During ESPN's Monday Night Football Game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens, a simulcast was also shown on its ESPN2 sister channel that featured the Manning Brothers, Peyton & Eli, who watched the game while facetiming each other with commentary and humor, all for viewers of ESPN2 to watch in real-time.
The Mannings also had special guests who dropped into their facetime chat for a few minutes, such as Charles Barkley, Russell Wilson, and Travis Kelce. Peyton would break out on occasion to demonstrate a play; the premise of this broadcast is to have the perspective of two experienced, Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks on various aspects of the game being played. From the huddle to the defensive lineup before the snap, regular viewers such as us get a keen insight into what the quarterback in the game might be thinking before the ball is snapped.
Which brings us to an interesting moment during the show (from Insider.com)
|Peyton, Eli, and Travis Kelce discuss the crowd noise.|
'The crowd is all fired up again,' Eli said. 'They don't know how to cheer.'
'You should not have to do this at home,' Peyton said, referring to Carr's hand-waving effort to quiet the crowd."
When Carr finally called for the snap, the Raiders were stuffed on the run thanks to near-instant penetration by the Ravens defense.
'That's **crowd noise penetration** by the defensive line,' Peyton explained after the play. 'The offensive line is not getting off on the snap because they can't freakin' hear.'
The Manning Brothers felt that the home crowd messed up that play because, being so excited at the Raiders going for it on 4th-down, they started cheering. And as home fans in other NFL cities (and in college football towns) know full well, you have to be quiet when your team has the ball. Making noise can disrupt the offense in very bad ways; that is why home crowds make noise whenever the visiting teams have the ball. But never when the home team is on offense.
Watch video of reaction to the crowd noise.
So, the Raiders had to turn the ball over on downs. Thankfully, the Ravens had a 3-and-out and punted the ball back to the Raiders again, leading to this advice from Peyton:
"'Okay, quiet down, crowd,' Manning said. 'Don't make CARR have to quiet you down. Just sit there...check your wager...see how all your bets are doing, and let Carr operate without having to quiet the crowd down. That's irritating for a quarterback. Let him get into a rhythm!'"
My thoughts on this? Well, there's no doubt Peyton is right. A home crowd should NEVER make noise when the offense has the ball. There is simply no excuse for that.
Still, while there is no excuse, some empathy and understanding is warranted. The Raiders fans in Las Vegas, quite simply, never had an NFL team before. They didn't/don't know what the proper protocol is that they are expected to implement in their role as the, "Home Field Advantage" for their team.
Much like NFL games in London's Wembley Stadium, they are just glad to be at a football game. The excitement, the energy, becomes the priority.
The seasoned Raiders fans traveling from Los Angeles and the Bay Area who had attended games in Oakland for several years, those Raiders fans aren't there inside Allegiant Stadium in high-enough numbers to dictate to their neighbors the proper rules to follow. And besides: such friendly suggestions may result in heated arguments, hurt feelings, & physical escalations.
So, to Peyton & Eli: I will say that, eventually, these new Raiders fans will grow into their roles, and they will indeed learn to do the right thing to make their stadium a true home field advantage for the Raiders.
Which will be a good thing. Because there is yet another possibility that Peyton & Eli didn't address: that all the loud noise on that key 4th-down play wasn't from Raiders fans at all; rather, it came from a very large contingent of Baltimore Ravens fans who travelled to Las Vegas for that game.
True, there was a sea of black jerseys in the seats all across the stadium. But the Ravens jerseys are colored black, too. It could very well be that it wasn't well-intentioned Las Vegas Raiders fans who messed up that 4th-down play, but instead it was mean-spirited visitor Ravens fans who tried to, and succeeded in, messing up that play on the Raiders.
Either way, it isn't a good look for the home fans. In a sold-out season ticket base, the only way visiting fans can get seats is if the home season ticket holders, individuals or corporations, scalp them to the visitors to diminish the home field advantage. But that's a discussion for another day.
My DVR recording of the Manning Brothers got trashed, so all I have is this camera phone recording that I made initially. If you will forgive the amateurish viewing angle and audio quality, this clip will still show you exactly what was said by The Manning Brothers. Take note of the expressions on Derek Carr's and Jon Gruden's faces...it doesn't seem like they are happy with that crowd noise, either.
AFC-West Division rival Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs was an invited guest on the show that night, and he gives his own opinion on the unfortunate home crowd noise there. One can only wonder if he thinks this might linger long enough when his team arrives later this year.
But bottom line, I think the home crowd there in Las Vegas will do a better job with their cheer protocols at this Sunday's game vs the Miami Dolphins.
P.S. And before you feel tempted to start a tirade on the Mannings, you should be aware that their Monday Night Show is a big ratings winner. Every NFL player has Mondays off work, and securing a guest appearance on this show is becoming a status achievement after just 2 weeks of The Mannings being on the air. They are a big hit nationwide, and besides: you can't get angry at them for being right.