GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – Fans will find out on Sunday night whether Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made his wish come true: a return of former Lambeau Field fan favorites including “Roll Out The Barrel” and bottles of beer on the video board, although the stadium will still be without supporters.
After the team’s last home game, a lackluster victory Sunday afternoon over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Rodgers and Packers coach Matt LaFleur lamented the lack of energy in the stadium for Game 2. consecutive. The previous home game, a thwarted loss to the Minnesota Vikings, had a similar feel.
Rodgers even suggested that his former teammate John Kuhn, who now serves as the team’s side reporter, take off his jersey to shoot the players.
The Packers announced this week that up to 500 people – team employees and their immediate family members – will be allowed in the stands for Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears, but ticket holders pay will not yet be authorized.
“I’m a huge ‘Roll Out the Barrel’ fan,” Rodgers, 36, said Wednesday when asked if his requests are being considered. “I can’t say the sentiment is shared by each of our coaches and players, but I’m one of the old ones, so I enjoy traditions like that. I hope they will. I hope they will. have had beer races, hopefully we can get more than 500 or 600, fan-out.
“Shoot, it’s going to be good to have someone in the stands besides John Kuhn. I wanted to mention that he contacted me and said he would not take his jersey off for games, no matter what. temperature or money that me and [former teammate Mark Tauscher] might be able to set up. “
The Packers just lost 34-31 in overtime to the Indianapolis Colts, who had 12,495 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium. There was a large contingent of Packers fans in the building. The players said after several road games that they had fed off the limited number of fans in attendance.
It was after the Jaguars game that LaFleur said of the team’s lack of energy: “I have to research, obviously, and look at myself first. But that wasn’t good enough, he there’s no doubt about it, just the energy, the passion. We play soccer. These guys play a cinch and get paid for it, man. It’s disturbing to me. And it starts with me and our staff. We need to bring more energy to these guys. “
LaFleur backed off slightly on those comments in the days that followed, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a topic this week for the Packers (7-3), who play three division games in the past six weeks. , including two against the bears (5-5).
“I think our guys are going to be ready to play,” said LaFleur. “Obviously every time you play against a division rival. … I know they’ve won five games and they’ve hit a little hard, but we’re planning on getting their best shot. … I think like that’s the best defensive unit we’ve played. So, I mean, our guys have to be ready to play. “
If there is anyone who can help bring energy, it might be the tight side of Robert Tonyan. After his touchdown against the Colts on Sunday, he almost knocked down LaFleur in a sideline celebration.
“Matt was just trying to give a consistent high-five after a score, and I’m like, ‘He doesn’t feel that energy right now, he doesn’t feel what’s really going on’, so I just pushed him, then he went for a push back and then I kept pushing him, ”Tonyan said.“ It was a good vibe, though. It’s always fun to score to celebrate with the team, so just trying to get the coach involved a bit more – you know, toughen him up a bit.
“I’ll do my best, I’ll try to step it up a bit more. It’s something we have to do, especially at home games, to build our own energy, and even in away games. is good when we have fans in the outdoor stadiums because a lot of them are Packers fans so that’s cool too. But in a home game we just have to get out fast and finish until end. “