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Mike Ditka calls encouraging crowd noise “stupid”

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The NFL has decided to ease up on rules restricting teams from encouraging crowd noise as a way to make attending games more fun for fans. Unsurprisingly, some old-school types aren’t happy about that.

Mike Ditka, the Hall of Fame tight end and Super Bowl-winning coach, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he thinks it’s ridiculous to encourage fans to try to influence the outcome of the game by screaming at the tops of their lungs.

It’s stupid,” Ditka said. “The NFL . . . who are they appealing to? It would be like the owners working at their desk, and all of a sudden they encourage people to come in their office and make a lot of noise. It doesn’t make sense. The key to football is you want to be able to see it executed properly. You want to hear the snap count. You want to see these guys use their talents where they’re not tainted. Sometimes when you have crowd noise, you’re not seeing the player at his best.”

Ditka might not like it, but easing up on the restrictions on promoting crowd noise is a pretty minor step. If players and coaches don’t like it, they’ll just have to adjust.

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95 Responses to “Mike Ditka calls encouraging crowd noise “stupid””
  1. sechristbmw says: Apr 13, 2013 2:37 PM

    Encouraging crowd noise is the first thing Dictator Goodell has done that I have liked.

    Hey Ditka, I like when stadiums are loud. Its the way the game use to be. In the early 90’s, the Ralph was so loud you couldn’t hear the person next to you.

    Instead, the last few years the in-game experience has gotten worse. Been told to sit down and be quiet. This isn’t golf. Football is better when stadiums get loud.

  2. honkerdawg says: Apr 13, 2013 2:39 PM

    Getting to be like the other sports, nothing but a circus!

  3. thesteelers says: Apr 13, 2013 2:39 PM

    If you have to cue crowd noise, you have a weak crowd.

  4. wilkj says: Apr 13, 2013 2:39 PM

    I think encouraging crowd noise is stupid, but not because I dislike crowd noise–I think it’s a literally awesome part of the atmosphere–but it should be the job of fans to encourage each other and for the players on the field to hype fans up even further, because that’s where the focus should be–the field–not a scoreboard video.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 13, 2013 2:40 PM

    It was part of the game when the Lions played in the Silverdome. The fans got to feel like they were part of the team back then and it was a respectable partnership despite losing most of the time. It was an amazing and remarkable experience to attend a game in the Silverdome. Now you couldn’t pay me to go to where the Lions play, they took all the fun and enjoyment out of the atmosphere. They destroyed instead of improved upon.

    Some parts of the tradition and culture of the game have value even if they are counter-intuitive to how things typically work in the non-NFL business world. That’s a whole different place operating on a different plane Mr. Ditka, come back from the real world and accept the NFL for the unique animal that it is.

  6. pnut87 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:41 PM

    Of course he does! He played offense.

    Mr. Coach Mike Ditka, crowd noise is supposed to disrupt the guys on your side of the ball. From the sound of your statement, that’s exactly what happened.

  7. kingpel says: Apr 13, 2013 2:42 PM

    I agree with Iron Mike. It is annoying when a stadium uses a entire play stoppage to blare music and silly games on their jumbotrons. Just show highlights from other games and quit the childish BS.

  8. 49erdynasty says: Apr 13, 2013 2:43 PM

    Atlanta & Seattle already do it… might as well level the playing field.

  9. blackhawks2010 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:45 PM

    Here’s a novel idea, cheer when your team scores.

  10. threatlevelbob says: Apr 13, 2013 2:47 PM

    Wow, seriously Ditka? This isn’t ice skating or golf – it’s football! Now, engineering a stadium to be loud might be a little over the top (Ahem, Seattle), but at the end of the day having a ruckus crowd is part of the fun in going to a game.

  11. norcalseahawkfan says: Apr 13, 2013 2:47 PM

    I remember when they tried to penalize home teams for crowd noise and when they did it to the Seahawks the crowd just got louder, that was when the rule went away. Fans already dislike the refs that just made it worse. Now they are going to go the other way and allowing more noise by using the score boards. I don’t think Seattle fans need the help.

  12. rajbais says: Apr 13, 2013 2:47 PM

    You’re an idiot!!!!!!!!

