Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Dec 2005

Steelers Official Claims Colts use Mikes to Enhance Crowd Noise

This makes perfect sense. The Steelers lost, in part, because the Colts were piping crowd noise through the PA system when Pittsburgh had the ball. The other part of why the Steelers lost is because they got manhandled by the Colts. And Tommy Maddox. When in doubt, always blame Tommy Maddox.

Update 10:05 AM Eastern: In the interest of fair reporting, this from local Pittsburgh affiliate, KDKA: "Despite Bouchette's report, the Steelers officially told KDKA that they have no comment on the allegation except to say it's not investigating."

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 02 Dec 2005

71 comments, Last at 03 Dec 2005, 7:49pm by Jerry


by calig23 (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:56am

It's interesting that the Post-Gazette has a full-fledged article about it. The Tribune-Review had just a small blurb in yesterday's paper.

I'm not sure what that means.

by Drew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:57am

Fair warning -- I'm a Colts fan, so I'm biased on this.

For what it's worth, the Dome has always been loud. My family had season tickets back in the late 80s and early 90s, when the NFL still called the crowd noise penalty, and we used to get it all the time. And that was back when there were 10,000 empty seats because the team sucked. My guess is that the accoustics of the Dome help to amplify the noise on the field. Either that, or they've been pumping in sound for 15 years, and no one complained till now.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:57am

Didn't Carl, or maybe someone else on this board, say that there was a study done on piping in music?

If I remember right, it was found that nobody pipes in music but that the Colts were using some kind of noise cancellation when the offense was on the field.

Anyway, I think Ed Werder is just surprised that the Colts have fans who make noise now. I went to a couple of games last year and it was silent compared to the Monday Night game against Minnesota.

by Jason (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:11pm

This is rediculous. Anyone who as actually been IN the RCA Dome knows that the sound system in that place is horrible. I think it's stillt he original 1984 sound system (okay not really but it still stinks). The most noise it can produce is the occaisional static and mumbled PA announcements that no one can hear.

Seriously, this is the most asinine thing I've ever heard. Whining about crowd noise? Accusations of cheating? Can't anyone just admit the Colts are damn good and the Colts fans are just damn loud?

by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:19pm

Domes are here for good or ill and they will always provide an advantage to the home team via crowd noise. I'm fairly sure that the Colts don't need to pipe anything over the PA, especially given the 80YD TD that started off the game. That being said, it would put this to rest if the Colts did address the Microphone issue. I mean colts fans would probably like an explaination if a bunch of snow making equipment were spotted outside of Heinz Field ;)

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:22pm

I wonder if it's worth noting down people who, in the "faking injuries" thread (linked), thought rule-benders should be pilloried and flogged, regardless of the NFL's reaction or the evidence, but change their tune here.

For the record, if the NFL doesn't enforce the rule, then get a grip. Don't build so many luxury boxes at Heinz Field, and amplify your own fanatics. Play music and fire cannons. Home field should mean something more than who counts the shared gate.

And Baby Benjamin should maybe look to his own linemen for those false starts. It's not as if the Colts invented crowd noise.

by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:36pm

The thing I don't get is, why did they leave the excessive noise rule on the books if the refs aren't going to call it? The rule states that if the offense can't hear its signals, that's a penalty on the defense. And yet every team practices silent counts for loud road games. I don't really think it's a big enough issue to worry about, but the NFL ought to take the rule off the books if the refs are never going to call it.

by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:42pm

#4 - "Can’t anyone just admit the Colts are damn good and the Colts fans are just damn loud?" No, no one can. Every single one of us will be dead in the cold, cold ground before we will ever admit the Colts are good.

by Drew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:43pm

I wonder if it’s worth noting down people who, in the "faking injuries" thread (linked), thought rule-benders should be pilloried and flogged, regardless of the NFL’s reaction or the evidence, but change their tune here.

Might as well. Has someone done that?

by Dave (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:44pm

calig23 (#1): It means that the Trib couldn't find a story if it fell into their lap kicking and screaming.

#6: Actually, it seems to me that the impact of the crowd noise (enhanced or not) was more on the jump that the teams got off the snap than on penalties.

