Saturday, December 7, 2013
Payton: Let’s find out who’s loudest in NFL
By Mike Triplett
METAIRIE, La. – One week after feeling the negative effects of crowd noise in Seattle, the New Orleans Saints are doing everything they can to make sure they have the same advantage when the Carolina Panthers visit the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday night.
Sean Payton and the Saints believe their crowd can provide a big advantage against the Panthers.
The Saints announced Friday that an official from Guinness World Records will be on hand to record noise levels on Sunday night. And Saturday the team announced that 75,000 white towels will be distributed to fans on Sunday to add to the atmosphere.
Saints coach Sean Payton and players said they like the idea of the team embracing the role that the home fans can play.
“I think, man, it’s one of the special things that we have going for us, and it’s one of the reasons we’ve played so well at home,” Payton said. “The fan that really understands they can impact the outcome of a game, that’s pretty powerful. So let’s find out who’s got the loudest stadium in the NFL. There’s only one way to do it. See how we measure up.
“Anything we can do to make that environment an advantage for us and difficult for our opponent -- and especially in a big game like this, you know, we’re gonna lean heavily on our home crowd. They’ve been outstanding, and I’m sure tomorrow night it’ll be exciting. And I’m anxious to see what they register, however that’s measured. That’s a big plus for us.”
It’s obviously not a coincidence that the Saints’ efforts to embrace and measure the crowd noise came on the heels of Seattle's setting a Guinness world record this past Monday night during a 34-7 win over the Saints.
The Superdome has long been considered one of the loudest venues in the NFL -- if not the loudest. So the team is probably counting on the fact that fans will want to stand up and have their own voices be heard on the matter.
“I think it’s a little bit of a challenge to our fans,” Saints punter Thomas Morstead said. “And what better game to do that than this week? … We need to handle business, and obviously our crowd’s been a huge advantage to us in the past.”
“I love it,” Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said of the team’s plans for Sunday. “I think personally we have the greatest fans in the National Football League. You know, it's not a game here. It's a culture. It's a belief."