Remember back in 2018 when the Internet was set ablaze amidst the "Green Needle/Brainstorm" controversy? As a refresher, there was a piece of audio that was released and some people heard the phrase "green needle" and others heard the phrase "brainstorm". Then by telling yourself what you would hear or by reading one of the words, you could make yourself hear the other version.
Fast forward to 2021 and we ran into a similar controversy and it surrounds our very own Minnesota Vikings football team.
During the early stages of the radio broadcast from Carolina, Vikings FB C.J. Ham went out to midfield representing the team as one of their captains. Since the Vikings were the visiting team they had the honor of calling the coin toss to kick off the day's festivities. At home on my couch I heard C.J. call "TAILS".
Meanwhile in the "SCORE 690" studio at the radio station, Zach Halverson began chopping up the audio of the coin toss because he was CONVINCED that the head official misheard C.J. but still gave the Vikings the football.
After conversing with him and listening to the replay of the audio no less than 20 times, we came to the conclusion that we had a new "Green Needle"/"Brainstorm" on our hands.
Look at the video below and when C.J. makes the call on behalf of the Vikings, you'll hear whichever word you're reading at the time, heads or tails.
As we learned back in 2018, there are a few scientific reasons for this happening.
The first is something called "priming". By reading one of the words prior to, you're priming your brain to cut out other words, specifically in this situation the opposite side of the coin.
Secondly, under this recording and with C.J.'s voice, both terms travel on similar wavelengths. With such similar wave patterns our brain trips out and start searching for other clues like the input coming in from your eyes to help the decoding process.
So look back at the video again, which do you hear initially? And can you change what you hear by reading the other option on the screen as the call is made?
As it goes, the actual call on the field must have been tails as there was no visible controversy raised by the Carolina Panthers on site. The same phenomenon doesn't necessarily happen in person when you're hearing the pure audio not transported through a microphone or P.A. system.