Brian Waters: Gillette Stadium ‘can be loud – at times’
|01.03.12 at 5:39 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It’s a criticism as old as the building itself – Gillette Stadium is not an intimidating place to play.
Certainly, the Patriots enjoy the home field advantage, having gone 7-1 this season. They have five perfect home seasons since the building opened in 2002. Their worst record at home is 5-3, four times. Overall, they are 67-13 in 10 regular seasons in their home that opened after their first Super Bowl win.
They won their first eight playoff games in the stadium as well. Then Ray Rice ripped off an 83-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in wild card round two seasons ago and the karma has been off ever since.
The Patriots have lost their last two playoff games in the facility, dropping a 33-14 decision to the Ravens in Jan. 2010 and the 28-21 shocker to the Jets last January.
Patriots Pro Bowl left guard Brian Waters is returning to the playoffs this season in his first season with the Patriots. He was on a 13-3 Chiefs team in 2003 that lost in the AFC Divisional round to the Colts, 38-31. So he knows the heartbreak of one-and-done at home.
He also knows what an intimidating factor noise can be as he played 11 seasons in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.
“Good question,” Waters responded before a very long pause and some laughter, presumably to himself. “It’s a tough question. You’re right, I have played in some loud places, and this place can be loud – at times.”
Could the Patriots’ home venue be louder and more intimidating?
“You said that. I didn’t say that,” Waters smiled, quick to cover his rear.
Is part of the problem that Patriots fans have been spoiled and expect a win every single home game?
“I have no idea,” Waters said. “This is my first year here. You have to ask someone who’s been here a long period of time,” Waters responded. “I’m not going to get into that one. That’s not a good situation to really comment on.”
Tom Brady has been critical of the Gillette Stadium crowd in the past, including this year when he encouraged fans to arrive early for the 4:15 p.m. home opener on Sept. 18 against the Chargers and get “lubed up.” He later clarified himself through the team by asking fans to be sure they “hydrate” properly.