The Washington Redskins were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks in the final game of the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend yesterday, ending a magical run that saw the Seahawks win its final seven games and take the NFC East title.
Not much went right for the Redskins yesterday. Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III simply wasn’t the same player he was for much of the regular season. A knee injury is to blame. Griffin’s strained right lateral collateral ligament slowed him down all game and finally gave way in the fourth quarter, leaving the emerging superstar writhing on the field in agony.
The crowd at FedEx Field held its collective breath as Griffin very gingerly got to his feet and walked to the sideline. He didn’t return to the game and the Seahawks cruised to a 24-14 victory and earned a date with the Atlanta Falcons next weekend.
Before Griffin’s injury silenced the crowd, the stadium was very noisy. Perhaps a little too noisy, say some Redskins fans.
Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post’s “DC Sports Blog” posted a tweet this morning in which he reported being contacted by fans who were at the game and who were convinced that the team was piping in fake crowd noise over the speaker system — a big no-no in the eyes of the NFL. Several fans responded, backing up the assertion:
@dcsportsbog no doubt.you could tell every time it happened.
— David Green (@dgreenDC) January 7, 2013
@dcsportsbog I was sitting in the club level section 322 row 12. Speaker above my head and I agree. The stadium would go instantly loud.
— George Daffan(@GCD04) January 7, 2013
— DJ (@AirDJ81) January 7, 2013
@dcsportsbog I was there. 100% true. Roger probably heard it on the sideline too.
— R C M(@Rypien1191) January 7, 2013
It’s unclear whether the fans believe that the noise was canned cheering (like you’d find on a CD of sound effects) or simply amplified stadium noise. Neither scenario would be acceptable in a league that has already dealt with one A/V-related scandal this season (the Saints were accused of listening to opposing coaches’ radio conversations, though the team was ultimately exonerated).
The fact that the crowd noise, real or not, didn’t help the ‘Skins get the win will probably allow the team to avoid a full-scale investigation by the NFL, but league commissioner Roger Goodell could decide to drop the hammer on Redskins owner Dan Snyder, a man already known throughout the sports world as a giant scumbag who would do anything to gain an advantage over his competitors (and his own customers, too).