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…….

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