24 December, 2007

Wish List, Pt. 2

December 24th, 2007

Well, the season is almost over, gratefully. And as it is the Christmas season, I’m continuing to wish. One of my wishes came true when we got a serious effort from the team on national TV last Saturday, and the week before, prompting me to actually wear a jersey to the game. Perhaps your wishes are like mine, as the ones I’ll write here are concerned with the Carolina-Richardson Panthurs.

For one, I wish I’d not made that bold prediction about Foxy’s future with us.

Seems like Uncle Jerry read my rant and made that announcement securing Fox-Hurney’s employment in Carolina just to spite me.

*Sigh. *

Know what’s coming, Pantherfanz?

More of the same.

More unimaginative offensive plays.

More horrendous special teams.

More defenses that cannot get off the field on fourth down-

More gameday crowds featuring empty seats and those filled with fans of the opposing teams.

More home-field DISadvantage.


Foxy and Hurney take this one year grace period and use it as a mandate to BRING PANTHER FOOTBALL BACK!

So, with that statement, What IS Panther Football? Is it that collection of veterans that Polian and Capers put together in ’95-’96? That was fun, but wilted like cut flowers from that Russian dude on the corner of Albemarle and Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road. Is it that hi-powered offense led by Steve Beurelein, his Frisbee-catchin’ dogs and Seifert? I, for one, would LOVE to see some of that come back. Let me tell you what I think Panther football is.

For six years, John Fox has been our head coach. And the winningest coach we have had. You, me, Pea-Dad, Chris the Cooke and even Head Coach Dano cannot ignore or forget the post-season success we have had. A SUPER BOWL! Taking those mighty Pastry-Rots to the FINAL SECONDS! Throttling the once-mighty- GI-Ain’ts and Midgets of the Midway to get to the NFC Championship-

Do you think the Detroit Lions, Atlanta Duckies, and Phoenix Cardi-noles, to name a few want some of that?

Hell, yeah, they do.

But, the NFL stands for, among other things, for Not For Long. The measure of success in this league is WINNING, and POSTSEASON SUCCESS. This is NOT the NCAA, where part of your success is based on the character and academic achievement of the athletes. I love seeing UNC athletes acting like kids you can admire, and graduate. I could care less about what NFL players do, as long as they play by the rules and don’t kill anyone, or dogs. Ahhh, that’s kind of a generalization. Of course, I’d like them ALL to be like Mikes. Minters and Ruckers, that is. So- with a lot of rambling, Panther Football to me is……

John Fox coaching an NFL team that RUNS THE FOOTBALL with a non-fumbling powerback, that hasn’t been seen since Stephen Davis. Bang, Bang, Bang, First down. Bang, Bang, Short Dink Pass, First down. Bang, Dink Pass, Bang, First Down. Bang, Bang, Bang, Field Goal. A quarterback that manages the game. Sure-handed receivers that don’t drop the damn ball. Linemen that don’t make mistakes. A defense that crushes the run, and keeps the pass in front of them, while creating turnovers. Special teams that erases the opponent’s return, while establishing good field position when receiving. When these elements are working, then, it becomes Bang, Bang, BIG PLAY, TOUCHDOWN!

This, my friends, is Panther Football, the way it’s been played for two and a half- paltry years here. And it was only played when John Fox was the coach. But, it must come back- So--- We get Foxy-Hurney back next year. What has to happen? Not status quo, because THAT is unacceptable. So given these parameters, I’m going to revisit my wish list.

Seeing that we are getting the principals back, I wish for the rest of the staff to be jettisoned, STARTING WITH TURKEY-VAC! AND the UN-special teams coach. I might give Davidson a pass, since he was obviously hamstrung at the QB position, but only a ONE YEAR PASS- And an overhaul of the scouting department. Our past crop of free agents, save Chris Harris has been unacceptable. Our draft picks have simply not been as successful at the lower levels as they have been. Anyone wanna guess what round Tom Brady was picked at? Romo The Homo? ‘Nuff said.

I maintain, I wish for Jake Delhomme to make a complete recovery from his Tommy John Surgery. I am certain him on this current team would have been good for at least two more wins, which means we are tied with Tampa Bay going into the last game. I DID wish for Matt Moore to go, but I believe he’s played into the right to earn a spot on this team. I wish for us to draft a Romo/Homo or Brady to understudy Jake for a year or two, and then explode, and Jake buy a Bojangle’s Franchise and kick Mick Mixon and Eugene Robinson outtta the booth, but, oh, that’s another wish- I think our wish for Dinky Carr to get outta town will be granted, with 100% certainty.

I wish that DeFumblo Foster never wear a Panther uniform again. I wish that we would draft a POWERBACK that would be that battering ram that is John Fox football. DeAngelo Williams is JUST NOT THAT BACK. He’s a scat-back, like Warrick Dunn, or Marsha-Marsha-Marshall Faulk. In that role, he would be all-Pro. I wish Nick-Comings-And-Goings could squeeze one more year outta him and be a reliable backup and special teams player. I wish also for us to get one more year outta Brad Hoooooooooooover and draft a punishing fullback that can catch the ball.

Again, I wish for Steve Smith to be a Panther forever. I wish for us to snag a mercurial wide receiver of the Ricky Proehl/Patrick Jeffers type in free agency, and draft a speedy sure handed Frisbee catchin’ dog. The rest-

Just go away. And Pleeeeeeease-

No more USC and that’s LEFT COAST- receivers.

A couple of nice draft picks and a decent position coach will help this group. That’s what I wish for.

