Crowd Noise

This weekend I’m heading to my first football game since I arrived here at Penn State. My parents are driving up from Pittsburgh, and I’m excited to spend time with them, drink boozy hot beverages out of thermoses, and experience the unique kind of mayhem that is a Big 10 football Saturday, which I haven’t done since I was living in Iowa.

Of course, like any thinking human currently alive, the fact that I’m going to watch a sport that we know causes severe brain injuries—AND at a school whose own program is tarnished by a truly horrible thing—makes me feel “guilty,” to say the least.

That being said, I happened to have lunch today with Becky Bernard, whose husband Andrew is studying in the acoustics lab. Though he wasn’t at lunch, Becky passed along his website, which has some great recordings of Penn State football crowd noise, as well as an interesting visualization that maps noise levels in the stadium onto what is happening on the field. [Spoiler alert: it gets LOUD.] The page is worth checking for fellow sound nerds, regardless of your feelings about sports.

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