The Philadelphia Eagles faced off with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. There were no fans in attendance, but quarterback Carson Wentz still walked off the field amid boos on two different occasions. The person controlling the fake crowd noise tried to recreate the feeling of an Eagles home game with technology.
Videos surfaced on Twitter Sunday that showed Wentz and the Eagles offense walking off the field following failed drives. One was an incomplete pass on third down while the other was an interception in the end zone. Both times, boos were very audible through the broadcast, which created an odd sensation for viewers at home due to the empty stadium.
Carson Wentz gets booed off the field in Philadelphia... there are no fans in the stadium 😂 pic.twitter.com/D1lLZfJs9V— gifdsports (@gifdsports) September 20, 2020
According to Sports Illustrated, Wentz and the offense did not actually hear the boos during the loss to the Rams. The reason is that the NFL has certain requirements for the piped-in audio amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There are actually two layers of audio used during games in the 2020 season.
The first layer, which the NFL provides, is an audio loop that the stadium crew constantly plays. A league memo has specific instructions about this audio, such as it must be under 70 decibels. Any team that attempts to alter the provided "white noise" in any way could face fines, suspensions or the loss of draft picks.
The second layer of audio, however, varies based on the game situations. A member of the stadium crew plays cheers, boos and other noises. This audio is then sent to the viewers at home as part of the FOX, CBS, ESPN and NBC broadcasts. The players just continue to hear the white noise that constantly plays while the clock is running.
"Oh my god … that really is a form of human torture," San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan previously said during an episode of the team's video series, Brick by Brick. The team practiced with the white noise prior to the season, and Shanahan was not a fan. General manager John Lynch agreed, calling the noise "terrible" and saying that it just doesn't end. The players, on the other hand said that they didn't mind.
Shanahan may not particularly enjoy the audio, but he will have to live with it during the 2020 NFL season. Fans will not attend games for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the white noise will remain during games. At least he and the other teams won't have to hear boos.