The Steelers were called for five false starts, compared to two false starts for the Colts - so attribute three false starts to crowd noise. But the Colts were called twice for offsides, which kind of cancels out two of the three false starts.

I think the bigger problem the Steelers had with the noise was that the Steelers OL had to pick up the snap visually instead of from the snap count. The tackles had to look in at the center, instead of across at the DEs, and had to go on ball movement instead of on the count. I would expect defensive lineman are better at getting a jump based on ball movement, because that's what they do all the time. Plus, the offensive linemen are used to watching the defensive linemen to pick up their movement; having to shift their vision from the ball back to the DL will screw up their ability to do so.

Add those factors on to the quickness of the Colts DL, and the result is that the Colts D was able to get off the ball faster than the Steelers OL, dictate the line play, and blow up plays. Against a slower DL the Steelers OL may have been able to overcome the noise; without the noise the Steelers OL may have been able to counteract the Colts' quickness with a good initial push; but put the two together, and the Colts dominated the line play.

Which says to me that the Colts have done a good job in building a defense suited to their home field.

by Todd S. (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:51pm

This was a big topic on Indy talk radio yesterday afternoon. Dan Patrick interviewed both "Ed's" making this claim. At one point they were both on the line, and the first Ed mentioned that "I only said this during a radio interview. It's not something I would have reported in print." Then the other Ed was mentioning the microphones, and the first Ed interrupted and stated that those microphones were placed there by ABC for the broadcast. The second Ed maintained that he was sure that crowd noise was being pumped in. (I didn't hear him give any evidence supporting this claim.)

My take on this is simply shoddy journalism. However, in talking with a co-worker he mentioned he definitely heard some bass-type noises being pumped in when Pittsburgh was in the huddle. My understanding is that the Colts admit to doing this but point out that it is legal under NFL rules (as long as it ends when the opposition breaks the huddle) and that other teams also do this.

The situation kind of reminds me of the NBA dress code thing. It seems to be a story with legs, but I can't figure out what the big deal is. (Full disclosure: Colts fan here.)

by Drew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:56pm

Just had two more thoughts, as I try to look at this from both sides --

1) I don't think the Steelers are the kind of organization that would make a baseless accusation of cheating. That's not evidence, but it's the one thing that makes me wonder if there's not something to this.

2) Wasn't there a stat shown during the game that the Steelers have only played about 2 indoor games total in the past several years? Maybe they legitimately don't know what experimental-refrigerator-level crowd noise sounds like indoors.

by djcolts (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:57pm

I wasn't at this game because I was sick. But, I've been to enougn Colts games to hopefully provide insight:

1. The RCA Dome PA/Sound system is quite primative. If they were piping in crowd noise, it would be obvious because of likely feedback (at least at some point). Just about every game there is a problem with the PA system at some point.

2. The mics on the field were for ABC I believe. I don't know why Disney/ESPN/ABC just doens't clear that up and say that those mics are for them.

3. Ed Werder talked about a "bass" sound. This really is the only real issue here. Well, the best explanation for the bass sound is that in the backs of the upper levels of the RCA Dome are HVAC ducts, and fans up their pound the ducts when they want to make sound. That creates a pounding bass sound, and that is what I believe that Ed Werder really heard.

This controversy is bad news for future opponents that visit the RCA Dome this season - the crowd that is already hyped up and motivated because of this season is going to take it up a notch or two because of this "story."

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:58pm

Drew (#9 )--
Has someone done that?

by Michael David Smith :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:04pm

I went to an arena football game one time and it was really obvious that fake crowd noise was being pumped in. As a fan, I found it really annoying, and it made me less likely to cheer. Just seems like a really bush league thing to do. But, again, to me it's an issue of the league enforcing its own rules. Right now there's a rule on the books that's being violated in every stadium except Arizona but isn't being enforced. Either change the rule or start enforcing it.

by Eric (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:17pm

As a Colts season ticket holder, I find this personally insulting. The idea behind this seems to be that Colts fans couldn't possibly be loud, so they must be cheating. Frankly, I didn't think it was as loud in the Dome as it was during both Denver playoff games and the San Diego game last year. Neither of those teams whined about crowd noise. If this makes the Steelers feel better about losing, so be it. This is completely ridiculous.

by The OCB (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:20pm

RE #15:

What's the rule????

by The OCB (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:21pm

errr, meant re 16

by Bowman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:23pm

The crowd noise rule is called at the official's discretion. Thus, if the official doesn't think it is too loud, there is no penalty. It isn't that the crowd is being too loud for the rules, it is that the rules allow for much louder crowd noise than is being generated.

