I Never Knew Fans Could Be So Loud

It’s amazing how much noise human beings can make when they’re all screaming at the same time. I hear it all the time at sporting events, but there are certain times that screaming explodes to another level. It’s an eruption of sound that goes beyond typical cheering. If you’ve ever heard that massive eruption, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

There are two moments that really stick out in my mind. The first happened on October 7, 1995. The Seattle Mariners were playing the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. The M’s were facing elimination, and New York jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the third inning. Seattle started to rally in the bottom half, and eventually sprinted out to a 6-5 lead in the sixth. It didn’t take long for the Yankees to even the tally. Randy Velarde scored on a wild pitch by Norm Charlton in the eighth to tie the game at 6. And then came the unforgettable moment…

Edgar Martinez Grand Slam 1995 ALDS

Edgar Martinez right before his grand slam in the 1995 ALDS

Edgar Martinez walked to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth. Ken Griffey, Jr. was on first, Joey Cora on second and Vince Coleman on third. On the sixth pitch of the at bat, with a 2-2 count, Martinez took John Wetteland over the wall for a grand slam. I remember watching the ball sail over the fence in centerfield. That’s when I heard the noise — that complete eruption of sound. The fans were going crazy. I never knew people could make that much noise. It literally sound like I was standing right next to the engine of an airplane as it was getting ready for takeoff. I honestly never thought I would hear that sound again in my life.

NOTE: The Mariners went on to beat the Yankees that night in Game 4, 11-8. I remember people filing out of the Kingdome chanting “Ed-Gar, Ed-Gar” over and over again. It didn’t stop until we got into our car (blocks away) to drive home. Seattle beat New York the next night in Game 5 thanks to ‘The Double‘, which made Edgar Martinez a legend in the Emerald City.

I did end up hearing that noise again. It wasn’t for a particular moment though, it was over and over during in the same game. The date was January 22, 2005. I was at Qwest Field in Seattle, covering the NFC Championship between the Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. The crowd was amazing that night. Whenever Carolina had the ball, I heard that crazy eruption of noise. I can’t even explain it — it really doesn’t sound like people, it just sounds like a train tearing down the tracks at 400mph. I’m sure it was loud in the stands, but it was overwhelming on the sideline. I was working for a television station in Yakima at the time, and the sports guy from our sister station in the Tri-Cities was on the sideline with me. We were standing side-by-side and we literally couldn’t hear each other talk when the crowd was rocking. It was truly amazing. Since the Seahawks jumped out to a 34-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter, the fans literally started to party in the stands (this video gives you a feel for what the crowd was like at the end of the game). No one left the stadium. Instead they were dancing, laughing, hugging and high-fiving. It was the craziest scene I’d ever seen at a sporting event, and it’s one I haven’t seen since.

Seahawks Fans | CenturyLink Field

The Packers and Seahawks play on Monday Night Football at CenturyLink Field

The crowds at CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field) in Seattle are notorious for noise. They made so much noise during Marshawn Lynch’s amazing touchdown run during the 2010 Wild Card game against the New Orleans Saints, that it registered on the seismograph at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. That sound was possibly rivaled on December 23rd when the Seahawks played the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. Red Bryant blocked a David Akers field goal early in the second quarter, and the ball was scooped up by Richard Sherman who scampered 90-yards for a Seattle touchdown. The TD gave the Seahawks a 21-0 lead over the 49ers, and many of the Seattle media members in attendance said the press box at CenturyLink Field was shaking because of the crowd noise. I’m guessing the crowd made that much noise after Golden Tate’s controversial game-winning touchdown catch on Monday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers. I was actually on the sideline for the game (literally feet away from the touchdown catch), but the moment was so crazy that the crowd noise didn’t even register to me at the time. I just remember turning around minutes later and watching people go nuts in the stands.

I love true human emotion at sporting events. I love watching people react during slow motion replays of game-winning field goals, or a wide shot of the crowd when a pitcher gets the last strike to cap a no-hitter (this video isn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it still fits what I’m talking about). I’ve even been caught in the moment plenty of times myself, and there’s honestly no better feeling in the world. It’s joy to the fullest. I really can’t wait to hear that eruption of noise again, because that means I’m witnessing something amazing that I’ll never forget.

Have you ever heard the noise I’m talking about — people cheering so loudly that it sounds like an airplane? I would love to hear your stories! You can leave them in the comment section below, or you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on Seattle, sports and travel!

Feel Free To Boo Robinson Cano

Since when is it not OK for fans to boo an athlete? I think it’s every ticket holder’s right to do whatever they want (within reason), especially when ticket prices have soared to an all-time high. If you’re paying $100 to watch the All-Star Home Run Derby — feel free to boo Robinson Cano — or anyone else for that matter.

Here’s a quick rundown of what I’m talking about:

Robinson Cano Kansas City

New York’s Robinson Cano during the Home Run Derby

New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was selected as the captain of the American League team for this year’s All-Star Home Run Derby. The game was in Kansas City, so Cano said that he would select Royals first baseman/designated hitter Billy Butler for his squad. Well, he didn’t. Cano went with Toronto’s Jose Bautista, Detroit’s Prince Fielder and Los Angeles’ Mark Trumbo instead.

Let’s just say the Kansas City fans weren’t very pleased. When Cano came to the plate at Kauffman Stadium for the Home Run Derby, the boos started to echo through the stands. The fans didn’t stop booing until Cano stopped hitting. As Cano recorded his final out, the boos actually turned into cheers. That’s because (as karma would have it) Cano, the defending Home Run Derby champion, went homerless in his first at-bat — in turn — eliminating him from the competition.

The boos didn’t go over well in the world of baseball. Commissioner Bud Selig told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America that, ”While I understand Kansas City and I understand the whole Billy Butler thing, I really felt very badly.” Union head Michael Weiner even voiced his displeasure after the Home Run Derby by saying, “It struck me that it moved a little bit past traditional, good-natured booing, particularly for an event like that, and got into another area.” Wait, so you can boo, but don’t boo so much that you might hurt a players feelings? I didn’t realize there were different levels/areas of booing. That’s just a ridiculous statement.

Billy Butler Robinson Cano

Kansas City’s Billy Butler watching the Home Run Derby

Athletes are in the spotlight. They choose that lifestyle. When they sign their name on a multi-million dollar contract, they open themselves up to criticism. It’s just part of the deal. They know exactly what comes with the territory. I don’t feel bad for Robinson Cano, or anyone else who gets booed. This is what they signed up for.

I honestly don’t boo at games myself. Most of the time I can’t because I’m a member of the media and there’s a “No cheering/No jeering” rule you have to abide by. But, even when I go to games as a fan…I stay away from booing. It’s just not the way I am. With that said, I’m not opposed to other people booing. Think about it – boos are the only way a sports fan can voice their displeasure. The folks in Kansas City could write an angry letter to Robinson Cano, but that wouldn’t accomplish anything, because Cano would never read or respond to them. But, boos, there’s no hiding from those. I think Cano heard the message loud and clear.

What do you think of the Robinson Cano situation? How about booing at sporting events in general? I would love to hear your opinions. You can leave a comment right here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget you can also find me on Pinterest and YouTube, or you can always visit http://allaroundtim.com for more!