Pagano wants Colts fans to take Harbaugh’s noise comment to heart

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Colts fans cheer on the team at Lucas Oil Stadium.

INDIANAPOLIS – If the circle city thought the accusation was behind them, John Harbaugh proved them wrong.

Stepping to the podium for his news conference on Monday preceeding his Ravens’ teams trip to Lucas Oil Stadium, the coach proceeded to say that the noise level in the venue may not actually be on the level.

“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,” said Harbaugh. “We’ll see if that’s the case or not.”

He was then asked it that was illegal and Harbaugh’s response was: “Yes, it is,” he said. “It’s a rumor. It’s a rumor.”

A few seconds later he said “Sorry Chuck.”

The Ravens head coach is referring to Chuck Pagano-his former defensive coordinator who left Baltimore to take the head coaching position with the Colts in 2012. It was well before his reign in Indianapolis that the piped in crowd noise in Indianapolis accusations began.

Such a claim first surfaced in November of 2007 after the Colts’ lost to the Patriots in a match-up of undefeateds dubbed by some as “Super Bowl XLI and a Half.” Following New England’s 24-20 victory, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft complained to the NFL about what he considered to be the Colts intentionally “manipulating sound levels” during the game.

The NFL later proved that accusation to be false, blaming the noise heard on tape feedback during the CBS broadcast of the game but the rumors occasionally would surface and did so again this week.

Head coach Chuck Pagano was asked about it during his news conference on Wednesday and hadn’t heard of the comment. But when explained the context by the reporter, he hoped the fans would take an exception.”I think it’s more of an insult to our 12th man, if you will. I think he’s calling out our fans, which I think are the best fans in the National Football League,” said Pagano. “So let’s see how our 12th man reacts to that insult.”When they do so Pagano and Harbaugh will be able to tell on Sunday afternoon.