Fake crowd noise is ‘human torture’

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Some coaches may miss real fans more than others. Kyle Shanahan appears to be one of the former.

The 49ers coach had his team practice with fake crowd noise piped in recently at Levi’s Stadium and he was clearly not a fan.

“Oh my god … that really is a form of human torture,” Shanahan said during an episode of the 49ers’ “Brick by Brick” series.

“It’s terrible,” general manager John Lynch replied. “And it starts and it doesn’t stop too.”

The 49ers players themselves didn’t seem to mind as much, though.

“That’s not bad how it was,” quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said.

“It wasn’t for you guys?” Shanahan asked.

“Not at all,” Garoppolo said.

kyle shanahan fake crowd noise torture 49ers
Kyle ShanahanAP

“All right, it’s just a form of human torture for me,” Shanahan said.

With fans not allowed at most stadiums, at least for the beginning of the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fake crowd noise will become the norm around the league. The NFL told teams it would be monitoring noise levels during games, with the crowd noise allowed to be played up to 70 decibels, the Washington Post reported.

Shanahan previously expressed concern over the fake crowd noise being played at the same level throughout an entire game.

“It’s going to hurt people in terms of 60-70 decibels isn’t even close to how loud it is in Seattle, our stadium, New Orleans,” Shanahan told San Francisco’s KNBR radio. “I mean I don’t think that’s going to help a ton for the pass rush on either side, all it’s going to do is be human torture for the constant noise for 3.5 hours that we have to hear. That’s what I’ve struggled with the most. When there’s constant noise, no high or low, there might as well be no noise.

“There’s something about when everyone is yelling and then it stops, then there is a hit and a big pickup in the sound, but once the ball snaps you kind of hear the game, you hear people hit, you hear people moving. But when it’s constant you don’t hear anything, you just hear the noise. It’s a good thing other people won’t be in the stands having to hear it, because me and the players being out there at practice hearing constant noise for three hours, you can’t hear anything.”


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