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Former Colts Tackle Tarik Glenn Says Colts Offensive Line Used Illegal Hearing Aids

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Super Bowl XLI - Indianapolis Colts Media Day - January 30, 2007 Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Colts fan base should prepare itself to face a developing story. A couple of days ago, we reported that former Colts offensive tackle Tarik Glenn chose to leave football in an effort to support at-risk youth in Indiana. He discussed his choice to retire with Clifton Brown of the Indy Star.

It turns out that the interview was broader than simply covering his choice to retire and his passion outside of football. In the interview, Glenn also reminisced about his playing days with Peyton Manning and shared a small detail that is likely to get a big reaction.

We were playing on the road, it might have been Peyton’s rookie year, and it was really loud. Peyton hadn’t mastered the silent count, so Howard Mudd had us wearing these hearing aids that were supposed to muffle the crowd while projecting the quarterback’s voice.

Wait, what?

This statement implicates Manning and Mudd. No, Glenn didn’t say this was a common practice and he only mentions the use of the “hearing aids” during a single road game but it does suggest that the Colts, their offensive line coach, their offensive line, and Peyton Manning were aware of and participated in an illegal activity in an effort to handle crowd noise.

Cue the return of “pipe-gate” discussing whether during the same time-frame the Colts illegally piped in crowd noise. Those of us who actually listened to the live broadcast realize how silly it is because it sounded very much like a broadcast glitch and no one who attended the game mentioned a strange sound.

Odd isn’t it, the broadcast picks up something but people who were in attendance had no idea it was even discussed until they got home. It hasn’t and won’t stop the speculating.

Additionally, if Glenn’s assertion is true — and there is little reason to believe that he would volunteer that information if it wasn’t — it will also get attention from the NFL concerning what other attempts are being made to handle crowd noise to this day.

How long did the Colts use the hearing aids? Where did they get the idea? Who else has used the same or similar methods to deal with crowd noise?

It’s unfortunate that all of this is happening in early July as well. One of the slowest periods for football-related news has traditional media clamoring for stories that will generate interest. I suspect, this story will be one of them.