    Apparently, there’s no such thing as home field advantage in your eyes. Apparently, Seattle went 0-8 at Century Link Field last year!!!!!

    Ditka, Chicagoans stroked you and spoiled you by sparing the rod for your overrated coaching methods. I would know. I live there!

    If they keep singing to themselves “so it’s root, root, root for the home team cuz they don’t win it’s a shame” they won’t be able to disturb opposing teams and then they and the home team will be doormats!!! Granted, they’ve expressed rage better since Cutler came into town and Rodgers beat them in the NFC Title Game in Jan. 2011, but excitement is a great trigger for players to go out and knock the hell out of the opposing team!!!

  13. paul5555viceroy says: Apr 13, 2013 2:48 PM

    The game has past him by….

  14. mcarey032 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:48 PM

    If you are at home and your team’s defense is out there, why wouldn’t you want crowd noise? You always hear about how players state that crowd noise had influence on the play calling.

    Just wondering why Ditka had only won 1 Super Bowl. While I generally agree with coach Ditka on a lot of things, on this subject I don’t. Crowd noise is a part of the game and players encouraging noise is good PR for the NFL.

  15. themagicman1223 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:49 PM

    Like you said it’s a minor step, don’t know why he’s getting so mad. He didn’t say anything about the helmet rule and that was a pretty major rule. The players are just going to get used to more noise.

  16. markcarroll85 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:49 PM

    Seattle and their fans don’t think it’s stupid. As a fan I love being at home games with 60,000+ fans cheering for the same team you are rooting for. From what I can tell players seem to love having the fans support behind them!

  17. prideandpoise says: Apr 13, 2013 2:49 PM

    I love when Ditka has an opinion on anything (football related or not) because it’s usually entertaining.

    However, he’s wrong on this one. Football is not meant to be played in a vacumn. Weather conditions, field turf and crowd noise are integral parts of the sport we all love.

  18. kuranda84 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:50 PM

    “The key to football is you want to be able to see it executed properly. You want to hear the snap count.”

    Exactly Mike. This is what makes something a “homefield advantage”. When fans get so loud it’s hard for the opposing team to hear the count it is a homefield advantage. I guess he doesn’t get it.

  19. jjbadd385 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:50 PM

    wow i like Ditka, but i totally disagree with him on this. If Im a Bronco fan (I am) and the visiting Raiders, or any other team I hate are on the field on offense, the the crowd needs to be screaming to mess up their snap count!! Thats what makes homefield advantage the advantage! Ditka obviously knows this so i wonder why he thinks its stupid? I dont want to see any teams offense, except the Broncos, to play their best at Mile High!!

  20. squared80 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:51 PM

    Crowd noise rules. In fact, when we get our new stadium here in Minnesota, one of the only things I’ll miss about the old one is the ear-shattering noise we had in that air-filled dome.

  21. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:52 PM

    Da Coach Didka says:

    “Sometimes when you have crowd noise, you’re not seeing the player at his best.”


    Oddly enough fans are primarily interested in seeing the home team players at their best.

  22. melikefootball says: Apr 13, 2013 2:53 PM

    The NFL has become stupid under the leadership of Godel.

  23. jimiinpa says: Apr 13, 2013 2:55 PM

    back of the bus old man , back of the bus

  24. rocketcrab says: Apr 13, 2013 2:55 PM

    Uh, Mike? Crowd noise has been an integral part of high school, college and pro football since Day 1. Most fans don’t need encouragement anyway.

  25. boyshole25 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:55 PM

    Well at least teams don’t pipe artificial noise in with speakers throughout stadiums. That wouldn’t be fair

  26. dlem7 says: Apr 13, 2013 2:56 PM

    If people wanted to see an unblemished game, they wouldn’t pound ten beers in the parking lot before heading to the stadium

  27. gpry says: Apr 13, 2013 3:00 PM

    Hey Ditka what do you want golf claps? Now that’s stupid

  28. ndnut says: Apr 13, 2013 3:00 PM

    I go to games to watch my team win. My screaming helps that cause. Therefore, I scream at the top of my lungs. This is NORMAL.