I wish for this line to be blown up. There has been NO pass rush generated from this group all year. I wish for us to trade Julius Peppers, to an AFC team of course, for as many draft picks as we could get for him. I wish for the new defensive coordinator to stabilize this unit and get the pass rush from the

Who have a nice start at the middle with Jon BEASTon who I wish to be a Panther forever. I wish for a Kevin Greene like character to come in and generate some real excitement when we are on defense. And behind these guys,

I wish for Richard Marshall to get a starting spot. I wish for a true shut-down corner to be drafted and some hard-hitting safeties to come in.

And while I’m wishing, I’m wishing for Bill Rosinski to come back. I’m wishing that on gameday, our stadium is void of obnoxious fans of the visiting team. ESPECIALLY Cow-puppy, and Squealer fans. I wish that teams coming to play at the BOFA come into a raucous, passionate, and LOUD environment that creates anxiety and discomfort.
And I simply MUST, MUST, MUST wish for this-

The PantherFanz party to go on like it has this year. If tailgate parties determined playoff positioning, there would be no question that we would be 15-0 going into the game with Tampa Bay. EVERY SINGLE ONE of us has carried the tentpoles of this party high and strong, and our final party this year was beyond all expectations. A super buzz was caught by all, and I was proud to bring my darling daughter “Miss December PantherFanz” into adulthood in our lot. Jessie, her little sister, will be sure to follow, as for sure your children will. Next Gen PantherFanz, who will not sell out to the latest winner- Who will fill the seat year after year, and teach THEIR children to love the Carolina Panthers, and so on, and so on. Our pain, their pride. The bricks we lay now that will be the HOUSE our team PROTECTS. This is my wish, my dearest wish, as it comes for the Panthers, and for us. And I wish, most of all, that Marc can see the tailgate group and the team grow stronger and stronger as the years march on. It’s not lost on me that I’m writing as the anniversary of his passing has come and gone last week. And with that, my friends, my FanZ- I wish you a Merry, Merry, Christmas, may anyone but Dallas or New EnglandLand go to the StuporBowl, and I promise one final rant before this dismal season fades into history…….

Gotta Comment?

Email me, The Cedar Street Seer

11 December, 2007

Wish List

December 10th, 2007

Well, Fanz- it’s been two weeks since my last rant, and I’m ready to source whatever holiday spirit there is to wish for things tangible and intangible.

Of course, we’d all like peace on earth, and good will towards ALL men, and that would include anyone in a Falcons uniform or a Du---


Oh Lord, forgive me.

I just can’t do it for Dook.

But, just like my Giving Thanks rant, this IS a Panther Football site, and all of my wishes here are my wishes for the Richardson Panthurs.

Panthur Football.

Seems like an oxymoron.

For most of this year, either watching on TV or sitting in BOFA, this season’s team has been the very worst brand of football I’ve seen as a fan. The first season in Klimpsun was far better. Even with that Gawd-Awful traffic before and afterwards. The 1-15 season was AT LEAST watchable.

This year has been garbage. Pure garbage.

So now, I’m wishing. But before I do, The Cedar Street Seer is making a bold prediction. After yesterday, and hearing some post-game commentary, I’m ready to say it.

John Fox will NOT be head coach of these Richardson Panthurs next season.

Too much that has gone wrong for this team in performance is coaching related. And Jerry R. won’t put up with what he’s seeing in the house the PSL built for another year. He just won’t. My list is long- So with that, I start with-

Ok, so if I wish the coaching staff away, Jerry had BETTER have a good alternative in the wings- Marty Schottenheimer has a house in Lake Norman- Marty got a terrible deal in Sad Diego, and a WORSE one in DC. I think Marty is a good fit here. There’s rumors that Power Cowher has a handshake deal to come in. Cowher would at least energize the players and fans. And the coach and HIS staff, not A SOUL left over from the debris of Fox, will have to blow this team up, position by position. And who will make the personnel decisions to replace the blown up players? Not the Marty we have on staff NOW- Hurney, the scouting staff, GONE. Their track record has been ABYSMAL. We need a real football man, a shrewd “capologist” who can bring in terrific talent, year after year, like the Pissburg Squealers did for so many years. Right now the Panthurs are in the worst cap position in the league. Our new GM is going to really have to make some chicken salad out of the sh** that remains. So I continue to wish for-

I wish that we’d trade Julius Peppers straight up for Peyton Manning. Can you imagine the Bojangles commercials we’d have THEN!!??? But since that borders on science fiction, I wish for Jake Delhomme to have a complete and successful recovery from his Tommy John surgery. As I’ve said before, Jake is a natural leader, a gunslinger in the mold of Brett Favre. We need to keep Jake if he’s healthy. All of our present QB’s, INCLUDING Matt Moore, are to be jettisoned. Vinny Testicle, retire. David Carr-

Just go away.

And let’s draft a good QB in this year’s draft. We’re going to be in great draft position- there’s a good crop of ‘em out there. And who does our wished-for QB throw to?

I wish for Steve Smith to be a Panther forever. And for Keary Colbert, Drew Carter, and Dewayne Jarrett to cease being Panthers effective December 31st. I wish we had Frisbee-catchin’ dogs like we had back in ’99. I wish Jeff King or Dante Rosario would turn into Wesley Walls. If not, seeya. We need sticky-handed guys who will not only catch the damn ball, but to run proper routes, keep their heads in the game, and BLOCK! Block for who? Who I wish for in-

I wish also for DeFumblo Foster to cease being a Panther effective Dec. 31st. I wish to give DeAngelo Williams a chance to be a feature back. In the meantime, I wish for our remaining stable of backs to be cleared out, except Brad Hoooooooooooover and Nick Comings and Goings can stay and play ………….


