Peterson: Silence in sports is deafening

The professional sports franchises have all tried various methods to combat the lack of crowd noise during this current dark period we’re all going through.

The National Hockey League has taken the course of sounding fog horns (loudly) after a goal.

In the National Basketball League and major league baseball, there’s been the placing of cardboard figures around the arena and ballpark.

But cardboard just can’t imitate the sound of a roaring crowd.

And in Cleveland, they still have John Adams banging away on his infamous drum. Or at least a recording of Adams doing his solitary thing at home games.

And the National Football League appears ready to place a thousand or two fans around the arena to create an illusion.

But the hard, cold fact of it is that there is no substitute for actual crowd noise at a real sports event — not the national Corn Hole championship.

It should be interesting to see how the Green Bay Packers deal with the lack of noise at normally raucous Lambeau Field this coming Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Now, Lambeau is one of the true homefield venues in the NFL — a fact often noted by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“It (the crowd) is something we feed on, they give us energy,” Rodgers said recently. “We’ll have to see how it is in a quiet stadium.”

The Packers could have asked the Florida Marlins about that one. The Marlins usually play in front of a near empty stadium even when things are normal.

Late Atlanta Braves’ announcer Skip Caray once said the noise made by a crowd of under 500 fans in a long ago game in Miami was “drowned out by moths flapping their wings.”

Until this pandemic wears out, I guess we’ll have to be content with cut-out cardboard figures and taped sounds.

When the Packers score a touchdown this weekend — and they will fairly often — maybe the public address announcer will put in Todd Rundgren’s “Bang the Drum” for old time’s sake.

Now, that was a sound that was truly irritating.


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