October 22, 2016
I recently went to an NFL game that left me somewhat surprised. Not surprised by the game outcome but more of the surroundings and ambience of the stadium. The stadium is only a few years old and appears to have state of the art functionality. The scoreboard is not really a scoreboard but huge television that is amazingly clear even during the daytime. The Wi-Fi is free and concessions are wide ranging in choice. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much improvement in stadium seating over the years, they are still hard on the rear end are crammed to together with little leg room that make carrying and balancing your beer and hot dog a circus act. You still have to put your butt in someone’s face while you bust through the row of spectators in your row. Some things will never change but that is the least of my gripes at the shiny new and pricy stadium.
Can you imagine being in a football stadium that the only noise generated was the crowd and the public address announcer? Well, that a foregone area reserved now only for high school football. Between every play and break of play it seemed the stadium was engulfed in bombastic blasts of music and sound effects. It’s not just any music but short burst of heavy metal music. I don’t mind a “We Will Rock You” now and then because it was the really first song to be used worldwide. Now you will hear various tracks from ACDC and Gary Glitters, Rock N Roll part 2, Guns N Roses, Welcome to the Jungle and a list of other arena jams. At the game I was at, they just bypassed the music at times to unleash war drumming along with the PA announcer announcing it was third down. The main question here is, why do I need to be pumped up into a frenzy? Everybody stands and I hate to get up every minute, especially when I have a plate of nachos.
Maybe there are those in the crowd who need to be pumped up with the ear shattering sonic sound bombs while the big screen tells us to make noise. The idea of making the other team lose their hearing rarely works except in places like the cavernous confines of the Seattle stadium. I know everybody has to get excited to stand up and bellow out “Defense” but when you have to raise the decibels to damaging levels and if the defense doesn’t make a stand, then what? We blew out some of the cilia in our ear canals for nothing. Sorry for the anatomy term, cilia are the small hairs in your ears that are part of our hearing system.
Maybe this is an age thing, perhaps. On the contrary, do we want our children exposed to the noise levels in these arenas and stadiums? Hearing loss is an accumulative condition that is spread over years of exposure. Sport venue noise is just one of many issues that today’s society present when it comes to hearing loss. A large portion of today’s youth use earphones that will show up as hearing loss in the future if not managed. I like my earphones as well but I try to keep them at lower levels so I can hear some outside noise as well. The last thing I want in this world to not hear my loved ones tell me how much they love me or not. Happy listening.