14 September, 2008


September 14, 2008

I’m finally recovered from my awesome buzz of the day, and I’m thinking-

How the hell did the Carolina Panthers win this game against Da Bears?

I know, earlier in the week, I had predicted a hard-fought game that would be decided in Foxball fashion in the second half. When I had seen the weather forecast, I knew it might come down to a simple factor-

Where the sun was in the fourth quarter.

So, through the game, I kept looking up at the sky, trying to determine the time that the sun would set on the south side of the stadium shading our ‘Cats, and cooking Da Bears on their side of the field.

That never happened.

What DID happen, however, was more Foxball. The offense never called anything long, desperate, or chancy. We never abandoned the run, we got friskier defensively, and Chris Harris once again showcased his uncanny ability to get the ball carrier to cough up the ball. Jake didn’t need a last-second heroic pass to close the game out, but he did lead a rally in the closing minutes to put us ahead for good. No big game from our receivers? No big game from Rosario? No problem. A strike to ANOTHER tight end, Jeff King, feeling some Hokie Buzz from yesterday’s escape from Georgia Tech, puts us in the position to punch it in courtesy of our bludgeon, Johnny Stewart. This game went pretty much as I thought it would, although that gift TD from a blocked punt two minutes into the game was unexpected, but without THAT, Da Bears manage what, ten points? Told ya. If we stop the run on Da Bears, Kyle Orton-hears-a-‘Oo will never, never beat us. Howzat, PantherFanz? At last, a home opener we WIN, over a pretty decent team, and we are now 2-0.

2-0 WITHOUT Steve Smith.

Read that again.

Take a second, and let that sink in. We’ve been fighting the bad guys with one hand tied behind our back, one eye closed, one foot tied behind our leg, and a sack over our head.

Monday morning, Smitty comes back to practice. The sack comes off, the hand comes untied, the eyes open up, and both feet come down to the ground. Don’t think HE’S not itching to make the big play- Oh, and he will.

Let’s return to the game, shall we?

This was the kind of game we have been losing in the past two seasons. The breaks just not would go our way, and Jake would do something boneheaded, and we could come on the short end of an otherwise decent effort. But we managed to do just enough to win- But there’s GOT to come a time where we will have to see more than that. It’s great to win, yes. It’s great to walk out of the BOFA while shutting up the fans of the other team. But wouldn’t it be nice to have an afternoon of not sweating out the outcome? I don’t want to sound ungreatful for the win, but hopefully, getting Smitty back changes this-

I think I’ve expounded on this before, but let’s fast forward to next Sunday-

How do the Vikings game plan for us NOW? They let their game against the gimpy Colts get away from them- The Colts that got HAMMERED at home against Da Bears, the team we JUST BEAT- Ok, Vikings, go ahead and stuff the box, and nail Stewilliams. We got this little dude that will burn you and he wears 89, and oh yeah, we got great tight ends too, and we won’t hesitate to throw to them. Alright, you respect our passing game, and you’ll make sure you cover 89. No problem. Now, make sure your secondary can STOP Stewilliams. Or is that Williart? Because we will certainly blast through your defensive line and linebackers. I know, I know, I might be talking a little too much smack at this early juncture, but WHERE have the Panthers excelled in ALL of Foxy’s tenure?

Yep. ON THE ROAD. I am hyper-confident right now. I am virtually guaranteeing a victory in Minneapolis next Sunday. But you know what I’ve kinda got weird feeling about?


The Duckies the week after. God, I hate the Duckies. And they hate us too.

But hey, that’s two weeks from now! I’m gonna savor being 2-0, hear that goober from “Against the Spread” eat his words on Friday and gush over what a great road team the Panthers are.

I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the AWESOME tailgate party we had today. What a BUZZ Lauren and I caught today! Be sure to tell Dano and James and PeaDad and the other FANZ who work really hard to make this party the best pre-AND postgame in town! The addition of Eddie, his monster grill, and his moonshine-swilling crew is great too. Nice to have a fellow Shelbian in the group. Let’s rip it for the Duckies game comin’ up!

An aside for the college game- Was that overhyped match between the F**KEYES and USC a total non-event or what? I was so tired of the blather from all of the talking heads that I couldn’t wait for the damn thing to be played and over with. There was no question in my mind that Jimmy Tressel’s overrated F**KEYES were going to be ripped into 678,869 little pieces. Which they were. Ok, enough of that. Focus on the SEC, where REAL FOOTBALL is played, SOUTHUN’ FRIED STYLE.

And I close on a note of concern. Brian, our beloved core tailgate member, is feeling quite poorly due to complications with his kidney. This kind of thing is NOT to be trifled with. He couldn’t even make it to his seats for today’s game, and I was concerned as I did not see him in his seat from across the field. Please join me in your prayers for his well-being, and if you’re able, be handy for the things he might need assistance with. I know I’ll be.

In the meantime, enjoy, at last, a week without trepidation. A week without anxiety about blowing a home game. A week of great anticipation leading to a possiblilty of great reward-

A 3-0 start, with clear sailing after that.

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