I wish we didn’t have the very worst special teams in the NFL. But we do. We need a half-dozen kamikaze players who launch themselves down the field like human Exocet missiles. And if they don’t the new special teams coach that I’m wishing for needs to get them in the mindset to do that. Thank you, John Kasay, for all of your years of excellence, in performance, AND character. I wish for you to retire before you embarrass yourself one of these days. Don’t worry, you’ll get your statue and name in our Ring of Honour. We can keep Jason Baker. And as I continue to wish, I won’t forget…

I wish for you guys a new coach that will coach all of those stupid false starts out of you. You all are a pretty good bunch. Unless you’re Dinky Carr, the QB just isn’t sacked very much. I’ll say that this part of our team is actually mediocre, and not garbage, like most of the team. I’ve got a good friend in church that used to be a lineman at NC State, and he told me OL’s hold on EVERY play. They just have to be sneaky about it. So I’ll forgive the occasional holding call, just QUIT JUMPING BEFORE THE DAMN SNAP!!!

Now for a really BIG WISH-

After special teams, there is no part of this team that needs to be blown up more than this one. Jenk, Ruck, Pep, Kemo- NONE of you is a sacred cow. I wish for ALL OF YOU to cease being Panthers after this year. I wish to trade Julius Peppers for all of the draft picks we could get out of him, unless the new coaches I’m wishing for think they can coach him back into the monster we remember. I’d let Stanley McClover try to earn a roster spot. And now, I wish behind this line for

I wish for Danielle Morgan to retire. Now. Don’t even entertain the notion of coming back for this team, ever. I wish for Jon BEASTon to be a Panther forever. I wish for a really dominating LB in the draft to complement him and TD on the outside. I wish for a crazed lunatic like Kevin Greene in this unit. I wish that we could have the kind of fun we used to have when he was at his peak. And down the field, I wish for

I wish Richard Marshall would start, and Christine Gamble would play nickel. I wish Ken Lucas well, and a nice end of is career somewhere else. I wish we would draft a real shut-down ball-hawking corner, or a heat-seeking missile of a safety, like Mike After-Dinner Minter used to be. I wish Mike was young again and back, but like seeing Peyton Manning in black’n-blue, that’s science fiction.

And while I’m wishing, I wish those nasty dreadlocks would go out of fashion. I’m surprised that if the league bans fun and celebrations, they wouldn’t ban these tacky forms of self-expression. But that’s just me. I wish the Panthurs would spend more time showing replays on the screen and not those stupid advertisements. I wish they’d let us take our shirts off. I wish they’d let people bring in posters critical of the team. I wish beer wasn’t so expensive in the stadium. And I wish they’d stop playing the Imperial March at the start of every defensive series. They’re just not that intimidating. I wish that one day, that the Panthers start scaring the league again, like the Pastry-rots do now. I wish that we would make a speedy return to playoff football, at least COMPETETIVE football, and most of all,

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas with your families, your friends and loved ones, and a very happy New Year.

And as I type out of sight, Good Tailgating to all, and to all-

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, you know………


Email me, The Cedar Street Seer

25 November, 2007

Giving Thanks

November 25th, 2007

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to rant- I’ve actually had to really bust my ass at work, and now, on the close of Thanksgiving Weekend, I feel it important to focus on that very state of thankfulness, the things that are REALLY important. Hey, like having to BUST MY ASS! Job security, friends, very underrated.

And as I digest the latest abortion I’ve had to endure for the FIFTH Time at the Pasture of Disasture, I have this to say to Jerry Richardson and His Carolina Panthurs-


Thank you for allowing me to continue to purchase your overpriced tickets every year!

Thank you for providing me with a totally wasted three hours ten times a year, while you merrily count your earnings from woolen schmos like me that you fleece every April, and if there’s a whiff of a chance we could be playing in January, you get to fleece me in December, too, guaranteeing you a Merry Christmas! Thank you for that, Jerry Richardson!

Thank you for the promotion of Marty Hurney to GM, so that he can continue to poorly evaluate the talent pool so to make for an unwatchable contest whenever The PuddyCats take the field!

Thank you for sterilizing the gametime experience so that I can be bored and cheerless in my overpriced seat!

And lastly, thank you for not being accountable to the public and your fans, and hiding from the media when things don’t go well, so that you remain an enigma to the rest of us.


That’s the five thank yous- the same five thank yous you pledged to deliver when you were awarded this franchise from the EHHHHHN EFFFFFFFFF EHHHHLLLLLLL.

Is that not thankful enough? Ok, I’ll dispense with the sarcasm. I’m upset as a fan. Football isn’t life, but goodness gracious, when you make a significant investment of time and money in support of a professional sports team; you want to see a return of your investment- this team has plummeted in value across the board, in on field performance, in gameday experience, hell, even Mick Mixon gets on my damn nerves now. What’s left?

I’m exceedingly grateful for PantherFanz. I’m grateful for Dano and Brain and Patrick and Russ and James and PeaDad and Julie and Chris, and all the other FANZ that show up and help make a party every gameday. Without this group, gameday would truly be unbearable. I’m grateful for that Canadian contingent that makes a yearly pilgrimage here and gives us a reason to really throw an incredible party. I’m grateful that some of us have picked up the load Marc was forced to lay down and keep the party going, better than ever. I’m thankful that a dedicated group of guys restored the Joker Smoker so that the tailgate party has the “altar of meat” every gameday. I’m grateful for Clay and every time he cranks up his pit!

