So the Falcons have been pumping in fake crowd noise since 2013, and just got hit with a punishment for it. The team is fined 350,000 dollars and they lose a fifth round pick this year. Honestly, that strikes me as fair. I was initially totally against any draft picks being taken away because come on, fake crowd noise? Who cares? If your team is pumping in fake crowd noise what does that say about your crowds? What does it say about your home field advantage? It’s actually kind of pathetic when you think about it. It’s not like it helped them much, either. The Falcons haven’t exactly set the league on fire these past two years, even at home. So fake crowd noise is just kind of pathetic and I’m not really bothered by it at all. The speaker system still generates a lot of noise without the crowds. They pump in the music and sound effects, plus every stadium has those “MAKE SOME NOISE!” graphics when they want you to yell. I guess Atlanta just didn’t think much of their fanbase yelling and decided to sneak in a few Wilhelm Screams thinking no one would notice.

But, my opinion on crowd noise or not, it is still technically cheating. I’m surprised they are the ones caught or that they admitted to it, I’ve heard rumors about other teams doing it forever, namely Seattle, yet nothing has ever come of it. Also, since it is against the rules and dishonest, they need to at least institute some level of reasonable punishment to discourage other teams from thinking about it. So the fine is a joke, but a fifth rounder is fair. It’s high enough that it could be of some value, but not necessarily a lot of value and certainly not as much as a 1-3 rounder. Past round 4 most teams are throwing darts at a corkboard looking for possible depth so a loss of a 5th isn’t a big deal. I heard rumors of a 1st at one point with some people actually defending that, which is preposterous.