In a recent study done by Emory University, the Green Bay Packers' fan base ranked No. 14 in most loyal fan bases in the NFL. While it is just one study, it is the lowest the Packers' fans have been on a list like this in recent memory. The Packers ranked behind their rivals Chicago Bears (No. 7) and Dallas Cowboys (No. 1) and were also ranked behind teams such as: the Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers.
You would've never guessed based on the atmosphere at Lambeau Field last night that this was the NFL's 14th best fan base.
I arrived at my seats at about 6:30 CT and the stands were already about 90 percent full. The Packers were warming up going through their normal pre-game stretches before they re-entered the locker room for introductions. The Seahawks were also on the field doing their pre-game stretches, however, they were being met by loud, thunderous boos from the Lambeau faithful.
I'm not sure about other NFL stadiums, but in Green Bay, Packers' fans will always pack the stadium regardless of the game, last night was no different. Although it was just a preseason game, Lambeau packed 75,000 people into stands for the chance to tell Seattle how they felt about the way their last matchup ended.
With the Packers and Seahawks two of the favorites to win the NFC, the game had a big fight feel to it. Fans were noticeably louder than I've ever heard at a preseason game. Late in the second quarter Golden Tate, who of course "caught" the final pass in the Seahawks 14-12 win over Green Bay last year, went back for a punt return and wasn't greeted so kindly. At one point I turned to my sister, who was sitting right next to me, to tell her something, however, we couldn't even hear each others' voices.
Tate seemed to be liking the boos, bobbing his head up and down and waving his arms.
Another thing that caught my eye was how physical the game was. After almost every play players were pushing and talking trash, which Lambeau much appreciated. There has been a change in mindset for the Packers thus far in the preseason — they've been louder, more physical and tougher than a season ago. It was obvious the Packers were trying to send a message to the Seahawks last night.
One final thing I noticed from Lambeau field last night was how much the new South end zone holds in the noise. I've been to the 2008 NFC Championship against the New York Giants, Brett Favre's return to Lambeau with the Minnesota Vikings and last year on Thursday night football when the Packers hosted the Chicago Bears, and it has never been louder in Lambeau than it was last night. The South end zone holds in the all the noise, much like in Seattle at CenturyLink Field with their overhangs in both end zones.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was noticeably rattled by the noise at some points during his playing time. After Clay Matthews sacked Wilson to bring up a third and long, Lambeau was so loud the Seahawks had to call a timeout,. Although they picked up the first down, they were forced to burn a potentially precious timeout.
All in all, Friday night's game was one of the loudest Packer games I've ever been to and it was only preseason. Lambeau has been an advantage for the Packers since it was built in 1957 and it will continue to be a tough place for NFL teams to visit, especially with the new additions.