THON in Decibels: Quest for 137.6

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THON can get loud. When the crowd is at capacity and the clocking is counting down (and especially when Go Go Gadjet gets the dancers rocking), the noise can be almost deafening in the best way. But how truly loud does the Bryce Jordan Center get during THON weekend?

On December 1st 2013, fans at Seattle’s CenturyLink field set the Guinness World Record for Loudest Crowd Roar at a Sports Stadium at 137.6 dBA, beating the record set just a few months earlier by Kansas City Chiefs fans at Arrowhead stadium. That was done using an official, perfectly calibrated decibel meter and with Guinness representatives present. We were going to do that, but an excellent decibel meter is expensive and the people at Guinness stopped returning our emails when we applied for “Sexiest Managing Editor” to be an official record. So we improvised.

Using a calibrated version of the Decibel Meter Pro app for iPhone, we’ll be seeing just how loud THON 2014 can get from various locations throughout the weekend, and see if we can come close to unofficially topping the Seahawks. We’re recording for all noise, not just voices. The feasibility of it isn’t too strong, but hey, redefine the possibilities, right?

As of 7:00 a.m., the average decibel level of the BJC has been between 60-70 dBA, maxing out at 99 at the very beginning. We expect the final four hours to produce some serious noise, however, and we’ll keep you updated throughout the weekend. Remember, being directly on the speakers at a rock concert will produce something like 135 decibels, so use that for reference.

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Noel Purcell

Noel Purcell is a senior business student masquerading as a writer. He writes, well, everything I guess, but sports and features and humor stuff mostly. He is the resident “make fun of this” guy. He lives in the Goathouse on South Atherton, but more accurately in the UPUA office and at the Phyrst. His Twitter is @NamelessRanger and it’s the best account on that site. His email is [email protected] because there were no other Noels before him. His ex-wife got the good half of his bio in the divorce settlement.

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