Of course, there’s the other things in life that I can list here, but that’s everything all of you should be thankful for, and this happens to be a FOOTBALL site. You can come to my Sunday School class to hear me recite all of the basic things I appreciate in life. There is NOTHING about the Carolina Panthers of the EHHN EFFF EHHHHLL that I’m happy or grateful about. Ok, Jon Beason and Richard Marshall are playing lights out on defense. Steve Smith puts forth an effort. Last time I looked, it takes forty-four guys to make a football team. And I’ve determined that this football team is WRETCHED. There isn’t a phase of our game that’s even AVERAGE. At 4-7, with three home games left, with no help at quarterback, there is no Nick Goings or Steve Beurlein on this team to pull us up. I don’t see us winning another game. The cavalry has gone off to rescue the Cleveland Browns, The Denver Broncoids, and even give the Chicago Bears a little hope. Us? Abandon all hope, friends.

And what is the immediate result of this? You could speculate till next week and still come up with scenario after scenario as the talking heads on WFNZ earn their paycheck as they pick this maggot-infested TURKEY carcass of a football team (still going with the THANKSGIVING theme) as for me, the joy of gametime is gone. You know, even when we were 1-15, most of the time, we were in EVERY GAME we played, and we just found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, so it seems. This season? We’re not even competitive. Early in the season, I vowed not to cheer until the team started to show some effort. I’m going beyond that. For the remainder of the season, I’m putting to action what Marc envisioned during the tough times. You will not see me wear anything that promotes team spirit, because I have none. Oh, I’ll wear the tailgating shirt, because WE control if that sucks or not, and we’re just NOT going to let that happen! I’ll get good and buzzed at the tailgate party, and sit in my seat at gametime and hold my tongue, hold my voice, sit on my hands, until this underachieving and very forgettable season is put in the history books. From here on out, The Carolina Panthurs MUST EARN my cheer and my spirit. I know critics would violently berate me for feeling this way- “Sell your ticket, then!” they would say- “The team doesn’t want fans like YOU at the game!” And to that I say-


I made a considerable financial investment in the seats, like the rest of you did. If the product is terrible, I don’t have the option of simply “turning the TV off” or “changing the station”. I’m committed to the seats, and the team, good or bad, win or lose. I don’t have to be happy about the crappy place we’re at, and I’m entitled to vent about it. Without my check, and your checks, there IS no Carolina Panthurs. As far as the team goes, this season is LOST. LOST. There is no hope of winning anymore games, let alone any thoughts of postseason. As far as the future, let the media wags speculate on what this team needs, and who gets fired. Today I don’t care. I’ve become ambivalent about The Carolina Panthurs of the EHHN EFFF EHHHL. I’ll save that for another rant.

Today, I am clawless, joyless, cheerless, and voiceless about the team. But I’m thrilled about Pantherfanz. Let’s close out the season with three of the greatest of parties, and have a proper wake for the season come December 22nd. It’s something Marc would have us do.


Email me, The Cedar Street Seer

28 October, 2007

This Carr Won’t Start

October 28, 2007

Well, Fanz, the debris of Week 8 in the NFL is settling around me, and I’m awaiting the first pitch of what I hope is the final game in the World Series. I just want the Red Sux to put the Blockies out of their misery, because they really don’t have any hope to speak of. Yes, it’s baseball, but seriously, fanz…

Unlike the team we are all pathologically loyal to. There IS hope-

Yes, Virginia, there are a few wins in our future. And THIS YEAR.

Like you, I’m sitting at home, mentally digesting what we saw in the BOFA, and physically digesting the awesome tailgate grub served up by Clay (Lord of the Pit!!) and the supporting PantherFanZ. And to top it off, we enjoyed the company of our brothers from the Great White North. The Canadians really make the tailgate an event to look forward to every year. Too bad we can’t do it more than that.

And for the first time in, well, a year, we had a half of football AT HOME that gave us reason to cheer. Sitting in my beloved spot, my wife and I were amazed at the ELEVEN MINUTE drive to open the game! If we were going to beat the Mighty Colts, THIS was the way to do it! Vinnie TESTOSTERONE led a PERFECT drive that culminated in a touchdown, and the defense absolutely GOT AFTER Peyton and his horseshoe adorned comrades and if I’m not mistaken, held that irresistible offense WITHOUT A FIRST DOWN for most of the half! You all saw it, too! Even Vinnie’s unfortunate pick in the end zone didn’t diminish my hope- The Colts promptly three-and outed, and we were down by only three to this vaunted team. There was bona fide- HOPE! The team looked like they had responded to the coaching, and to Testaverde.

Start the second half.

When Carr was announced as the QB, the stadium let out a collective groan. Fair to Carr? Maybe not. I actually felt bad for him to hear the clear and loudly voiced boos. But it was as if the power switch was turned off on this team. The offense, defense, and special teams disappeared, and Indy rolled up twenty-one unanswered points. The one scoring threat we had evaporated with a Jeff King fumble. This was a complete reversal of the home opener against Jacksonville in ’03. How terribly depressing to watch this continuing home field DISadvantage. Now, we’ve found out that Vinny has an ankle injury. How bad has yet to be determined, but I’m thinking that Fox wanted to compare his two QB’s in a regular season situation that just wasn’t critical to the division race. With a mere ten-point deficit, this Carr simply wasn’t equipped to drive very far. The offense simply doesn’t seem to respond to his (lack of) leadership, and with no offensive support, the defense ran out of gas in the face of the resurgent Colts attack, which is understandable.

But my feeling is that the Carr option at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers is a failure. If the team is forced to use this shell-shocked and ineffective football player for an extended period, the season may be lost, unless David Carr has a SERIOUS change of game management, mechanics, and perception from his teammates.

That ain’t gonna happen.

