolded, and diving 40 feet into a 1-foot-deep wading pool.
Most quarters fit into a nostril? Most watermelons crushed against the skull? Both are official Guinness World Records, as is the soccer crowd in Turkey that produced 131.76 decibels on the third try.
Go for it, 12th man, but just remember that on the night Galatasaray fans set the record for loudest crowd noise in the history of the world, the home team they came to cheer lost to Fenerbahce.
Although the 2-1 defeat had to be devastating, I presume it was easier to swallow than a live firstname.lastname@example.org