Charles Woodson’s interception return for a touchdown against Denver in Week 4 and Randall Cobb’s weaving kickoff return for a touchdown in the opener vs. the Saints are the two loudest moments at Lambeau Field this season. The volume for those plays matched that of a jet on a runway and Packers fans will need to be at their raucous best Sunday when the Packers face the New York Giants in a divisional-round playoff game.
The noise from the fans at Lambeau Field gives the team a home-field advantage like few in the NFL. It’s, no doubt, one of the reasons the Packers are 13-3 all-time in postseason games played at the historic stadium. For Sunday’s playoff contest against the Giants, players, coaches and front-office staff agree that the fans, just like the team, need to take their intensity to a new level.
“Home-field advantage is very important. It’s our goal in every season to reward our great fans with home playoff games; they certainly deserve it and we feed off their energy,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said.
Just how much energy do the fans provide to the team?
There is no measurement, though players know the value.
“This is what we play all year for, to have our fans bring that excitement to the playoffs,” said receiver Donald Driver. “It’s a big part of the game, especially now, especially at home. Players feed off the emotion and the energy that comes from the fans.”
Fullback John Kuhn’s name, drawn out in a long “Kuuuuhn!” is a favorite chant by fans whenever the Packers are in short-yardage or goal-line situations.
“We all feel the excitement in the stadium when the fans are into it,” Kuhn said. “It brings a surge at key parts of the game, or it can bring us a lift when we need it. It helps the defense. The noise makes a difference. It’s why we played all year, to be at Lambeau Field for the playoffs and have that advantage.”
Although not a scientific study, hand-held decibel readings have been recorded and monitored at Lambeau Field since 2007. This season, fan noise at Lambeau reached the 100-plus decibel level multiple times per quarter for each game.
“When you reach decibel levels in the 100’s, it’s comparable to a jet engine,” said Mark Plopper, audio engineer at “Made Ya Look” in Green Bay.
Is it enough volume for Sunday’s matchup against the Giants?
Weather conditions can be an opponent of crowd noise. Temperatures are expected to dip on Sunday, resulting in layers of clothes, gloves and mittens that absorb sound. In other words, it’ll require more effort from fans to produce the same noise levels for games played in warmer temperatures.
“The stadium capacity is over 73,000 and only 10 percent of our fans are indoors,” said Tim Connolly, vice president of sales and marketing.
“Our fans totally understand that they have a job to do on game day. I am sure that they will be ready to go on Sunday. When our defense is on the field, our fans will bring the noise. We have to make it difficult for the Giants offense to communicate. Our fans can and will make a difference.”
Will it be the loudest home game of the year for the fans?
Follow the Packers on Twitter@packers to see if any fan-sound records at Lambeau Field are broken this Sunday. Additional coverage - Jan. 12