Artificial noise, such as what is alleged, is different and is moderated by a different rule. If, in fact, the Colts were using their PA system while their opponents were about to call a play, it would be a clear violation. It seems to me that music typically plays during the huddles (correct me if I'm wrong). Thus, the Steeler's allegation, even if factually deficeint, does point to a rule actually being broken.

To reiterate - the Steelers aren't complaining about the noise made by the crowd. That is controlled by the refs, who have discretion to call a penalty. The Steelers are complaining about a non-crowd caused noise (such as a bugle or loud music.)

There is a large difference between the noise caused by the people who pay money to see the game, and noise caused by the home team (or affiliate) to play only at certain times, regardless of actual fan attendence.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:28pm

I think Drew's second point (#12 ) makes sense. Every team in the AFC North has an outdoor stadium. Pittsubrgh played the AFC and NFC East , Oakland and Jacksonville last year (all outdoor stadia).

For that matter, doesn't Miami (OH) have an outdoor stadium, too? Roethlisberger (who was the source of the gripe in Bouchette's article) has essentially no experience playing in a dome, much less a rowdy one.

by Bowman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:30pm

I'm waiting for a new stadium to install moving sound deflectors to focus crowd noise directly on individual players...

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:49pm

How many guys named Mike can there possibly be in Indy? And is it really fair to discriminate based on first name?

by Todd S. (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:00pm

Unless there's something new about this story, I am sure that the Steelers are not the ones complaining. It's two writers who cover the Steelers.

by Mikey (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:12pm

This is sort of related. During halftime of the Denver-Dallas game on Thanksgiving CBS used so much phony crowd noise at the end of the Sheryl Crow performance it was laugh-out-loud funny.

If you watch the tape, whenever there's a crowd shot the people shown are basically sitting on their hands. At the end of the performance we hear a roar that's basically what you'd expect to hear if Jesus Christ and Jimi Hendrix came out on stage, traded solos on Purple Haze, then announced that Jessica Simpson would be fellating all interested fans in the parking lot after the game. While the cheering goes on and on, the video is from a high end zone camera where you can barely see the fans. The whole thing was hysterically phony.

If any FO readers were at the game, please describe what the crowd was really like during the halftime show!

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:32pm

I've got no idea whether there is anything to this claim or not, but that 'statement' by the Colts spokeman was kinda odd. Not so much a denial as a lawyerly 'we're not under investigation' comment.

by Drew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:38pm

Re 14

That clears things right up. I was mildly curious who you meant, but OK.

Re 23

It's hard to say if this is coming from "The Steelers" as a whole, without knowing who the anonymous team official is. But the tone of the writing seems like it is, at least to me.

by Theo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:47pm

That's it! They cheat!

by Todd S. (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:53pm

#26 I see your point. If you get a chance, listen to the author's take on the Dan Patrick (radio) Show from yesterday. I really think it hurts his credibility.

As far as I know, the Pittsburgh organization has not filed any type of protest with the NFL. I think that's a better way to state what I was going for in #23.

by P. Ryan Wilson :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:56pm

Drew, Todd S.,

That's why I added:

"Update 10:05 AM Eastern: In the interest of fair reporting, this from local Pittsburgh affiliate, KDKA: “Despite Bouchette’s report, the Steelers officially told KDKA that they have no comment on the allegation except to say it’s not investigating.�"

-- To hopefully make it clear that the Steelers have no interest in pursuing this and basically consider it a non-story.

by OMO (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 3:42pm

I'm a Colts season ticket holder. I was at the game.

I don't have the auditory ability to separate certain types of noise from others...but two things that struck me as I read this story:

1) It was loud...but when the Colts don't suck and the Dome is sold out...it's always loud...the sound in that place has no where to go

2) I didn't hear any different sounds from that game than I've heard from any games this year in the Dome. Meaning that if the Colts are piping in noise (which they may have done, I don't know) they've been doing it all year.

by Drew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 3:44pm

Re 29

I guess I could re-read the opening blurb every so often. But that would involve a minor effort on my part.

