Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
In the wake of a national report that the Indianapolis Colts piped in artificial crowd noise when they played Pittsburgh at the RCA Dome on Nov. 28, the NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams this week warning against resorting to such tactics in order distract opponents.
The league did not investigate that specific incident, but it might not be a coincidence the memo went out the same week the Steelers are playing in the Metrodome. Pittsburgh, which lost to the Colts in that Monday night game, is 4-7 in domes since Bill Cowher took over in 1992. That includes three consecutive losses. The Steelers' last victory inside occurred in 1996, when they beat Atlanta 20-17.
Despite its timing, Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing, said he did not think the memo was in reference to any specific incident.
LaCroix also said that while the Steelers will have to deal with a noisy building Sunday, it won't be because of any fake crowd noise. "We do not and have never piped in crowd noise, and we don't plan to do so," he said. "Our fans are certainly loud enough, and there's no need for artificial crowd noise."
Teams were threatened with fines or loss of draft picks as penalties for using fake crowd noise.