12 October, 2008


October 12th, 2008

UGGHHH! Call this abomination whatever explicative you wish. It’s a good thing the lot lizards from your Cedar Street tailgating home were entertaining kids as well as the grownup PantherFanz, or there would have been much cussing, breaking of things, and loud gnashing of body parts. I did NOT see this spanking coming. This performance by the Panthers, overall, was reminiscent of the lackadaisical floundering of last seasons’ abortion of a team. It was clear, from the first possession of the game, which ended in a blocked punt returned for a TD by Chucky’s boys, that this was going to be a tough, hard fought game. But it was tough only for the blue-jerseyed Cats. Hard fought only by the Buccaneers. I’m sure many of our fans are wondering---

What happened to the Panthers?

On a metaphysical level, perhaps the fact we’d been discovered by the media, anxious to anoint another NFL team after the Cowpatties have stumbled. The Panthers always perform better when they’re under the radar. Well, start 4-1, and you’re getting noticed in this league. Perhaps they started reading the press clippings again and believing all of the love showered upon this team. Well, let me remind the players AND their fans, it’s never mattered less what the damned writers say about your team. It matters what you do on the field. The Panthers had “superior” personnel at practically EVERY position. But from the beginning, they were out- executed, out hit, out physicaled, and yes, Foxy- OUTCOACHED. Foxball was a miserable failure today. Hell, ANY ball Foxy called to be played today was a miserable failure. Instead of bemoaning the multitude of mistakes made by EVERY PLAYER WEARING A PANTHER UNIFORM, I’m going to recant the conversation I had with a former Philthydelphia Iggles offensive lineman. I can’t recall his first name, but his last name was Darby. Perhaps one of you Yankees can recall him. He played in the late nineties, but wrecked his knee in his second season and turned his earnings into a bachelor of nursing degree, and gained a position at CMC. He was in my shop buying scrubs, and I marveled at the size differential between his britches (xl) and his shirt (4xl). Fitting him was tough, and when he responded to my question about where he played his football, as it was obvious by his physique, the conversation just flowed.

The thing I’m going to remember most of all from that conversation by the very friendly Mr. Darby, is according to him, what happens from the opening snap on the very first series. As a lineman, the game boils down to you, and the man you are to block. Period. On that first play, SOMEONE is getting knocked on their ass, or lose ground. If it’s YOU that winds up on your ass on that play, you are DONE for the day. Your opponent has you beat. But if it’s YOU that’s holding ground over your opponent, victory is yours. If your other teammates on the line are doing the same, odds are you are winning the game. Of course, unless your skill players are making boneheaded mistakes and turnovers.

In the very best Maddenism, THIS IS FOOTBALL. And the Panthers are the ones who got knocked on their ass today. And this had better be one of the last times this happens this year, if the event with the “P” word is to be experienced. Fortunately, the NFL stands for NOT FOR LONG, and we had better not dwell on this loss. As Foxy goes, he never gets too up, or too down. I believe James had quoted him as saying “You’re never as good as you think you are, or as bad as they say you are”. Pretty even keeled. But even keeled hasn’t been as good for us as we’d like to be! Ok, you know what, yeah, this was a BAD LOSS to a GOOD TEAM. Yeah, it’s a division game, I know this. But we have FOUR MORE to play. Anyone panicking right now after this loss is a fool. Wanna feel better?

Be a DeadSkins fan. Know what happened to THEM today? Got beat- AT HOME by a Saint Looey Lambs team that had NO BUSINESS being in that game, but the FredSkins got fat and happy with their four-game winning streak. The impact of this game was as thunderous as if WE had been beaten by the Chefs last week. Moreso. The Lambs were winless. THEIR loss was a BAD LOSS to a BAD TEAM. Be a Vikings Fan. Your team, after trimming the Saints IN THEIR HOUSE had to rally to squeak by a DREADFUL Ly-uns team. Be a Seadogs fan. The Favreless Packers, struggling, came to YOUR HOUSE and beat your ass. Be a Cowbaby fan. Your MIGHTY COWBABIES, anointed by every sportswriter to be this years Super Bowl champion, got whupped by the lowly Cardy-Noles. At a stadium in Arid-zona that was 50% Cowpuppy fans! (this is actually a situation that really pisses me off, BTW)(more on this another time) Yeah, and be a NewEnglandland fan. Your Pastry-Rots are getting another thumping at the hands of the Chargers. So, cheer up, PantherFanz. Think OUR loss is the big story this week? No way, baby. But the heat on us gets turned up on us exponentially now, like the steam that thrust it’s melting jets on us in Tampa today. You know, I felt uncomfortable just watching this contest in my matching blue HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOver jersey. This coming Sunday, we are getting the offensive juggernaut that is New Orleans. Who, similar to us last week, dispatched a weak and struggling AFC Worst opponent in the Schraiders in a dramaless blowout THIS week. And similar to us THIS week, are going to play a road division game NEXT week. Are you following the karma?

One thing I’m feeling good about would be the trends this year as opposed to the last two years. We are doing a MUCH better job playing at home. Yeah, we lost to tough road games against decent opponents, and WON one against an even tougher one in the Chargers. But we’ve protected the house so far. I’m confident we make a better showing against a Saints team with a BETTER OFFENSE than the Bucs, but a far inferior DEFENSIVE opponent. And one thing’s for sure, Foxy had BETTER prepare this team better than he did for this Tampa game.

And let’s not forget-

We DO get a rematch with these Pirates of the Pewter Pants – In our house, Monday night, December. Be there. I’m sure the Panthers will be.

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