Having now read the new article, I still have questions about it. On one hand, the teams says it's not investigating. But then we get quotes from two more players (Bettis, Faneca) saying that they think it could be true.

I'd personally like to see the Steelers issue some kind of statement beyond "no comment on the allegation except to say it’s not investigating." Either issue a declaration of shenanigans, or a statement that they don't believe any cheating took place.

by Jason O (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 4:26pm

Those HVAC ducts used to be the bane of my existence when opposing fans would come in and beat the hell out of them when our team was on Offense. Thankfully that isn't happeneing any more. :D

I've been a Colts season ticket holder for the last 4 years and I can recall offhand a nearly a half-dozen games that were louder than that game on Monday. Sure it was really loud. I wonder how much it has w/ Ben never having played in a hostile Dome environ?

Carolina 2 years ago, Titans last year, both Denver playoff games, and the NE game 2 years ago. All of these games were louder. They also approached what I call the "white noise theshold." Especially the Titans and both Denver games it was so loud for long sretches that you couldn't hear anything but a white noise-like roar. You could shout to the person next to you and they were not able to hear you at all.

The place is just plain loud. Its loud when there are 10,000 people in there for "insert event here."

by Adam (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 4:31pm

Ed Bouchette really needs to find something else to write about.

by bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 4:53pm

RE: #24

Mikey, if you're scalping tickets for that game, let me know. I got a great laugh out of your description of the halftime show.

by bernie (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 4:57pm

i can't beleave this !!i have been a die hard steeler fan all my life.the steelers played a lousy game against a very good team!!some consolation comes as the colt where held to 26 points,the steelers as a team have to much class to whine about somthing this stupid!!just sounds like a media brain fart to me!!!

by Purds (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 5:55pm

Re: #6 & #9: (Starman and the other dude)

I think faking injuries is pathetic, and if the Colts pump in music after the huddle breaks, that is pathetic as well. Both should be punished if they occur.

Now, how about some proof of the Colts pumping in music, other than some whiners complaining that it sounded loud. Are we really supposed to take a reporter's word for acustic expertise?

If there is no music being played, then the loud noise by the fans is just a home-field advantage, no different than playing at 5,000 feet (Denver), on a snowy, sloppy field (NE), or on frozen astroturf (Old Bills).

by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 6:06pm


by Drew (a.k.a., the other dude) (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 6:37pm

Re 36

I agree 100% (see post 2). But I still have two conflicting thoughts. First, I don't think the Colts have any need to amplify their crowd noise, and I don't think they are cheaters. Second, I don't think the Steelers would make an accusation of cheating without some evidence. I'm not sure how to reconcile these points.

As I said in #31, I think the Steelers could do a lot to clear it up by either formalizing the complaint or retracting it. The "no comment" is no good when it was one of their employees who started the discussion.

by Kevo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 7:14pm

Did anyone notice that Roethlisberger's only quote was "It was louder than any rock concert I've been to"?

Bouchette states that Big Ben insinuated they were using artificial crowd noise, but that quotation could be based purely on the actual crowd noise.

And even then, I'm questioning the validity of that quote. How many rock concerts has Ben Roethlisberger been to? Is he the moshing type? Has he ever crowd surfed?

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 7:19pm

Did anyone notice that Roethlisberger’s only quote was “It was louder than any rock concert I’ve been to�?

that's because he's only been to Enya concerts

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 7:23pm

Purds (#36 )--
Now, how about some proof of [other teams faking injuries], other than [Bill Polian] complaining that it [was convenient timing for the other team]. Are we really supposed to take [Polian]’s word for [medical] expertise?
I'm just sayin', that other thread went on for 80+ posts of people explaining who was faking and cheating, based on no more evidence than their opinion on the matter.

