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It may be impossible for Arrowhead Stadium to get any louder, but we could find out Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals play the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
That is something to consider because a quote from Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow in October has gone viral three months later as Cincinnati prepares to face the Chiefs for the right to go to Super Bowl LVI.
After helping the Bengals crush the Ravens 41-17 in Baltimore on Oct. 24, Burrow was asked by NBC Sports’ Peter King if the Ravens crowd bothered him, or if playing in the SEC had prepared him for crowd noise.
“We knew that they were gonna be jacked up for us to come in, and expecting to beat our ass. But we were ready for it,” Burrow said. “Playing in the SEC definitely, definitely helped. Gets way louder in the SEC than in any of these NFL stadiums.”
After the Chiefs’ rousing 42-36 win over Buffalo in overtime of a wild AFC Divisional Round playoff game, former KC kicker Lawrence Tynes tweeted that Burrow comment and offered a caveat — and a warning.
“To be fair, Joe has never played at Arrowhead. Having said that, he is in for a rude awakening,” Tynes tweeted. “There is no place louder in sports and it’s not up for debate.”
The Guinness Book of World Records supports Tynes’ claim.
Burrow won the 2019 Heisman Trophy while playing for LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., where crowd noise has been measured as high as 130 decibels, according to 247Sports. But Arrowhead Stadium has reached 142.2 decibels, and has the official Guinness Book designation as the “loudest crowd roar at a stadium.”
Twelve decibels may not sound a like a huge difference, but the Inverse Square Law says that each time sound energy is doubled it increases by 3 decibels. So a dozen decibels is actually quite a bit louder.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he noticed the sound level during the victory against the Bills, and without knowing about Burrow’s viral quote.
“Just want to take a second to talk about our fans — they’re incredible and we know this long run year after year after year having all these playoff games they’d want nothing more, but we also know it’s a (commitment) and we appreciate them,” Reid said. “And as the players and coaches have said they’re a huge difference-maker.
“They were a huge difference-maker tonight and we look forward to welcoming you all back here as loud as ever next Sunday. We’re looking forward to the challenge and we’re excited to get back on that stage again.”
On Wednesday, Burrow was asked about playing in Arrowhead and if a college stadium gave him a similar experience.
“In the SEC it seems every week, it seems like that every stadium is really loud. There are hundreds of thousands of people,” Burrow said. “You know, this one is going to be similar. We expect it to be really loud. We’re talking about it throughout the week. We’re gonna have to be great with our communication, our nonverbal communication, just like every week on the road.”
Some Chiefs fans seem ready to make their presence known against the Bengals.
A thread on the Chiefs’ Reddit page was dedicated to letting Burrow know he’s not in the SEC anymore when he plays at Arrowhead for the first time.
“Which SEC stadium has the world record for highest decibel level Joe?” a fan wrote.
On Twitter, one Chiefs fan shared this thought: “Joe Burrow thinks the SEC stadiums are louder than Arrowhead, let’s show him how wrong he is.”
So, yep, Chiefs fans plan to get their message across loud and clear.