Opening another front in the fight against football, the New York Times gives concerned liberals who never attend NFL games but are keen on ruining everyone else’s fun something to get excited about with this breaking news. Football games are loud. Maybe too loud:
National Football League teams are racing this season to secure the title of loudest outdoor stadium in the world.
The Seattle Seahawks, who boast that their fans caused a small earthquake after a 2011 touchdown, acclaimed their crowd’s record 136.6-decibel noise level this September after an effort orchestrated by the fan group Volume 12.
Four weeks later, the Kansas City Chiefs — who are still unbeaten — topped the record, in part because of a scream-a-thon organized by the fan group Terrorhead Returns.
“Be LOUD AND PROUD and blow my eardrums out!” one Chiefs fan wrote on Facebook.
The N.F.L. encourages the din.
“The NFL encourages the din.” A professional sports league encourages cheering at its sporting events. Where’s the hand-wringing on the threat posed by rock concerts, which (according to the Internet) hit ear-damaging levels of 115-130 decibels? Even better, where’s the article applauding the gun rights community for its consistent push for ear protection on every range in America?
The Times found one guy at the very loud Seahawks game to say he was mildly annoyed:
Kevin Flaherty, 42, attended the raucous Seahawks game against the 49ers and was relieved to see earplugs distributed to fans, thanks to the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center of Seattle. The center arranged a donation of 30,000 earplugs from 3M.
Flaherty found the jet-engine roar of the crowd so unpleasant that “it was almost like, gosh, I don’t want to be here,” he said. With earplugs, the din was loud but “no longer uncomfortable.”
But his son, Ben, a sixth grader, could not fit the earplugs in his ear canals. So he endured a steady roar “so loud that the insides of you rattle.”
“It’s insane,” Ben said. “I shoved my earflap over my ear.”
The thing is, our society is pretty good at the busybody worry wart stuff without the Times leading a national charge for the golf clap becoming the only clap in sports. In Seattle, the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center of Seattle arranged with 3M to have 30,000 pairs of ear plugs distributed at the game, thereby giving attendees the necessary equipment to make a choice to protect their ears or not.
So, yeah, be safe out there, guys. Wear readily available ear plugs if you feel a sporting event is too loud. Take special care to protect your kids. Be aware that ear damage is a thing, and you probably won’t enjoy lifelong tinnitus should you become afflicted with it.
In other words, just live like every normal, sentient human being whose ever heard from their parents, “Turn that music down! You’ll ruin your ears!” The New York Times is now your actual nanny.
Update: These people in this other NYT story are the target for this ear-damage story. In another not-a-parody moment from the NYT, meet a 5-year-old named Erela whose dad is a music producer and mom is a travel accessories designer. They all live in TriBeCa and hired a nanny consultant to teach their nanny from the Midwest (frowny face) the difference between quinoa and couscous. And, there’s this quote: “Some of these nannies already do the cooking in the family, but they’re throwing chicken fingers in the oven, or worse, the microwave.”
When OSHA comes for the NFL, Erela and her parents will lead the charge.