I just hope they can wrap Vinny’s ankle extra tight. He is our best, and perhaps ONLY hope for victory, unless Matt Moore proves to be a NFL-caliber quarterback. Because right now, I’m convinced David Carr is NOT an NFL caliber quarterback. And I can just see Foxy say, “Well, if he’s in the NFL, he’s a NFL quarterback.”

Sorry, Foxy. He’s not. The leadership qualities, the toughness, the skill, the vision, the game management- They are simply not there. He is certainly an athlete. I will give him that. He was impressive enough in college to be a top pick. So was Brian Bosworth. So was that bust of a OL in Green Bay, Tony Mandarich- NFL almanacs are full of first rounders who just couldn’t cut it. I can’t see how David Carr escapes induction in this hall of dishonor. But hey, Dave- look on the bright side-

You could be a gay fashion model! With the political correctness machine telling us there’s nothing wrong with that lifestyle, you could make lots of hay on your gay sex appeal, even if you’re not! But as they said in that classic Bill Murray movie “Stripes”- you could be willing to learn!

And speaking of bright sides-

Here’s the sunny sector for the Panthers-

You won’t believe this, but it’s true.

We are STILL in first place in our woeful division as of this writing. And we have a trip to Tennessee to meet the Kerry Collins led Titans coming up. KERRY COLLINS! Speaking of QB’s that just can’t cut it. With a visit from the Duckies to follow, things just don’t look that terrible. In this division race, losing to the Colts just wasn’t that bad- EVERY team in our division has lost to the Colts. (Uh, flash for you Cedar Street Seer- the Duckies haven’t played them yet-) Big deal. Losing to the Colts this year is like my daughter Lauren getting in the ring with Mike Tyson. The only shame in losing to the Colts today is the fashion in which we lost in the second half.
So, looking at the big picture, there IS reason to have hope!

With ONE big IF-

IF Vinnie Testosterone can return to practice, and game action soon.

Ok, TWO big Ifs-

IF Matt Moore can play NFL quarterback.

Ok, THREE big Ifs-

IF David Carr can turn things arou- uhh,

TWO big If’s.

This NFL season has many twists and turns, and no team is immune from the injury bug. What happens to the invincible Colts or Pastry-Rots if Manning or Brady goes down? Many of the teams we are facing down the road are dealing with this. The Titans. The Duckies. The Jag-you-wyres. The Phoney-Niners. The SeaDogs. I STILL see maybe TEN WINS in this team! As Mark “Pack-Man” Packer” says, “you gotta go play.” And so we will.

Just one thing John Fox.

Please, please, please-

Don’t start the Carr.

I await our tilt with Tennessee with great anticipation. This ride’s still rough, but somehow still worth it. Hang on with me, Fanz!

Gotta comment? E-mail me, The Cedar Street Seer


15 October, 2007

Steps in the right direction

October 15, 2007

I’m digesting what I saw Sunday Afternoon, Fanz-

I’m cautiously giddy about the victory- But I’m beginning to feel like I put new tires on a ’68 Camaro that’s in dire need of body work.

Ok, insert your Vinny Testicle joke here.

To be honest, for the first time this season, we’ve seen a defense play with HONEST – TO – GOD EFFORT. And it was as wonderful to see as an oasis in a desert. The irony is not lost on me as I write that last sentence. The Cardi-noles are no longer an NFL pushover. They are putting together a really decent team that’s capable of competing at this level. Of course, they suddenly found themselves running their potent offense without their starting QB-

Oh, forgive me for sobbing an ocean of tears in empathy for you.

We started Vinny freakin’ TESTICLE, who had his hand diggin’ in a sack o’ chips watching Monday Night Football SIX DAYS AGO-

But while Vinny gets the ink, to me, the defense really gets the credit for this wind. If Chris Gamble doesn’t make a girly man-tackle on Edgerin James, perhaps ‘Zona never sniffs the end zone. THIS, This, Foxy and Turkey-Vac, is the Panther Defense we’ve come to appreciate since you came here. But hear this gentlemen-

To me, this one performance does not give you a pass. Not for ONE EFFIN’ MINUTE!!! I’m recalling an impassioned John Fox imploring his defense to “APPLY THE PRESSURE!!! DON’T FEEL IT!!!” Time to bring that speech back, Foxy- The bye is here, and now come the toughest stretch of games we have had to play in years. We’ve seen the Road Warrior act- NOW-


And until you do, I remain silent in the stands. STILL.

Here come the Colts. The super powerful, unbeatable Indianapolis Dolts. World Champions. With a QB that appears in every commercial on TV it seems. Can we possibly beat these guys? I don’t think there’s one pundit, including possibly the Cedar Street Seer, that believes we have a chance come October 28th. But how’s this?
On a nice fall afternoon two years ago, we did the very same thing to a Bill Belichek led, Tom Brady QB’ed New Englandland Pastry-Rots!
At home, believe it or not. If we play like we did yesterday, why not?
Yesterday, I saw significant progress in all phases of our game. I was most impressed with the effort on D, as I stated before, but also pleasantly pleased with the play of Vinny Testeverde, see, I didn’t even call him a TESTICLE this time! I remember posting a comment about Jake having that special leadership quality – The way the offense responded to Vinny yesterday has me thinking perhaps he possesses the same qualities. Of course, it’s one game, but perhaps that’s the jumping off point- My mind hearkens back to a gorgeous home opener back in ’03- Go there with me for a moment, will you?