  29. goodellruinsfootball666 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:00 PM

    no mike.

    “stupid” is trading away your entire draft for ricky williams

  30. meandjuliojonesdownbytheschoolyard says: Apr 13, 2013 3:02 PM

    Isn’t that kinda the point of home field advantage? It’s awesome to feel like you actually influenced a play by screaming your face off.

  31. daknight93 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:03 PM

    Mike Ditka is a dumb closed-minded idiot if he believes this rule will affect the game which it doesn’t…this is the same guy who gave away the saints entire draft to get Ricky Williams and set them back at least 5 more pathetic years in the future…he deserved to be fired for that stupid move and decision and looking back, Ditka was never a good coach, but benefited from a talented 85 bears team and good defensive coordinator in buddy ryan..anyone could’ve coached that talented and unstoppable 85 bears team to a super bowl title.

  32. yooperman says: Apr 13, 2013 3:05 PM

    How about when the home team plays crowd noise on the pa systems at 130 decibles.

  33. rhamrhoddy says: Apr 13, 2013 3:05 PM

    Or they could just hand out vibrating pagers like they do at Applebee’s.

    Then when it’s a good time to make noise, someone who is way smarter than all the fans can sit up in a booth and activate them so we all will know it’s time to make noise

  34. dtlb58 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:09 PM

    You don’t see players at their best always in adverse weather conditions but here we are playing a SB on the East coast in February next year….and Ditka did once say, all games should be played outdoors at noon on Sundays only. I respect him, but just like Gil Brandt these guy are getting old and at some point need to be out of main stream media.

  35. nmking26 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:12 PM

    “It would be like the owners working at their desk, and all of a sudden they encourage people to come in their office and make a lot of noise. ”

    The hell kind of analogy is this? This is the best analogy he could come up with?

  36. mizzousooner says: Apr 13, 2013 3:13 PM

    I’ll tell ya what’s stupid, trading your entire draft for Rickey Williams. That’s stupid!

  37. ravenmomma says: Apr 13, 2013 3:16 PM

    Come to M&T Bank Stadium when the Ravens are playing…the LOUDEST fans in the NFL. Ask any opposing team who have played there and they’ll agree (and many of them have spoken about it). No encouragement needed to get that crowd going!

  38. bearsfan4life says: Apr 13, 2013 3:26 PM

    He calls it stupid because he knows the mouth breathers that go to Bears games are going to get loud in critical situations when the offense is on the field.

    Thumb this down all you want, but if you go to games or watch home games on teevee, you’ll see the oline and Cutler trying to ush the crowd on 3rd & 4th and short every single game.

    Stop with the “lets go bears” chants when the offense has the ball already!

  39. profootballwalk says: Apr 13, 2013 3:27 PM

    Belichick just ordered 70,000 vuvuzelas for the Patriots home opener. And all the noise lovers around the league will be crying like little girls when it happens.

  40. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Apr 13, 2013 3:32 PM

    I’m with Dikta. Go be a cheerleader if you want to get the crowd noise going. The best way to get the crowd cheering is to make a play.

  41. jdrew506 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:43 PM

    Crowd noise will always be part of every sport, but if you need some player standing on a bench swinging a towel or on the feild flapping their arms like a bird to get loud then maybe you shouldnt be at the staduim. Players should be more concerned on what is happening on the field and less worried about whats happing in the stands.

  42. marvin216 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:44 PM

    In a related story, Mike Ditka is said to be against kids playing in in front lawn. A number of balls were confiscated and Mr.Ditka refuses to return them.

  43. anarchopurplism says: Apr 13, 2013 3:51 PM

    I’m 100% for encouraging crowd noise as long as it doesn’t involve pumping in fake crowd noise thru the audio system or a zainy, snark-filled MC that annoys the crowd every second there is a break in the action.

  44. elarte79 says: Apr 13, 2013 3:51 PM

    LOL how does one restrict 80,000 people from making noise? That’s just dumb.

  45. borophyll says: Apr 13, 2013 3:53 PM

    If you’re a professional, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

  46. elmaxoh says: Apr 13, 2013 3:57 PM

    Yeah and not letting your best player score a touchdown on the Super Bowl was a good idea maybe ?

