SOUND AND FURY : Noisy Superdome Crowd Causes Saints to Get Four Penalties in Win Over Bengals

Associated Press

Bobby Hebert liked winning, but hated the new rule against disruptive crowd noise.

Hebert threw for 142 yards and a touchdown in two quarters on Monday night, leading the New Orleans Saints to a 27-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Twice the game was interrupted because of protracted booing, leading to enforcement of the National Football League's new rule against crowd noise.

In the first incident, referees tossed penalty flags four times as the booing continued for 11 minutes. The first three penalties took away timeouts, and the fourth cost the Saints half the distance to the goal line--a yard.

Finally, with the crowd at its loudest, Esiason took the snap and passed to tackle Anthony Munoz for a touchdown.

But the penalties cost the Saints a chance at a field goal as the half wound down. They had no timeouts and couldn't stop the clock.

"It's been a lot louder than that in the Superdome," Hebert said. "You're going to see offenses taking advantage of that every time they go into a domed stadium."

As the third quarter drew to a close, the Bengals were at the New Orleans three-yard line when quarterback Eric Wilhelm complained of crowd noise.

Referee Gene Barth again warned the crowd that any further noise could draw a penalty. But this time, line judge Ray Dodez spotted Bengal quarterback Boomer Esiason and offensive lineman Brian Blados laughing on the Bengals' bench and signaling the crowd for more noise.

Dodez went to the Cincinnati bench, talked to Coach Sam Wyche and signaled for the game to continue.

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