Some things just never go away. On Monday, during his media session in Baltimore, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh decided to bring up the allegation that the Colts pump in artificial crowd noise for their home games.
"We had a loud stadium in Cleveland and it's only going to be louder in Indianapolis. Rumor has it they pipe crowd noise in there. We'll see if that's the case or not," Harbaugh said, smiling.
Asked whether that is illegal (of course it is), Harbaugh replied, "Yes, it is. It's a rumor. It's a rumor. Sorry Chuck [Pagano]."
It seems like nothing more than some lighthearted jesting with his former defensive coordinator, current Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, but some Colts fans aren't taking too lightly to Harbaugh's comments.
This isn't the first time those allegations have come up. Scout.com's Phillip B. Wilson details where the allegations started, stemming all the way back to 2005:
What's all this buzz about? It began on Nov. 28, 2005, when the Pittsburgh Steelers were visiting the Colts for Monday Night Football. ESPN reporter Ed Werder was at the game and started the stir the next two days with accusations on radio shows.
"There is no question this occurs," Werder told Dan Patrick on an ESPN Radio show. "Where exactly this emanated from and how it is created, I'm not sure. But it definitely exists."
Then-Colts coach Tony Dungy vehemently denied the claim, and called it, "an insult to our crowd."
The initial claim was also reported by Pittsburgh media, which cited a Steelers assistant coach. The Steelers lost the game 26-7.
Stadium director Mike Fox, who now runs Lucas Oil Stadium for the Capital Improvement Board, was amused at first by the accusation. But it became so loud, he inevitably resented it.
The issue came up again in 2007, when an unusual noise was heard by viewers of the game on CBS (because watching on TV is of course the best way to determine whether they're piping in extra noise), and CBS took responsibility for it, saying it was an error just on their broadcast and not in the stadium.
Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio would bring it up quite a bit, and it's been something that just hasn't died out over the years. The NFL has investigated both in 2005 and in 2007 and found nothing to even suggest that the Colts piped in crowd noise, but people don't mention that. They just mention the rumors.
And let's also remember that both of those alleged games came in a different stadium. Both of those games took place in the RCA Dome, where the Colts stopped playing after the 2007 season. They've been in Lucas Oil Stadium since 2008, and while the facilities are much, much better, the atmosphere isn't the same and it isn't as loud. That's not to say it can't get loud at times but rather that it's not as loud as the RCA Dome was.
Ultimately, John Harbaugh should probably spend his time worrying about getting his team ready to play instead of making "jokes" about the Colts piping in crowd noise, because in the two games Harbaugh's Ravens have played in Lucas Oil Stadium, the Ravens have lost a combined 51-6 and are, obviously, 0-2 in those games. He can spend this week complaining about the rumors (that weren't true), or he can spend the week trying to make sure that his team wins this week, or at least is close - neither of which they've been able to accomplish yet in Lucas Oil Stadium.