  47. wrenches2pipes says: Apr 13, 2013 4:02 PM

    The Colts are Famous for piping in crowd noise. Colt fans can’t deny it. Begin the thumbs down.

  48. zemongoose says: Apr 13, 2013 4:03 PM

    Of course, Ditka calling something stupid is like Warren Buffett calling something rich.

  49. shovelhunter says: Apr 13, 2013 4:05 PM

    I agree with mike.. I want to see the best team win without either team having any excuses. This isn’t baseball or basketball where the crowds effect just keeps the players pumped. Not even being able to hear a play call at all or snap the ball DOES in my opinion ruin the integrity of the game.

  50. warhammer420 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:06 PM

    Stupid? I disagree. Stupid is what Ditka did when he traded away all the Saints draft picks to get Ricky Williams.

  51. jessethegreat says: Apr 13, 2013 4:06 PM

    Crowd noise is only beneficial to domed stadium teams. Allow the out door stadium teams to pump in artificial noise so their opponents can’t hear snap counts, too then.

    The artificial noise with idiots screaming their heads off along with the prices of parking and concessions is what drove me into getting the big screen at home and no longer attending live events. That and the drunks.

  52. boltbacker says: Apr 13, 2013 4:14 PM

    He us thinking admit it from the angle of a tight end. The home crowd should only make noise when their team is on defense. The defense doesn’t need to hear the snap count. In fact, it it’s better if they don’t. They won’t get drawn offside by three hard count if they can’t hear it. They react to the ball being snapped. The noise will disrupt the visiting offense however. My only problem us when home fans make to much nose when their team has the ball. Wait for the snap and then make all the noise you want!

  53. chi01town says: Apr 13, 2013 4:14 PM

    this is Goodell trying his best to destroy the NFL. He has all but made tackling illeagal.. The kicking
    game will never be the same.. RB’s cant lower they helmets to protect they knees.. A good hit over the middle is a Fine.. and QB’s are untouchable. Now they will Q the crowd noise like the WWE. Goodell has to go right now!

  54. keylimelight says: Apr 13, 2013 4:23 PM

    Ditka is being such a purist about this noise thing. There are worse things happening to football right now than the home team disrupting the opposing offense.

    Like someone mentioned earlier, I too went to a game during that year the league was trying to penalize the home team for excessive crowd noise. When the ref threw the flag on us and penalized the team, we just got louder for the next snap. So, they threw another flag and we got even louder still–bordering on riot. How ridiculous to think that you can penalize a team for the behavior of PAYING fans.

    I don’t mind the home stadiums working the crowd with scoreboard prompts but, I do worry about the games becoming a three ring circus like they have at the NBA games.

    Let it go Mike D.

  55. darngoodreason says: Apr 13, 2013 4:24 PM

    As replay makes I more and more difficult for NFL corporate to control the outcome of games they will leave it to owners to rig it straight up. Smells like the white sox again.

  56. mjkelly77 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:31 PM

    thestrategyexpert says:Apr 13, 2013 2:40 PM

    It was part of the game when the Lions played in the Silverdome. The fans got to feel like they were part of the team back then and it was a respectable partnership despite losing most of the time. It was an amazing and remarkable experience to attend a game in the Silverdome. Now you couldn’t pay me to go to where the Lions play, they took all the fun and enjoyment out of the atmosphere. They destroyed instead of improved upon. …

    The Silverdome was a dump. I attended literally dozens and dozens of games there over the years. The suites were OK. I preferred Tiger Stadium. Ford Field is beautiful and a game there is a real experience.

  57. northstarnic says: Apr 13, 2013 4:31 PM

    Couldn’t agree more. With Ditka.

  58. sdakota says: Apr 13, 2013 4:34 PM

    really? you go to a game and need encouragement from a prompter, pathetic, embarrassing. if the nfl gave a darn about ” the fan experience”,they wouldn’t charge an arm n a leg for a crappy sandwich and a warm beer or soft drink

  59. ravenmomma says: Apr 13, 2013 4:39 PM

    I will cite a poll done in 2012 by ESPN of general managers, players, scouts, analysts and writers. Here are the top 5 toughest stadiums in order according to the article:

    1. M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore)
    2. Century Link Field (Seattle)
    3. Lambeau Field (Green Bay)
    4. Heinz Field (Pittsburgh)
    5. Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver)

    Feel free to look it up yourself.

