The Woodward News

February 22, 2006

Billie Jantz

Editor, The News

I applaud Mr. Sunderland's, dare I say bravery, in writing his letter to the editor regarding the volume of the music at basketball games. Hearing damage begins at around 90 decibels, I believe we are exposed to far higher levels than that during basketball games. I expect Mr. Sunderland's objection was not necessarily to the public address guy; it was more likely the volume he objected to.

I have sometimes missed things at games because someone walked by or stood up in front of a play and I missed it and appreciated the public address guy. However, a lower volume would also be appreciated. Haven't some foreign countries used loud music/noise as a method of torturing their prisoners? Any music played at a too high volume ceases to be music and simply becomes offending noise. I'm disappointed at the number of people who are willing to put up with such offensiveness and not do anything about it.

Some people say that cranking up the volume of music creates a high energy atmosphere which makes the athletes perform better. I believe, however, that it artificially stimulates the nervous system creating a hostile environment causing athletes as well as fans to become rude and aggressive. I've heard comments such as, "no blood, no foul" at games. The war is with Iraq, we don't need that at high school sports events.

Teaching good sportsmanship and teamwork can be an important facet to help shape our young people into the kind of adults we want them to become. It is a shame that we make them feel they have to rely on artificial stimulants/ depressants in the form of loud music, drugs, or alcohol in order to perform. What will be next, steroids?

If not for the loud music fans could visit with each other during breaks and promote a friendly environment. If we set an example of genuine hospitality for fans and visiting teams, perhaps others will extend the same courtesy when we visit them.

Billie Jantz