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.

95 responses to “Mike Ditka calls encouraging crowd noise “stupid”

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. “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.

  14. 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!!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.

  20. no mike.

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

  21. 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.

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

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. “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?

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

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

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

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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!

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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!

  48. 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!!!

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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

  54. 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?

  55. 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!”

  56. 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”.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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?

  61. 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!

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