  60. csilojohnson says: Apr 13, 2013 4:43 PM

    If they are at their best. Crowd noise is not an issue.. The game keeps getting easier for these guys. Yet they keep getting paid.more.

  61. cliffordc05 says: Apr 13, 2013 4:49 PM

    The NFL should be careful with this move or their games will end up being similar to the phony NBA experience.

  62. bookofelisha says: Apr 13, 2013 5:05 PM

    actually ditka, being loud in the stadium has nothing to do at all with going into someones office and yelling lmao. so fans cant have fun at stadiums?!? funny bec fans outside of me and my family pay almost 500 per fan for 2 hours of flags..the least we can do is scream

  63. datageek94 says: Apr 13, 2013 5:13 PM

    I want to see a crisp, well-played game. By both teams. I hate crowd noise
    disrupting the flow of the game, back to back false start penalties and such.

  64. vilelabyrinth says: Apr 13, 2013 5:18 PM

    so..that explains the lame fans at cowboy’s stadium..

  65. granadafan says: Apr 13, 2013 5:22 PM

    Why would the NFL even consider limiting fan noise in the first place? What an absurd idea. The only thing you want to limit are artificial noise through massive speakers. That’s not fair.

  66. larryboodry says: Apr 13, 2013 5:25 PM

    What part of ‘home-field advantage’ doesn’t Ditka understand?

    As for stupid:

    Stupid is clueless home fans not knowing that when YOUR team has the ball in the red zone, you shut up.

    Stupid is being mad at Jay when he asks that you ‘please, please, please’ not do that anymore.

    Stupid is not letting Sweetness score a TD in the SB.

    Stupid is Ditka only winning one SB with the dominant team he coached in the 80’s.

    And yes, stupid is trading your entire draft for one player.

  67. jimmylions says: Apr 13, 2013 5:27 PM

    So if Ditka believes, “You want to see these guys use their talents where they’re not tainted.”, then logically he should also be in favor or playing all games indoors where the player’s ability isn’t “tainted” by weather.

    But Iron Mike has never been logical. He wears his heart on his sleeve. That’s why we love him. I wish he was still coaching the Bears!

    And yeah – I saw dozens of games at the Silverdome. When that place was only half-filled (a mere 45,000 people), the roar in that places was intense. It gave you chills. Joe Theismann said the Silverdome was loudest stadium in the NFL and had deafening crowd noise.

    When the NFL had rules *against* crowd noise, I watched Sam Wyche cry to the referees who eventually silenced the crowd by calling a Delay of Game penalty against the Lions because of crowd noise.

    I also saw an amazing comeback against the Vikings (during the Lions Rodney Peete era). 2/3’s of a sellout crowd had left, but the remaining fans were so loud that it set a totally new standard for the 12th man!

    Fun times!

  68. lrical says: Apr 13, 2013 5:28 PM

    They want it to be like tennis. Only clap when they score

  69. westcoastraider says: Apr 13, 2013 5:46 PM

    All due respect to coach ditka, if im paying the ridiculous amount they charge for a ticket to go to a game I’m gonna be as loud as I damn well please!!!

  70. NotoriousKDV says: Apr 13, 2013 5:50 PM

    Want to hear a crowd pop? Play Fandango’s song during every game. I don’t know what the big deal with it is but everyone’s going wild about that song now.

  71. strokeytheclown says: Apr 13, 2013 5:53 PM

    Just shut up, Mike!

  72. vbe2 says: Apr 13, 2013 5:56 PM

    Ditka is an old man past his prime and needs to retire and sit in a corner and be quiet.

  73. leggett17 says: Apr 13, 2013 6:18 PM

    Fade away Iron Mike. Nice work with the Saints btw.

  74. steelcityfinest13 says: Apr 13, 2013 6:35 PM

    I should tell ditka…dont come back to pittsburgh then its far from silent around these parts!

