Memorial Gym in Anaconda is the loudest gym in the world.
You can sit in the “Snake Pit” and not hear the guy sitting right next you as he’s screaming into your ear. When the band plays you should probably be wearing hearing protection because it is like you’re standing next to a jet engine.
Does that mean the Anaconda fans are the best fans in Montana high school sports?
Well, actually, the Copperhead faithful are definitely in that conversation because of the way they support their boys and girls at home and on the road.
But the passion of the Copperhead fans has absolutely nothing to do with how loud Memorial Gym can get during games.
In fact, Memorial Gym is deafening when the gym is only a quarter full during an junior varsity game. It’s loud when only a handful of people show up for a game.
It’s still pretty loud there during a moment of silence because of the design of the gym and the acoustics.
That’s the same reason a rowdy crowd of 5,000 is much louder at Naranche Stadium in Butte than the same exact crowd would be at Bulldog Memorial Stadium or Alumni Coliseum.
It’s the same reason CenturyLink Field in Seattle is louder for Seahawks games than Lambeau Field is for Packers games.
Yet the national sports media — and a bunch of fans who really aren’t that bright — will have you believe that Seattle’s fans are the best fans in the world.
“They scream all the time. They’re really loud,” one Seattle fan told me the other day. “They’re crazy.”
Let’s think about that for a second. Do you really think that 67,000 people in Seattle are that much more passionate than 100,000 plus in the Big House in Michigan?
That home crowd for the Notre Dame game earlier this month was about as passionate as you will ever see a college football crowd. Everyone was standing, yelling, screaming and chanting. They were crazy. And the band was playing.
Yet, you didn’t see the visiting team false starting every four plays like you see in Seattle.
The Seattle fans are clearly loud. They apparently love their team and they are into the game. Without question, the crowd noise affects the games and gives the Seahawks probably the best home-field advantage in all of football.
The place is so loud that a group of people who have probably never stepped foot in Memorial Gym went to last week’s 49ers game and declared that the Seattle fans deserve a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records because they are so loud.
The Guinness Book also mentions Seattle fans for the record amount of crying about referees in a Super Bowl. That, though, is a column for another day.
As far as the noise goes, Seahawks fans are not doing anything that the fans of most of the other 31 teams are doing.
The loudness of CenturyLink Field, which opened in 2002, is about 20 percent fans and 80 percent architect.
The architect says he didn’t design the stadium like that on purpose. To that I call Bravo Sierra. Owner Paul Allen wanted a loud stadium like the one the Washington Huskies play just up the street.
That’s because he knows the Seattle fan base needs all the help it can get when it comes to cheering on the teams.
I point to Seattle Mariners fans as an example. Sure, it might not be completely fair to compare Seahawks fans to Mariners fans. But you have to at least take the Seahawks’ next-door neighbor into account when discussing Seahawks fans because they probably overlap by more than 90 percent.
Mariners fans are the second worst fans in baseball. I rank them only ahead of the Tampa Bay Ray’s fans based purely on attendance. The fans in Tampa who actually go to the games, though, have to be more knowledgeable about the game than Mariners fans.
The players will tell you that. When Cliff Lee was traded from Seattle to Philadelphia he talked about the fans. He said it was nice to finally pitch in front of fans who don’t need a teleprompter to cheer.
The people of Seattle might be friendly, and they might make a great cup of coffee. Baseball just isn’t their cup of tea. So it’s hard to believe that their football fans are far and away the best in the league.
Plus, their football fans are a bunch of thieves. That whole “12th Man” thing isn’t theirs. They stole that from the Texas A&M tradition that dates back to the 1920s.
Maybe they can start waving Terrible Towels or Homer Hankies, too. Might as well call themselves the Dukies, Cheese Heads or Raider Nation.
It’s fitting that a fraudulent fan base has a cheater coach like Tony Robbins wannabe Pete Carroll.
Carroll is one of the biggest cheats in college football history. When the NCAA came down the cheerleader head coach a few years, he took the money and ran to the Pacific Northwest while the players, students and fans of USC were left to pay for the coach’s crimes.
Still, ESPN, NBC, CBS and FOX show us a shot of Carroll’s reaction to every shot as if his mother is running the production truck. Seriously, no other coach is on TV as much as Coach Golly Gee Yippidy Do.
You hear ESPN talk about Carroll’s cheating at USC about as much as you hear them talk about Ray Lewis killing two people. Allegedly.
One thing Seattle sports fans apparently do well is cheer for soccer. The fans of the Seattle Sounders are regarded as the best in all of Major League Soccer. At least that is what Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel tells me.
All that does, however, is back up my argument that they are not great football fans in Seattle. No way can those two sports overlap. Not in America. Not in Europe.
Plus, the Sounders fans probably get a major assist from the architect of CenturyLink Field, too.
Seriously, the fans in Seattle are human beings. Do you really think the cafe latte drinkers of the Pacific Northwest have better vocal cords than the beer-drinking fans of Kansas City, Denver, Dallas or Pittsburgh? No way.
At best, it is a tie because last time I was in Seattle I didn’t see a bunch of crazed folks who look, act and yell super loud like they’re Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds.
I didn’t see any guys like that the last time I was in Memorial Gym, either.
OK, so maybe there were a few.
—Bill Foley, who is rooting for a 3-13 season for those loud Seattle fans, writes a column that appears on ButteSports.com on Tuesdays. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/Foles74. 4 comments