The claim from former Colts tackle Tarik Glenn used some sort of “hearing aid” in the late 1990s to drown out crowd noise on the road while also amplifying the signals from quarterback Peyton Manning raises plenty of questions — especially if the “hearing aids” were in any way electronic and, in turn, against the rules.
A reader has pointed out a story from four years ago regarding a low-tech device that teams have used in the past to deal with noise. The story came, via USA Today, from a Monday night game between the Saints and Seahawks.
During the game, ESPN’s Lisa Salters explained that Saints coach Sean Payton, inspired by something the Vikings had done during the 2009 NFC title game in New Orleans, ordered custom-made ear plugs that somehow drown out the crowd noise while also allowing players to hear the quarterback.
If not electronic in any way, it’s not a problem. And if that’s the “hearing aid” Glenn was referring to, the Colts didn’t break the rules.
Of course, it’s unclear why Glenn would call an earplug a “hearing aid,” which suggests something more than a hunk of rubber or plastic crammed into the ear canal.