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Redskins, NFL Talk Noise

October 26, 2000

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) _ The Washington Redskins and the NFL talked noise Wednesday.

With the team already fined $20,000 for cheerleading on the public address system and facing possible further sanctions for other violations, president Steve Baldacci met with league officials to state the Redskins’ case and get a clarification on some of the rules.

``They acknowledged their gray areas,″ team spokesman Karl Swanson said. ``And we don’t want to run afoul of those.″

The Redskins have turned home games into a WWF-style assault on the senses, with the PA announcer egging on the crowd at every opportunity. Two weeks ago, he used a mild profanity to describe Ravens fans during the game against Baltimore.

The Redskins later apologized.

Last week, the NFL fined the Redskins $20,000 for PA cheerleading during the Tampa Bay game Oct. 1, when the announcer used phrases such as: ``It’s third down, Redskins fans, get up and cheer!″

The team is appealing the fine. Meanwhile, the league is also considering whether to fine the team for noise violations during the Ravens game.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league considers the noise matter ``a competitive issue″ and that draft picks could be revoked for repeated violations.

The NFL is concerned with both content and timing. Rules not only prohibit cheerleading over the PA, but all noise under the home team’s control. Such noise must cease once a team breaks a huddle or approaches the line of scrimmage.

Swanson said Wednesday’s meeting was the third with league officials about controlling noise at FedEx Stadium this year, with the first two conducted by telephone. He said this meeting was to assess the Baltimore game and let league officials know what is being planned for the next home game against Tennessee on Monday night.

``We have an interest in providing game day entertainment,″ Swanson said. ``They have an interest in having the rules followed.″

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