SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Coverage of the San Francisco 49ers

49ers Bring the Noise to Seattle Sunday

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    SEATTLE - DECEMBER 6: The San Francisco 49ers defense lines up against the Seattle Seahawks offense during their NFL game on December 6, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 20-17. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

    You think those vuvuzela horns made it tough to enjoy a game during the World Cup?

    The San Francisco 49ers will have it much worse on Sunday afternoon when they open the new NFL season in Seattle. They'll be playing the Seahawks at Qwest Field, the loudest stadium in the NFL.

    It's no myth that visiting teams encounter problems with the overhwelming crowd noise in Seattle. Eric Branch points out in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that "opponents have drawn a league-high 95 false-start penalties at the eight-year-old stadium, an average of 2.4 a game."

    And you might recall Tony Romo having some trouble handling a snap in a 2007 playoff game there.

    But do not be fooled into thinking that Seahawks fans are genetically louder or more passionate football hooligans than you are. After all, Qwest Field has 2,000 fewer seats than Candlestick.

    It's all in the stadium design. John Clayton first noted in a 2006 ESPN article, the bleachers and the partial roofs are specifically designed to amplify more sound onto the field.

    Can the 49ers possibly counter the Seahawks' noise assault with any of their own disruption or confusion?

    Well, they did just change backup running back Anthony Dixon's jersey number to 24 from 33. That might confuse Seattle to some degree.

    For 49ers Faithful, this will be the first time all year that the Niners' big three on offense will play together at once. Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Michael Crabtree are all fully healthy and scheduled to play.

    A quick start from one or all of those three would quiet down that artificially-enhanced crowd noise in a hurry.

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is sad to see that Frank Gore will not get a chance to run against our old friend Kentwan Balmer, who is out with a knee injury.