When the New York Giants hired Joe Judge to be their head coach last offseason, he was not one of the bigger, well-known names that they were reportedly connected to.
However, Judge quickly made a name for himself in New York and New Jersey during the pandemic-filled year of 2020 where MetLife stadium did not have fans in attendance.
In the mind of Judge, the silence was deafening.
“Not having fans in the stadium, there were some things you just couldn’t prepare for — like on the road, you come out of a locker room to complete silence and wait in 11 minutes for complete silence until the other team comes out and the National Anthem begins,” Judge said during an appearance on WFAN’s Carton & Roberts Show. “We’d just sit there on headsets sometimes, saying ‘this is strange.’”
Now, as Judge heads into his second season as the Giants head coach, he can’t wait to have the fans back at MetLife stadium come this fall.
“All the interactions I’ve had with fans have been awesome. I love them and love to be here, and can’t wait until fans are in the stadium,” Judge said. “I don’t know if they truly know how much we rely on them and their energy. Even on the road, those boos can make you feel at home in a good way, like it’s us against the world.”
As things sit, MetLife Stadium is expected to welcome back a minimum of 15 percent capacity this fall, but that number could rise with vaccinations more readily available.
For Judge and the Giants, who were one of the few teams unable to welcome a single fan in 2020, they’ll take anything they can get.