A lifeless Panther team flops around with Rodney Pete at QB. Enter Jake DelHomme. And we didn’t look back until Adam Vinateri spiked us in the heart after one of the most entertaining and exciting Super Bowls ever played. Kinda just like Brain’s big screen plasma Samsung that was struggling with analog before Dano the 12th Man tweaks it and all of a sudden, we’re seeing a masterpiece unfold in HD! The irony is not lost on me that the team put it in overdrive once HeroDano made that move. I’m feeling a similar vibe with Carr, and Vinny. To which I am making an impassioned plea-


I’ve made the statement before that athletes at this level are all capable. And they are. Some though, have that quality that makes them that much better than others. And Vinny has that. Carr- well, we’re unsure. The offense has not responded to him in three weeks as they have to Vinny in THREE DAYS!!! Don’t be a fool, Foxy. The season is at stake. And while we’re at it-

Don’t start Danielle Morgan. That fragile body has a mind that can hit you into next Wednesday, but a body that breaks the moment that notion’s put to flesh. You are DONE, Dan! Retire while you can still walk- this defense has shown we can be above average without you. Jon Beason will see to that.

And while we’re talking about phases of the game, the one that STILL needs the most work is our Special Teams coverage/return units. And although we DID show improvement yesterday, it’s still our weakest element. The coaching there MUST improve. It’s good to see Ryne Robinson make a bit of an effort there, and getting Smitty back there once in a while, sorry guys, I still think it’s a good ideal. But overall, our performance yesterday is still light years ahead of the past four weeks. And given that performance- The Carolina Panthers are 4-2 in the annual derby that is the NFL season. Who in our conference is better than that? Dallas and Green Bay? That’s it. And we get to play them both. Beatable? You bet, if we play like yesterday. If we get Romo The Homo to turn the ball over SIX TIMES like he did at Beefalo, I GAR-IN-DAMM-TEE ya we beat the snot outta them. Who else in our conference has an equal record? Tampa Bay. Who else?
And after the steaming pile of s**t we’ve had to watch over the past four weeks, we are in an exclusive group of FOUR TEAMS??!!

Why not us? Why not US to hand Indy their first loss? Why not us to go up to Green Bay and shred the Heads? Don’t think we’ve got the team? Nonsense. Of course, it COULD all turn right back in the opposite direction, and we can lose to every team left on the schedule. But here’s an intangible- Testeverde sounds an AWFUL lot like Testosterone, that rarified substance that makes men supermen, and makes women CRAVE men. The REAL San Francisco Treat. The substance that dripped off of every bit of John Wayne, and the substance that helps us all sleep soundly at night knowing Jack Bauer is defending our country from hostiles seen and unseen-

Just something to think about.

Meanwhile, the coaster takes a nice scenic breather as we roll back home to the next bumpy part of our ride, which all of a sudden, doesn’t look so bad- But hang on anyway, Fanz…………

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09 October, 2007

We Win- So What?

I’m mad at these Carolina Panthers.


After the rage of sitting through a thoroughly UWATCHABLE home game against the Tampa Bay Yuck-aneers, with so much at stake, as a fan, I’m forced AGAIN to sit through another unwatchable mess as the team attempts to convince their fanz, and perhaps the league, if not themselves, that they are respectable and indeed are not the heartless underachievers Jenks says they are.

Kris Jenkins absolutely speaks the truth about these Panthers. What we all saw at the BOFA September 30th, in my opinion, was the very bottom of the barrel of my Panther experience. Not even the 1-15 season ender, with Brain and I shivering in a cold rain while the Patsies had their way with us was as infuriating. The black, relentless negative karma of Marc’s unexpected passing covering last seasons dismal showing against the Squealers did not fill me with rage like the abortion of a game last week. This game, against a team that really didn’t have much more talent than we did, was the very worst performance the Panthers ever had. And we, the loyal PSL owners, had to sit through it. All I could think of was the money I’ve spent on this pair of seats in one of the priciest sections of the stadium. At least we had a tailgate party to make Marc proud. But to be honest, I would have rather been playing bad golf as to see these heartless overpaid underachievers collect a paycheck equal to or exceeding what most of us make in a year. And for the very first time since Foxy came on board, I am seriously questioning his coaching, his staff, Hurney’s personnel decisions, and the game planning. I am beginning to think that the John Fox era has run its course here.
And I’m desperate for Foxy and the Irish Tenor to prove me wrong-

I’ve often drawn a serious line of separation between the three major levels of sports. If Independence High School took their team to Dook University to play football one Saturday afternoon, (or any effin’ afternoon, hell, morning, night, whatever!) the game would have to be called at halftime. It just wouldn’t be close. Independence may not get a first down. Subsequently, if the numero uno team in the colliegiate ranks took THEIR team to a bottom feeder NFL team, oh lets say, THE TEAM WE ALMOST LOST TO SUNDAY-

You could expect the very same result, and ironically, that happens to be The Bayou Bengals of Louisiana State Yooo.

With that said, you could say that the players in the NFL are the very best of the very best. The top .00001% of the minute pool of athletes plays in this league. The abilities of even Joey-Bag-O-Donuts Harrington exceed by exponential amounts what you or I could muster even with eight months of the most intense of training. Even Wrecks Gross-Man. Ok, maybe not Wrecks. So…Why do some teams succeed while others fail, year after year? What do the New Englandland Patsies have that we do not?


IS Tom Brady that much better than Jake? Is he? What if Brady played behind Jake’s line? Behind the Duckie’s line? And for that matter, what makes Tommy’s line so great???


Is it really like Jenk says? Is it a matter of heart? What is the magic concoction that lets an afterthought like Stanford blister the overrated and over hyped Trojans like a USED Trojan IN THEIR OWN HOUSE???


I’m all of a sudden feeling like the Cowardly Lion launching into an over-the-top sermon about the virtue he thinks he lacks. But he doesn’t, as he and his comrades the Scarecrow and Tin Man rescue Dorothy, and vanquish the Wicked Witch. Peppers has no heart you say?

