The start of the NFL season has yet to be significantly affected by the coronavirus outbreak. One of the biggest questions lingering right now is whether or not there will be fans in the stands come September.
“I’m not sure our organization should be talking about pumping in crowd noise,” Ryan said. “I think we had a small issue with that a little while ago.”
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Falcons Fined, Lose Draft Pick for Using Fake Crowd Noise
Nobody ever really talks about this anymore and now that it might be happening is kind of funny. The Falcons were brutally punished for pumping crowd noise into their stadium back in 2015.
The NFL ended fined the Falcons $350,000 and the franchise was forced to forfeit their fifth-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. Falcons’ President Rich McKay was also suspended for at least three months from the Competition Committee.
Pumping crowd noise ins considered and illegal advantage.
McKay, the chairman of the Competition Committee, is one of the most influential executives in the NFL. The suspension was to serve notice to all other 31 teams trying to use crowd noise to their advantage.
McKay Was Unaware
According to the league, McKay was unaware of the team piping in crowd noise:
“Our review also determined that Falcons ownership and senior executives, including team President Rich McKay, were unaware of Mr. White’s use of an audio file with artificial crowd noise,” the NFL said in a statement. “However, Mr. McKay, as the senior club executive overseeing game operations, bears some responsibility for ensuring that team employees comply with league rules. As a result, Mr. McKay will be suspended from the Competition Committee beginning April 1. He may petition Commissioner (Roger) Goodell for reinstatement to the committee no sooner than June 30.”
The NFL found former Falcons director of event marketing, Roddy White, directly responsible for the violation. White used an audio file with fake crowd noise to make it louder inside the Georgia Dome.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank referred to the investigation as “embarrassing” and White was fired.
So, Really, What About No Fans in the Stands?
Most players are going with the mentality that they’ll suit up and play the same way they need to if fans aren’t allowed.
However, Falcons center Alex Mack wants a full stadium regardless of it being easier to communicate in a silent stadium.
“The selfish answer that no one really likes to hear, is that it would be really great to have a quiet stadium when it’s an away game,” Mack told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “My communication could be like absolutely great. The trade-off there is that fans are unhappy and they kind of pay my paycheck so I’d rather have them there.”
Mack wants his money, but most importantly he wants fans there, happy, and cheering on the team.