CLEMSON — OK, here’s the checklist for Saturday’s big game at Clemson:
Parking pass. Check.
Liquid refreshment. Check.
Tailgate goodies. Check.
Ear plugs. Ear plugs?
Better safe than sorry. Some form of ear protection might be a good idea if you’re fortunate enough to have a ticket for Saturday night’s showdown between unbeaten Clemson and Florida State at Memorial Stadium.
According to Clemson athletic department official Mike Money, fans will shoot for the record book by attempting to create the highest decibel reading ever at a football game.
“Even if we don’t get it, we want to create an awesome atmosphere,” said Money, associate athletic director for marketing and game management.
The record noise level for a football game was broken Sunday in Kansas City, Mo., during an NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. The noise level hit 137.5 decibels following a late-minute sack by the Chiefs.
Money said that Clemson installed a decibel reader at Memorial Stadium prior to this season, and the reader revealed a noise level “in the 120 range” during the Tigers’ Aug. 31 game against Georgia.
“We came semi-close (to record levels) at that game – close enough to make us think we could break the record,” Money said.
For perspective, sustained exposure to noise above 95 decibels may result in hearing loss, pain begins at 125 decibels and the loudest recommended exposure with hearing protection is 140 decibels.
A power saw is 110 decibels; a loud rock concert typically around 115 decibels.
Hence, the following recommendation from Ronnie Nolan, a hearing specialist with Advanced Hearing Solutions in Anderson: “I would suggest some type of protection. Foam ear plugs will do the trick.”
Most Clemson students will take their chances, embracing the chance to be loud and proud.
“It won’t bother me because I’ll be participating,” said Madison Johnson, a senior from Lumberton, N.C. “We want to be ‘Clemson loud.’ We want to try to shock the opposing team.”
Fellow Clemson senior Lisa Camp would prefer to witness a joint effort.
“It’s a feat that both teams should want to get in on,” Camp said.
Camp certainly will. She’s a Bonifay, Fla., native and longtime Seminoles fan who plans on sporting both team colors Saturday.
“Being part of a world record is a big deal,” she said. “So it should cross all sorts of lines.”
Money is uncertain whether a Guinness Book of World Records representative will be on hand for the highly anticipated match-up of unbeaten Top 5 teams — Clemson is No. 4 and FSU No. 5 in the USA TODAY coaches poll — but he said there would be sufficient documentation regardless.
“We’ve got our application in,” Money said. “And we’ll have a video camera on the decibel reader.”
Money said fans will be encouraged to be as loud as possible on Clemson’s first defensive series of the game.
“We don’t want to stop with that, even if we break the record,” Money said. “We want that to just set the tone.
“But we don’t want anyone to experience hearing damage. There already are people who bring ear plugs to games. It’s always good to err on the side of caution.”