Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Crowd Noise: Advantage, Chiefs!

Today, I feel like Sabby Piscatelli, but more on that later.

I know this week, and probably next, is all about Peyton Manning. My colleagues here at Arrowhead Addict are really on it, so I’ll just say that I stand firm in my minority position – if it were my money, I’d draft a stud offensive lineman and let Cassel do his job with the receivers and backs he has developed chemistry with over the past three years.

This topic is sure to generate heated debate here, which is the perfect lead-in to this week’s post: noise. Now, noise gets a bad rap, and is most often used in the negative, as a nuisance, dissonance or something unwanted. In fact, the negative impact of noise on human performance and well-being has been the subject of countless scientific experiments and studies over the past five decades.

Of course, for us Addicts, noise is a beautiful thing. Arrowhead Stadium is often cited as one of the two or three loudest football stadiums in the country, along with Quest Field in Seattle, Lambeau Field and now Reliant Stadium, home of the Texans. For anyone who’s been to Arrowhead and actually caused the entire offensive line of the Raiders to jump offsides, you know, without a doubt, that crowd noise is one of the most valuable assets we Addicts bring to the Chiefs. And our important contribution makes sense. Many of these scientific studies have shown that noise – especially at high decibels – negatively impact reaction time, vigilance, intellectual capacities (to the extent that that term even applies to the Raiders) and time estimation. Not to mention psychological distress (now we’re talking about you, Oakland).

As I think about the games I’ve been lucky enough to attend, it’s easy to dissect what causes fans to amp up the noise: the big defensive play. You feel a jolting punctuation of noise just after Tamba sacks the quarterback. Then after the initial shockwave, it becomes a fast-moving rumble as the offense gets into their huddle, turning into an all-out shaking – yes, shaking – of the entire stadium as the noise hits a Spinal Tap-like eleven just as the offense nervously gets into their stances. It is at this point that that crazed smile comes to your face, knowing you are about to force our hapless opponents into a timeout or penalty.

Our job, as Addicts, is simple: to generate as much noise as humanly possible when our defense is on the field. When Derrick Johnson sticks it to a running back or Justin Houston chases down Tebow for a loss, we rise up, paddle the chair in front of us, stomp our feet on the cold cement and scream like the crazy fools that we are.

That’s why I’m proud to call this new weekly column, Crowd Noise, in homage to all of you who prepare all week to leave it on the field, so to speak, at each Arrowhead game, and all of you who spend every non-working hour (and quite a bit of working hours too) thinking, discussing, smack-talking, pondering and pontificating about our beloved Chiefs on Arrowhead Addict. It is truly an honor to join the amazing bloggers and posters on this site, and engage in conversation with you each week.

Which brings me to my Sabby Piscatelli moment. Like Sabby, I survived the preseason with Arrowhead Addict, and really for no good reason, am now in the regular season rotation here, until injury or sheer crappy performance takes it away from me. Truly, as Sabby says, I’m just glad to be here.

I hope to elevate noise – from you, from me, from all of us – to new heights as we dissect every roster move, argue about playcalling or discuss the overall direction and philosophy of the Chiefs. Even though I’m a big fan of unpredictability, I hope to be predictable in one regard: bringing in a few outside references and interesting readings to these weekly musings. Whether an article about Shane Battier or classics like The Art of War, we’ll have some fun analyzing the Chiefs in the weeks ahead.

Like our role at Arrowhead Stadium, talking about the Chiefs, incessantly, is our collective job, and I know all of us Addicts take that job seriously (or at least until we have to go back to our real jobs and stop procrastinating). Thanks to all of you Addicts out there, who make talking about the Chiefs so enjoyable. Now let’s go make some more noise, Addicts!

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