As the Ravens prepare to face the Colts in Indy, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh made a tongue-in-cheek reference to notion that the Colts artificially augment the crowd noise at home games.
Colts coach Chuck Pagano wants the crowd to show Harbaugh he can stick it somewhere other than in his cheek.
“I think it’s more of an insult to our 12th man, if you will,” Pagano told reporters on Wednesday. “I think he’s calling out our fans, which I think are the best fans in the National Football League. So let’s see how our 12th man reacts to that insult.”
Nearly seven years ago, the Colts were cleared of using artificial noise during a game against the Patriots. The Pats had complained about the situation, and coach Bill Belichick likewise groused that his coach-to-quarterback communication system wasn’t working.
Two years earlier, the Steelers complained about piped-in crowd noise in Indy, prompting then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to issue a memo threatening the stripping of draft picks for franchises that artificially made it louder in their home stadiums.
While there’s no evidence that the Colts have ever artificially increased the volume of the fans at Lucas Oil Stadium or its predecessor, the RCA Dome, Pagano’s comments surely were aimed at creating an artificial controversy that will prompt an increase in the natural noise from the stands.