Nonsense. He has oodles of it. So does Ruck. So does David(wrecked)Carr. So does Keary Colbert. And there’s NO QUESTION of Smitty’s heart. An NFL player is in uniform on any given Sunday BECAUSE he has abilities that exceed other athletes. It takes skilled leadership to put the pieces of a football team together. Yes, I’m talking coaching. If players aren’t tackling, aren’t finishing plays, if their jumping offsides or false starting continuously, I’m not blaming the player.

I’m blaming the coach. That’s right, Foxy- I’m blamin’ YOU.

YOU. You and your staff. I’m mandating you, Foxy. You have the players you are going to have this year. And these players are not a whole lot different than what you had in ’03. Find a way to bring the best out of them. Don’t be a slave to loyalty because of a player’s past performance. THIS IS NOW! Start the player who is performing best- If that means letting Alex Frickin’ Haynes start over DeFumblo Foster, START HIM. Let’s see what they have. Find the combination that works on Sunday, and roll. If that overpriced player has to fume on the bench, perhaps he’ll bring nice trade value. Nothing matters more than WINNING in this league. Winning with character and fairness, which is. Put away that video recorder, guys.

Of course, to be fair, I’m not a coach, and if I knew as much as even Tom Knotts knew, I’d have a job in football, but I don’t. But I know lack of heart and drive when I see it. And I continued to see it for most of the game on Sunday. THIS IS THE NOO AWLINS ‘AINTS for GOD’S SAKE!!! This is a team that is struggling at every position and if we are going to have a winning season YOU MUST KNOCK A TEAM LIKE THIS out FROM THE VERY START!!! But once again, a limp defense allows an average team to zip down the field, and keep the defense on the field on third down. And after that. And after that. I continued to feel the rage. The offense really couldn’t get moving because they didn’t have the TIME to get into a rhythm! Why is that? BECAUSE THE DAMN DEFENSE was on the field so long! David Carr (or whoever is going to play QB this year) needs to have the time to develop the rhythm necessary to control the game. Defense doesn’t tackle, doesn’t stop anything, and doesn’t pressure the quarterback. The sword stays in the sheath, and we don’t’ have a chance to score.

Enter Jon Beason. Enter Richard Marshall. Enter Chris Harris. Guys that didn’t get much mention beyond the Panther media guide. At last, players playing the “Panther Way”, at least the Panther Way that made me burst with pride and confidence years ago. So, it’s contagious. Pep blocks a field goal, Carr hooks up with Smitty, a CLUTCH INT is made by Harris, and even when Carr screws the pooch with a TREMENDOUSLY STOOPID pick of his own, the defense STILL comes through with a three-yard series. Kasay saves our ass once again. By the way, I really think John and Mike (AfterDinner) Minter deserve statues besides Sam one of these days.
So, a quarter of progress. We got nowhere else to go but up after September 30th.

So What??

How quick could it regress, PantherFanz? I really should be happy, but I’m still mad, still concerned, and now- the worst news of all-

Jake DelHomme will be out for the season.

Jake personified so many of the things that a leader has. Not just a leader. A leader of one of the most powerful entities in sports- A National Football League team. Think Tiger Woods would like to win a Super Bowl??? You damn right he would. And he couldn’t sniff it. You think Michael Jordan would? (and bet on himself, too!) Jake is all of that and more. And he will not be playing this year. So, it goes back to Foxy and the staff. Carr would not have been a first round pick if he was worthless. Like the Lion, the Scarecrow, and The Tin Man, each player on this team needs to find that extra intangible that is VERY tangible to HIMSELF, and come together with the team, and FIGHT! And this comes to the coaching staff to bring this out. Once, we had a dozen players out to injury, and STILL made a serious second half push to be considered in the playoff picture. That team was AWESOME to watch, and effortless to cheer your heart out for. This team?

As it’s playing now, no. I have vowed not to wear the jersey, not to cheer, not to give my heart to a bunch of heartless underachievers until they SHOW ME SOMETHING! Is there hope? Of course there is. Even with Jake out. That glimmer we got in the fourth quarter yesterday makes the optimist in me believe. Barely. The Realist is in firm control thinking the season is lost without Jake. But---

The clacking of our cars heading up the track on this crazy coaster ride to Arizona continues… Here we go, PantherFanz….

Hang on….this is gonna be rough.

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24 September, 2007

Time to ride again- The 2007 season

By “Crazy Joe” the “Cedar Street Seer”

Ok, Pantherfanz-

Where do I begin?

This is my very first official “rant of the website”, and I’m painfully aware of the shoes I’m walking behind. I say that, because I could never fill them. Marc was a gifted writer, among all of the other things he was, and I, as I am sure the rest of you are, painfully aware of his absence not only on gameday, but everyday. I’m just a crazy shmo that shared Marc’s passion and energy for the whole thing. Dammit, Marc, I miss you dude. I miss you so much. And still, I can feel you pushing us from your eternal home, “KEEP THE PARTY GOIN’, FANZ!!! KEEP IT GOIN!!!!”

So with that, let me begin my “Rant”, catching up with my feelings of the past three weeks. I’ve just chased my teenage daughters off of the computer to begin this, and I’m still absorbing the hard-fought victory over those hated, pesky, Duckies from Atlanta. I can’t help feeling that this season will once again be that cardio-pulmonary abusing rollercoaster ride that we’ve unfortunately all gotten accustomed to in the past.

