Scott Says

Listening to the sounds of our games sometimes better than watching

One of the best sounds in sports: A third-and-10, with Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) matching wits with a quarterback like Russell Wilson.
One of the best sounds in sports: A third-and-10, with Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) matching wits with a quarterback like Russell Wilson. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Close your eyes.

Sometimes, that’s what you have to do to best experience sports. You have to listen to them. Because while we all know that sports provide great visuals – hence the dozens of TV channels devoted to them – what we sometimes forget is how good they sound.

So here are two short lists – 10 sounds in sports that I love and five more that I hate. I once compiled a similar list to this one about 15 years ago and figured it needed some updating.

If you have anything you want to add to either list, let me know. You can email me at sfowler@charlotteobserver.com and I may publish it in a future Sunday column, or else tweet me @Scott_Fowler and I may quote you on Twitter.

10 Sports Sounds I Love

1. The echo of a basketball being dribbled in an otherwise empty gym.

2. The thunder at the start of any NASCAR race.

3. The screams of a crowd cheering for an underdog when a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament goes on a 10-0 run.

4. The extreme quiet as a golfer settles over a 30-foot putt at the 18th hole.

5. Bank of America Stadium on third-and-10 for the other team, when Charles Johnson is raising his hands to ask for more noise and Luke Kuechly is staring at the quarterback and then starting to run, making another move in a violent game of chess.

6. Every sound associated with the joy that is an inside-the-park home run.

7. The exhortations of grandparents cheering on a grandchild who just scored her first soccer goal.

8. The swish of a Steph Curry three-pointer and the “oooohhs” that follow every one.

9. The roar of a stadium flyover.

10. The sizzle of a tailgate grill two hours before kickoff.

5 Sports Sounds I Hate

1. The beep of a smartphone during a golfer’s backswing.

2. A youth coach yelling long enough and loud enough at an official to get kicked out of a game.

3. The cover-your-ears feedback that results when the NFL referee accidentally leaves his on-field microphone on and then blows his whistle directly into it.

4. A helmet-to-helmet hit in football. Not only is the sound sickening, but so are the repercussions.

5. The burly drunk guy who yells “Get in the hole!” on every putt.

NEXT, HE WILL DEFINE ‘BASKET’: I thought Baylor’s Taurean Prince provided a classic answer when he was asked Thursday following Yale’s upset of Baylor how Yale had managed to outrebound his team.

Instead of diving into sports cliches or criticizing teammates, Prince took the question at its most basic and provided the definition of a rebound.

“You go up and grab the ball off the rim when it comes off,” Prince said, “and then you grab it with two hands, and you come down with it, and that’s considered a rebound. So they got more of those than we did.”

ANOTHER PLAYOFF TEAM IN TOWN: Playoff tickets for the Charlotte Hornets’ first-round series – which is technically not a sure thing yet but is extremely likely to happen – go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. Get them via hornets.com, ticketmaster.com or at the Time Warner Cable Arena box office.

The Hornets’ first-round playoff series will begin the weekend of April 16-17. Their likeliest opponent? Boston, Miami or Atlanta.

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