  75. GenXJay says: Apr 13, 2013 6:55 PM

    Ditka is the 12th man.

  76. mackcarrington says: Apr 13, 2013 7:15 PM

    What’s stupid is that Ditka thinks that working in an office is the equivalent of playing football in a stadium filled with thousands of people.

  77. goldrush94 says: Apr 13, 2013 7:19 PM

    Crowd noise makes the games more exciting. Only thing I have an issue with is places like Seattle and Minnesota feeding noise into sound systems to gain an edge. Let the fans be part of the game. Don’t incorporate technology to boost your advantage.

  78. realskipbayless says: Apr 13, 2013 7:22 PM

    As some stated if u need to be told when to cheer you are not a true fan. Maybe paying attention to the game while its bein played instead if playing on your iPhone or laptop.

  79. 4getu says: Apr 13, 2013 7:24 PM

    He’s like that old stuck up rich guy behind you at the games telling you to sit down

  80. blackngold4life says: Apr 13, 2013 7:31 PM

    old farts always complain

  81. keepingitrealdumb says: Apr 13, 2013 7:46 PM

    great that ditka is expressing his opinion and not towing the company line .. and his opinion is correct .. it is the same argument as to why they don’t have SBs in cold weather cities outdoors .. because we will not be seeing the players execute at their best.

    we want to see skill .. we want to see plays executed with precision .. anything less reeks of incompetence .. might as well watch soccer if you want to see a bunch of fumbling around

  82. poopystinkypants says: Apr 13, 2013 8:04 PM

    I think Ditka is a couple Polish sausages away from the looney bin. Or maybe he doesn’t play for the home team anymore?

  83. bert1913 says: Apr 13, 2013 8:11 PM

    ditka probably threw up when he heard the “ram rules” (do a search for ram rules)

  84. jprcox says: Apr 13, 2013 8:20 PM

    Ditka can’t be serious. I mean he answers his own issue by stating that other players don’t play as well with crown noise. FYI, its call “HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE”….all the cool stadiums are doing it.

    Seriously, does he hear himself speak?

  85. lastdukestreetking says: Apr 13, 2013 8:34 PM

    Ditka’s an idiot.

  86. jtm12180 says: Apr 13, 2013 8:39 PM

    Like some others have said, can’t believe that Ditka is saying this! Growing up in Pittsburgh, he knows all about “playing in the elements.” But another major element is “home field advantage!”

  87. noring4youstill says: Apr 13, 2013 8:41 PM

    And I call you stupid for the Rickey Williams pick

  88. youcantmakemepickausername says: Apr 13, 2013 8:42 PM

    At least Ditka gave a strong opinion on something. During the season when he’s on with Dumb and Dumber (Mike and Mike) he starts off every answer with “ya know, I don’t know”.

  89. 15to12 says: Apr 13, 2013 8:46 PM

    As a packer fan I believe that I da coach says its stupid then it’s stupid. If you would follow goodell over ditka you don’t know jack squat.

  90. thestatsishere says: Apr 13, 2013 10:00 PM

    Encouraging your fans to make your home field a bigger advantage is “stupid?” Are you kidding me Ditka?

    I love as a fan that maybe, just maybe, my voice helps my guys win.

  91. pbenner13 says: Apr 13, 2013 10:31 PM

    There’s no one better in the league at practice of encouraging the crowd than John Crybaugh! The way he acts on the sideline is pathetic. He is a prime example the way a head coach should not act.

  92. budmanjim says: Apr 14, 2013 11:24 AM

    Ditka is getting old & cranky… May be time to go sit in the rocker…

  93. Savage Lizard says: Apr 14, 2013 11:33 AM

    This whole thing is stupid. Is there really someone out there who won’t buy a ticket to a game because he doesn’t get to yell enough, and now with this change he will start going again?

  94. wnstonchill says: Apr 15, 2013 11:27 AM

    Ditka is just bitter because when he played, the crowds never had anything to cheer about, thus, they never needed to worry about “crowd noise” being an issue!

  95. dabearfan says: Apr 16, 2013 4:51 PM

    Cue the player hearing impairment lawsuits due to crowd noise.

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