Dismissing the preseason, we begin with the clackity-clack up the track at St. Louis. Brian managed to snag a choice package trip with airfare and tickets for two for the Rams game. (Thanks so much, Brain!)I finally got to experience for the first time since a ’99 trip to The Frozen Tundra (the Bronco Beuerlein Game) a road game, and tailgating with Rams fans. I gotta say those Ram Fanz were almost as friendly and hospitable as those Cheeseheads we partied with. We also discovered RedBreast is probably the very best whisky you can drink. At the dome, finally, the cars screamed down the tracks, and the ride was on! Keeping the speed and momentum, we parlayed a nice mix of running and passing into enough points to win, while our defense played well enough to hold off that supposedly “Greatest Show on Turf”. Now the cars have crested, and we’re ON TOP OF THE TRACKS, looking DOWN on the rest of that amusement park that is this NFL season.

Euphoria follows us into the home opener, against the perennially bumbling Texans. Never minding our dismal home opener record, I guarantee none of us felt like we could lose this game. Hell, I even thought Marc would intervene from the beyond, AKA, “Angels in the Outfield”, to insure a victorious outcome. And it sure looked like it in the first quarter when Smitty exploded. Unfortunately, our defense continued playing as it did last year, and we jumped the shark, at home, once again. How utterly disappointing. Of course, when we budgeted wins and losses, most of us were willing to punch an “L” for the Rams game, so that was a wash, and Houston actually isn’t that bad, and being out of conference, was not a terrible game to lose. But the defense, damn, that defense- So the cars now zoom downward, and that heart-in your mouth feeling returns.

Clackity-clack go the cars once again today, up the crest to The Georgia Dome, which has actually been kind to us as of late. When’s the last time we lost there? Anyone remember? Three years ago, in the ’04 season. We managed to smoke the damned Duckies in ’05, ’06, and now ’07, although I wouldn’t call this game a thing of beauty- The whole damn thing was a roller coaster ride. A game like this should never, EVER be in doubt. On paper, a team like The Panthers should absolutely, positively, PUT THEIR FOOT ON THEIR DAMN NECK and NEVER LET THEM OFF THE #$#@_^(*in’ TURF!! But nooooooooooo-

I knew from the opening drive when a pass was called on third-and-short when a power run was warranted, that this was going to be an excruciating game. Our pass defense, once again, failed to pressure a washed up bottom-feeder QB like Joey-Bag-o-Donuts. We should have feasted on him. We also allowed a few big runs, and damnit, a pro like Ken Lucas should KNOW HOW TO FREAKIN’ TACKLE! But a telling camera shot on Mike Toilet-Vac on the sidelines emphasized the pressure on this coaching staff to deliver. Thanks goodness for a resurgent running game, and true to John Fox fashion, a classic grind-it-out finish ensues. A victory, yes, but not a really satisfying one, given the dire straits of The Duckies. This should have been a 34-10 game, but we let them in the game, and if DeAngelo Hall doesn’t have a mental meltdown covering Smitty, perhaps there’s a different outcome. Which leads me to these particular feelings about our Beloved Panthers.

The glaring problem with this team is what is supposedly our strength. Our defense consistently FAILS to defend the pass, consistently FAILS to pressure the QB, does NOT create enough turnovers, considering the “paper talent” we have. OK, you know what? I don’t want to hear anymore sports talking heads talk about “that vaunted front four”- They are still living in ’03. Our defense hasn’t SNIFFED dominant since then. Not consistently, anyway. They have absolutely shown me NOTHING. So you know what, Panther Defense? You want me to cheer you when I’m sitting in my overpriced seats in the BOFFO BOFA? SHOW ME SOMETHING!!! Sack the QB! CREATE A TURNOVER! GET OFF THE FIELD ON THIRD DOWN!! Dammit, I, and so many of your fans DESPARATELY want to cheer our hearts out for you! But when we are so consistently let down by underachieving performances by a defense that has Julius Peppers, Mike Rucker, Kris Jenkins, Dan Morgan, Richard Marshall, etc, in it, I have come to watch your games in silence. Oh, and those special teams- continue to not be very special. I truly appreciate Nick-Comings-and-Goings’ effort on our team. He’s earned his roster spot. But he’s JUST NOT A KICK RETURNER- and Ryne Robinson hasn’t shown anything yet. Thank goodness for John Kasay, who really deserves a statue besides Sam and Mike (After-Dinner-Minter) who continues to kick CLUTCH field goals.

Of course, the cupboard isn’t exactly bare when it comes to our team. I really do think the offense is a nice work in progress that really continues to improve. Against a really desparate Duckies defense not wanting to go 0-3, and definitely NOT in front of their home fanz, they really had a nice mix of run and pass, and it looks like Jeff Davidson’s offense is taking hold and making sense to these players. I really think this group is going to improve throughout the season, and we are going to need it. Am I really using the word “Really” that much? Really………This defense just isn’t that good. Wanna feel good about our Rams victory? They’re 0-3 now, too, having just lost to those punchless Buccaneers, who we get at home next week. Think THAT’S an easy win? They are bringing their very best game to us. Our home field advantage disappeared long ago. Just PRAY HARD that Jake’s elbow injury isn’t serious. David Carr’s shown us NOTHING yet, and I’m not confident in his leadership qualities.

The season is young, still, the defense could find it’s teeth in the jars besides Toilet-vac’s nightside table, and Ryne Robinson could develop in the next coming of Mel Gray, but that’s the dying optimist inside of me. The emerging realist is looking at a team that’s really average in many areas, and good enough in a few to make for some thrilling, but agonizing moments on this rollercoaster ride that will be our season. I’m here for the whole damm thing, with Marc riding shotgun both at the Cedar Street lot and my keyboard. How ‘bout you?


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