If you think you make Death Valley loud, Clemson University wants you to prove it.
When the unbeaten Tigers face Florida State University at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, fans will attempt to break the world record for the highest decibel reading ever recorded at a football game.
The record was set Sunday in Missouri, when the noise level reached 137.5 decibels at an NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders.
Mike Money, the assistant athletic director for marketing and game management at Clemson, said he believes fans at Saturday’s game have a good shot at breaking that record.
That’s because the game is one of the most anticipated of the season, with both teams unbeaten and ranked high. In the latest Associated Press poll, Clemson is ranked third, and Florida State is fifth.
The matchup Saturday will be nationally televised on ABC and will also bring ESPN’s “College GameDay” crew to Clemson for a second time this season.
“This is obviously a very big football game in Clemson’s history,” Money said Thursday. “We’re going to see what we can do to break the record, but the most important goal we have is to generate as much support as we can for the Tigers who are playing on the field.”
Clemson already has a decibel reader installed at the stadium. Money said the reader recorded a noise level “in the 120s” when the Tigers bested the Georgia Bulldogs on Aug. 31.
Money thinks Tiger fans can be even louder this weekend. A representative from the Guinness Book of World Records will be in the crowd, Money said.
“Everybody is talking about how they hope our players bring their A game,” Money said. “But we’re asking our fans to bring their A game, too.”
They should also bring their earplugs. Memorial Stadium holds about 82,000 people. So when the crowd tries to break the noise record, 164,000 eardrums will be at risk.
For the crowd to break the record, its noise level will need to be louder than a heavy-metal concert and louder than a blaring ambulance siren.
“When you’re looking at eclipsing 137 decibels, you’re talking about a level that is close to the noise a jet engine would make,” said Brian Curtis, an audiologist with the Anderson-Oconee Speech and Hearing Clinic. “I’d suggest that fans wear orange earplugs.”
John Moore, Anderson city manager, will be among those fans — and he said his goal is to come home with laryngitis. Moore got his undergraduate degree from Clemson and has missed only two home football games since he was a freshman there in 1971. He still has flags on his truck from last week’s game between Clemson and Boston College.
“I’m going to do my part to help break the record,” Moore said. “I plan to wear out my voice on every Clemson touchdown. So I hope that means I come home hoarse.”