Drew (#38 )--

It sorta depends who that Steelers official was. Bill Cowher's an official. So's the assistant to the guy in charge of selling advertising at Heinz Field.

by Drew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 8:04pm

Re 41

In any case, a mainstream news source has gone on record as saying that an anonymous Steeler's official told them that he believes the Colts are cheating. This is an official who travels with the team, so I assume it's someone with at least a moderate level of access. The Steelers need to issue a real statement on the subject, not a "no comment". That's my only beef with them (at the moment).

The more I think about it, the more I agree that this could just be a case of a reporter trying to create a controversy. That's the only way I can reconcile my high opinion of both organizations.

I guess I shouldn't get so worked up about this. But it's the worst kind of slam at Colts fans (including me) to say that they need "help" to create a home-field advantage.

I'm also still curious as to who specifically was being referred to in posts 6 and 14.

by Willie McGinest (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 8:46pm

During one game it got so loud in there that painful vibrations travelled down my leg and I was hobbled for a few plays. Some people even thought that I was faking an injury.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 9:40pm

1) The excessive crowd noise rule was one of the dumbest I've ever heard. I can't believe it's still on the books, since I haven't seen them call it (or give the "quiet down" warning) since before the Browns left. Either they should enforce it, or remove it from the books, with a total preference for the latter.

2) Artificially created noise, on the other hand, should be regulated. Any team that violates it should face sanctions, with repeat offenders looking at possible forfeits. If the Colts did this, and it's against the rules, they should be punished.

3) I have a pretty good feeling the Steelers would've gotten their asses kicked just as hard if the game was played in a library.

4) The difference in false starts might've had as much to do with having an injured/inexperienced tackle facing Freeney as it had to do with crowd noise.

by Purds (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 9:41pm

Re: 41


McGinest being so injured that he couldn't get off the field, and then less than 5 mintues of real time later making the game-saving tackle by bursting into the backfield from off tackle -- that's pretty good evidence.

A sports reporter saying it sounds awefully loud -- not so much evidence.

by Purds (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 9:44pm

And, I think you're missing the point, Star. If the Colts used sound after the huddle broke, I say hammer them for it! It's cheating.

And, if a guy goes down with an injury that stops play, then the rules should force him to sit out a certain amount -- more than just a few plays. If he's so hurt he can't get off the field, he has no business coming back in.

Where's the illogic in those ideas, or are you simply opposed to the Colts?

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 10:01pm

Purds (#45 )--

Actually, McGinest started to limp off the field, then sat down and waited for the trainers.

I'm guessing (but I cheerfully admit it's a guess; I'd hate to confuse my personal indignation with "proof") that he was hurt and heading for the sidelines, remembered that Peyton Manning lives to snap the ball with the defense out of position, and sat down to wait for the trainers, to be sure his replacement got onto the field before Captain Sportsmanship could run a quick-count.

Then, with the leg-cramp (or whatever it was) worked off on the sideline, he came back in at the next clock stoppage.

This reconciles the three points of data we all have:

1. McGinest started to leave the field, then sat down and waited for the trainers.

2. He came back three plays later with his usual leg-speed to catch Edgerrin James for a loss on fourth down.

3. He has repeatedly claimed he was actually hurt, and that he would not fake an injury.

Fake an injury, no. Make certain there was time to get his backup onto the field? Yes.

Poor sportsmanship? We're all entitled to each other's opinions, but I'd say it's worse to force an injured player to stay in the game, or take advantage of a team trying to replace a player who's hurt.

But I'm a Patriots' fan, and therefore I cheated to bring you this post, and will lie about it afterward. :-P

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 10:21pm

Purds (#46 )--

My point (which you've also missed) was that, by league rules, McGinest was not cheating. By his word, he was hurt on that play. By league rules, he was allowed to come back after sitting out one play. (He actually waited three, since substituting against the Colts with the clock running is just asking for a half-the-distance penalty/free play for the offense.)

My point in the last thread was that the league *does* have rules about injured players, McGinest adhered to them, and you're still up in arms over it because what you think the rules "should" do, they don't.

To recap your position: Colts doing something within the rules (playing loud music while the other team's offense is in the huddle) that other people might consider unsporting == perfectly okay.

