Challenge Issued? Rams say Superdome noise overrated
Since the Saints returned to New Orleans after Katrina, the Superdome has been one of most feared environments in all of sports because of how loud it can get for opposing teams. The noise gets even greater when the Saints are playing in a big game.
So, it’s curious why the Los Angeles Rams players would stir the pot in calling out an already fired-up home crowd. On the NFL Network, analyst Mike Silver said Monday that the Rams players weren’t all that impressed with the Superdome crowd noise when they visited back on November 4th.
“Spending some time with some Rams players, (they said) the noise didn’t bother them the first time around,” said Silver. “This is a direct taunt to the fans of New Orleans. They thought the noise wasn’t as bad as advertised. They operated fine.”
Why the Rams players would let this news get out is puzzling. Why make an already hostile environment even more hostile?
One can assume the Who Dat Nation’s response to these comments would simply be: “Challenge accepted.”
Certainly, one could make the case the Rams weren’t that affected by the noise in November. Even after trailing 35-14 late in the first half, Los Angeles was able to go on a 17-0 run into the fourth quarter to tie the game. Despite the noise, they were able to put up 483 yards of offense in doing so. But what’s not mentioned in that narrative is the Saints finished the game on a 10-0 run, and the Superdome crowd erupted on a 72-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas, a sound that would put any person’s eardrums to the test.
“I don’t know if you want to poke that tiger,” said former Super Bowl winning coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick in a radio interview this week on Sports 1280. “When you talk about that crowd noise (in the Superdome), it is a tangible advantage. The Rams are a team that relies heavily on communication, checking at the line offensively. Their ability to do that in the Dome, it’s going to challenge them.”
Some have argued the Dome has never been as loud as it was last weekend in the divisional round during the New Orleans-Philadelphia game. When Marshon Lattimore recorded his second interception of the game that sealed the victory for the Saints, the roars were felt throughout the building. Some in the press box said they could feel the rumblings in their feet.
“I thought the crowd had an effect,” said former NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger, yet another NFL Network analyst who was in attendance last Sunday. “The Eagles had some false starts, and I thought the fans were tremendous. To stir anything up like that, that doesn’t make any sense.”
How loud the Superdome will be this Sunday in unknown, as the Saints will host only their second NFC Championship Game in franchise history. But one thing is for sure – Saints fans know a second trip to the Super Bowl is on the line, and they’ll be poised to bring their A-game when it comes to yelling and doing whatever else they can to raise the decibel level under the rooftop.
The Rams may regret making any noise about the noise in the Dome.
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A native of Metairie, Chris Gordy hosts “The Chris Gordy Show,” daily from 8am-10am on Sports1280AM & on the iHeartRadio app. A lifelong Saints fan & passionate LSU fan, Gordy bleeds purple, black and gold. A 2001 graduate of Archbishop Rummel, Gordy longs for the old days of the Catholic League. But he thinks there is still nothing better than…