Chiming in, Sherrill dislikes new rule's tone

Upset at SEC noise edict, Mississippi State coach prepared to answer bell

Sports Plus

July 07, 2002|By Andy Knobel | Andy Knobel,SUN STAFF

Southeastern Conference university presidents voted this month to penalize the home team if fans use artificial noisemakers during football games.

The rule is aimed at Mississippi State fans and their beloved cowbells, and it doesn't get a ringing endorsement from Bulldogs coach Jackie Sherrill.

Sherrill said he wants the university to pipe in the sound of cowbells through the stadium's sound system the same relentless way Tennessee plays "Rocky Top" at Neyland Stadium. Piped-in music and sound effects are allowed during pre-game, halftime, timeouts and after scoring plays.

"We will take care of the cowbell issue," Sherrill said. "We will have cowbell sounds in the stadium that are louder than ever."

How closely will the new rule be enforced?

Said Bobby Gaston, the SEC's coordinator of officials: "It's something that is going to take some sound judgment."

Sound judgment. Get it?

Give peace a chance

With a bow to John Lennon's song "Imagine," Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay last month gave up his effort to travel to and from his home in his $6 million helicopter.

Lennon sang about people living in harmony, and "that's the way neighbors should be," Irsay told The Indianapolis Star. "I heard some of the heartfelt concerns, and it touched me."

Neighbors complained about the noise from the 10-seat, twin-engine helicopter, which Irsay had hoped to use to impress free agents.

"We want to win a championship but not at all costs," he said.

Hum a little louder

Noise was not a problem at a recent Expos-Florida Marlins game at Montreal's Olympic Stadium that drew a paid crowd of 2,887.

Fans were spaced out so well that Florida right fielder Kevin Millar had to throw a ball into the empty stands twice to get rid of the souvenir. His first toss hit a row of empty seats and caromed back on the field.

"It was so quiet," he told the Miami Herald, "you could hear the air-conditioning running through the vents."

There's a kind of hush

Cincinnati Reds manager Bob Boone has instituted a no-music clubhouse policy before games.

"Some players like [the music]. It helps them get ready for the game," Boone said. "Others don't. I say that's why God invented headphones."

Silence would be golden

Here are some people who should think twice before making a little noise:

Chicago Cubs broadcaster Jesse Rogers, who asked Antonio Alfonseca, the pitcher with six fingers and toes: "Were you born that way?"

Ted Fitzgeorge, the public address announcer for the ArenaFootball2 League's Florida Firecats, who was fired for doing a promotion for an adult Web site during a game.

Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers center, on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to."

Andre Dawson, former major-league outfielder, who said about being a role model: "I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me."

Bill Peterson, the late football coach, who said: "This is the greatest country in America."

Jim Finks, the late New Orleans Saints general manager, when asked after a loss what he thought of the refs: "I'm not allowed to comment on lousy, no-good officiating."

Irsay's father, Bob, after trading John Elway to the Denver Broncos: "I got the quarterback I wanted in Mark Herrmann."

Compiled from wire reports and Web sites.

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