Willie McGinest doing something within the rules (waiting for the trainers to come get him on a play where he hurt his leg, then sitting out three plays), which other people may consider unsporting == Cheater! Belichick's a cheat! The Patriots are cheats! They! have! no! dynasty! because! they! cheat!

by Purds (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 10:43pm

Easy there, Tex. You're getting way ahead of yourself. (As a side note, it stuns me how much Patriots fans hate the Colts. If they remember, they've been the winners in all the important games against the Colts. Why such animosity?)

First, my argument in the other thread was NOT that McGinest did anything illegal that should be punished. I DO argue, however, that rules do and should evolve, and that because players seem to routinely fake injuries against no-huddle teams, that the league should address the issue. Until they do, McGinest and others can do what they like. I don't like it, but it's legal. It's similar to my view of the 2003 season AFC championships. Was I happy that the Pats defensive backs grabbed recievers all day long? No. Should the game be given to the Colts because that happened? No. I am more upset that the Colts did not adjust to the way the game was being officiated -- they, too, should have grabbed receivers going out on routes, and the Colt receivers should have pushed/pulled etc. to get free, as that is how that game was being called. You play within the rules on that day.

As to the Colts playing music, I don't think anywhere the Steelers are complaining about noise level in the huddle. Reporters are contending, however, that the Colts played music after the Steelers broke the huddle and went to the line. If the Colts did that, the league should hammer them. Turning off the PA system altogether in an upcoming home game would not be too harsh, in my opinion, if the Colts had cheated.

Finally, you're never going to convince me that McGinest was truly injured. (The Colts were ramming the ball down the Pats' thoats, and NE need a pause, and it just so happened that McGinest went down.) Poll objective people who watched the game -- I doubt you'd find any support there either.

by Purds (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 10:51pm

"He has repeatedly claimed he was actually hurt, and that he would not fake an injury."

Don't tell me that you take the guys word as proof. That would mean that:

-- Palmero never ever took steroids.
-- Clinton never had sexual relations with that woman.
-- Ted Kennedy never crashed that car.

by Vash (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:17pm

I'm going to echo Todd now and remind everyone that it's not the Steelers making the accusations, it's two Pittsburgh sports reporters who ran out of things to write about.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:26pm

it’s the worst kind of slam at Colts fans (including me) to say that they need “help� to create a home-field advantage (#42)

Actually, I think it's an even worse slam to insinuate that they would be so stupid as to perpetrate their evil plan by setting up a big obvious ring of microphones right out in plain sight where everyone could see them.

by Purds (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:27pm

Absolutely right, Vash. I have tried to be clear on that. I don't consider the Steelers players whiners, and I am not sure where Star gets his belief that the Colts players whined (other than the owner and some fans, but who cares about them?). The NFL story right after is filled with humilty ("I thought the Patriots played extremely well and we didn't" from Manning; "We made some miscues and New England is a good enough team to take advantage of that." from Dungy.) Link for the story is on my name.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:30pm

Purds (#50 )--

Actually, it's automatic with me: in the absence of any actual proof, I take the guy's word for it.

Which is why, since the Colts say they didn't amp the crowd noise, and there's no proof they did, then to me, they didn't amp the crowd noise. And your (or my) opinion about how long McGinest should have been out isn't proof.

About those other cases you cite:
– Palmero failed a test for steroids.
– Clinton left DNA evidence on that woman's dress.
– Did Ted Kennedy ever deny the crash? Beats me, I wasn't born then, and I never cared enough about him to check.

We've hijacked this thread enough -- if you really want to know why I believe McGinest, ask again on the "Bill Polian accuses other teams faking injuries" thread. Other than that, this is the end of the McGinest argument with me. Since you say I'll never convince you, I'll take your word as proof of that.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:41pm

Vash (#51 )--

Roethlisberger was quoted in the article, along with some unnamed Steelers official.

It may not be "the Steelers" ex officio complaining, but at least two people who draw paychecks from the House of Rooney *did* complain, out loud, to those Pittsburgh sports reporters.

by Vash (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:42pm

Purds (53): It's a broken link.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:56pm

Vash (#56 )--

Here's the right link.

If you ever want to look up a game, NFL.com's GameCenter always takes the same format:


(The "@" was missing in Purds's link.) Just plug in the correct game dte, home and away team abbreviations, and you can check the official NFL game book for any game they have online.

