Aaron Rodgers (above) did not hesitate. Asked at midweek if part of him was looking forward to playing a game in a climate-controlled dome like Lucas Oil Stadium and with actual fans in the stands — even if many of them are cheering against him — the Packers quarterback quickly replied, “I am. I really am.”
But to be fair, as much as Rodgers misses having human beings in the bleachers and as much as he likes not having the weather be a factor, it’s really been the windy conditions at each of the Packers’ last two home games at Lambeau Field that have him longing for a chance to play indoors.
“We’ve been unfortunately blessed with 45 mile per hour winds the last two home games when we’re heading north. That’s just kind of what it’s been,” quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy lamented. “He knows that most of the time he’s able to cut through that stuff (with his arm strength). But shoot, speaking from when I played when I was in college, when you’re in a dome you’ll get a little bit of excitement because you know you get to rip that thing. Everything seems like you throw it a little bit better when you’re in a dome.”
The Packers’ remaining schedule is made up of four more home games and road trips to Detroit (indoors at Ford Field) and a presumably freezing-cold Jan. 3 trip to Chicago (at often windy Soldier Field). So Rodgers better be ready for more chilly conditions ahead.
For his part, Rodgers said he went outside in his backyard a couple times during the week and looked up at the sky and asked mother nature to replicate the conditions of those nights — cold, with temperatures in the 20s, but no wind. Rodgers has often said he can handle cold and even precipitation; it’s wind that causes the most issues.
“I went outside the last couple of nights, it was beautiful. There were no clouds in the sky. The stars were out,” Rodgers said. “I was like, ‘Man, why can’t we play in this weather?’ It was like 20 degrees, just beautiful. We have five cold-weather games down the stretch, (and) I look forward to those games. We always play good in that type of weather. (But) we’ve had some good ones inside a dome as well. It will be nice to have some fans there. I’m sure there will be a lot of Packer fans in the stands, which is exciting. It brings just a little bit of that atmosphere obviously to the game that we miss not having people around. As much as I don’t mind a controlled environment, I do enjoy those nice 20-degree-weather games with maybe a little bit of snow in the wintertime. We win a lot of those games.”
Jason Wilde covers the Packers for ESPN Wisconsin. Listen to him with former Packers and Badgers offensive lineman Mark Tauscher weekdays from 9 a.m. until noon on “Wilde & Tausch” on 100.5 FM ESPN Madison.