(For playoff games, it's the same format, except "www.superbowl.com" &c.)

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:57pm

And preview ate the "@" in my link, too. Just drop one between IND and NE.

by Willie McGinest (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 12:04am

Uhmm, remind me again why the Colts paused from ramming the ball down our throats long enough for me to get back in the game on 4th down... You know, they named a shampoo after the Colts style of play (and its not smashmouth).

by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 1:10am

Star (51):
Roethlisberger said "It was louder than any rock concert I've ever been to".
That hardly sounds like an accusation to me.

That the Steelers "official" asked not to be named makes it likely he holds a low-level position where he would be easily dispensable if they found him saying things that were hurting the team.

by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 1:11am

59: White Rain?

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 1:23am

Vash (#60 )--

Roethlisberger was also quoted as saying the noise was "pumped up." But, AFAIK, that was the first game he's ever played in a dome, unless Houston had the roof closed Week 2, so his opinion is not exactly informed.

As far as the Steeler official goes, my first guess was the assistant to the guy in charge of selling advertising at Heinz Field. Since this was a road game, it might also have been the assistant to the guy who loads the pads onto the team bus.

by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 1:41am

Star (62):
"Pumped up" doesn't exactly have much to do with artificially amplifying volume.

I'd think he most likely said "The crowd was really pumped up", not "The noise was pumped up through the speakers".

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 1:51am

Vash (#63 )--

Could be. It's not as if this would be the first time a reporter quoted someone in a way that was misleading.

But, unless we get some context to what Roethlisberger said, I kinda have to think Bouchette wrote the story true to the way Roethlisberger meant his statement.

by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 2:24am

Star (64):
As a Pittsburgher, I hardly trust Ed Bouchette to do much of anything ethical.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 2:44am

Well I was someone in that faking/checting thread saying we should come down hard on fakers/cheaters (but I never said anything regarding Mcginest or the NE/IND game (so I obviously missed something after my first few posts)).

I think it is equally important to come down hard on any team using the PA system to their advantage.

Was that what was going on here, I have no idea, but I doubt it based on the limited evidence at hand.

by Purds (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 3:36am


My point with Palmeiro, Clinton and Kennedy was exactly what you said, they were all LATER proven to be liars (I guess one could say Kennedy still hasn't been proven -- wink, wink), and thus while we'd like to believe in people, they do lie. Expecially on the national stage when admitting the truth would be embarassing.

That tends to make me thing McG has plenty of reason to lie, so I look at actions, not words here. Why were all the reports during/right after the game about his knee, but in the locker room he said it was a cramp? Are the NE trainers that clueless that they can't tell a knee injury from a cramp?

by Brian (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 3:47am

This whole story is pretty silly. The dome has been loud for years. The only thing this is going to accomplish is the fans being even louder in there (especially if we should play the Steelers in the playoffs). Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to see people who don't have tickets gathering and yelling from outside the dome when the visitors are on offense.

This brings up an interesting thought about the new stadium - are we going to run into a rule like the Astros did? Although I can't imagine it NOT being cold as hell here during the playoffs.

by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 2:07pm

The Vikings got in trouble for this a few years back, iirc.

by Drew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 3:27pm

Post 65 raises an interesting question. Can some folks from the Pittsburgh area tell me what the general opinion is of this paper and this reporter? I assumed that they were reputable. But post 65 makes me wonder.

by Jerry (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 7:49pm

A few things:

-This story didn't appear until Thursday, which was after ESPN Radio had run with it. While noise came up in the post-game coverage, I didn't see anything that suggested cheating until this story broke.

-Players talking about the noise after the game (almost certainly in response to media questions) is a long way from an organization making a formal complaint.

-According to the story, the Steeler official pointed the microphones out before the game. Maybe this idea has been floating around the NFL grapevine for a while, but this is the first time it's become public.

-It would help if the Colts explained what those mics are for. I can't imagine that the crowd's not loud enough without any undue assistance, but the innocent explanation would help.

-Bouchette is, by and large, an excellent beat man.

-And I did see Bettis on a Thursday night sportscast address these allegations directly by saying that the Steelers would have lost in a silent stadium. Whatever else this is, it's not the team's excuse for Monday's result.