10 December, 2008


December 10, 2008

Because of five guys, I suffered the worst hangover I’ve had in YEARS yesterday, and my mushed up mind couldn’t drag itself to the keyboard until this morning.

Because of five guys, Pantherfanz had one of its grandest affairs in many seasons.

Because of five guys, an “undersized” back and his rookie teammate gashed the supposedly INPENETRABLE Tampa Bay run defense for over 300 yards.

Because of five guys, The Carolina Panthers now firmly control their density, much like George McFly wanted to control Lorraine’s density in “Back to the Future”. And they also control their DESTINY, as well. Firmly, at that.

Because of five guys, the entire NFL nation now knows what we’ve known for a while-

The Carolina Panthers are a really good team.

And as a result, because of these five guys, The Panthers now get their second prime-time contest against the GEEEEEEEMen in Noo Yawk eleven days from now, with a very real chance of snagging the number one seed in the playoffs.

Many of you know of which five guys I’m talking about. Those of you who know football and aren’t focused on the quarterback or wide receivers or what the gabbing media jaws are saying know who they are. For those of you who are tired of me blathering on and on without making a point, they are, by the position of which they play, are –

LEFT TACKLE- Jordan Gross
LEFT GUARD- Travelle Wharton
CENTER- Ryan Kalil
RIGHT GUARD- Keydrick Vincent

These five guys, playing together for the first time since the start of the season, are now beginning to realize the promise of success we’ve hoped for from the get-go. Those of you who were at the game I’m sure saw what I saw. I saw a serious PUSH from these guys. Jake was never really pressured, yielding a wimpy sack early in the game, but as the contest progressed, I felt that we were never in danger, never going to surrender momentum, and never going to be stopped in the rushing attack. I’m sure it was better yet for the folks who saw it on TV and got to hear Jaws’ excited commentary. (I can’t wait to get my copy of the DVD Brain made for me!) I was so entranced by the excitement on the field, that I never took a moment to glance at the scoreboard for the quarterly statistics. It wasn’t until I got out of the stadium, drunk and happy, that I realized that these five guys busted Stewilliams loose for


Against the Buccaneers! One of our fiercest rivals! On NATIONAL TV! The implications of this performance continue to pour on me like a football bacchanal. How far away last season feels now! Remember our “big game” against Romo the Homo’s Cowpuppies last year? How we went “kersplat” on the national stage? In stark, vivid comparison, how good does Monday night feel? To have the white-hot spotlight energize the fans and the team and not melt as many an NFL pretender has done. Pretender. That’s a word that’s been attached to many teams in seasons past. Cleveland. Green Bay. Buffalo. Tampa Bay. New Orleans. Yes, and this team coming up, Denver. And us. And Denver is all of a sudden a scenario that becomes serious. But I’m digressing momentarily. I want to get off the five guys for a second, and go to ONE GUY-

And it’s not Jake Delhomme.

It’s Ken Lucas. Just like the offensive line, one underperforming or weak player has potential to collapse the whole unit. For the past three games, our pass coverage has been below average. And I think we can focus the blame on KL. Oh, yeah, his teammates are not gonna throw him under the bus, they will behave like the pure team players they are and assign blame collectively. But it’s clear that Lucas is the weak link in a unit that MUST play better if our postseason dreams are to be realized. I think I’m gonna start callin’ him TOASTY Lucas if he continues to get scorched the way he’s been getting scorched! I’m sure you remember the long play to Bryant in Monday’s game where not only did he blow the coverage, not only did he commit a penalty in blowing it, but he allowed him to score! The offensive coordinators of Denver, New York and New Orleans are certainly going to game plan to attack him now! Turkey-Vac has got to get his side some help in practice, and create some schemes to facilitate that. For me, this is the one huge concern I have about this team going forward this season.

Back to the five guys. I would be amiss if I didn’t recognize the efforts of Hoov and Moose and the tight ends in the run blocking schemes. What a pleasure it is to have players that lean towards the skill set positions to knuckle down and do the hard work it takes to make the run game so potent! And I’m talkin’ about the one player closest to diva status we have as well. I saw Smitty put on a few nice blocks, too. Yes, I’m singling out the five guys on the O line, but it does take eleven dudes playing together to execute the game in a way that brings you closer to victory. And when all 47 dudes are of the same mindset, then you can start thinking about championships. But along with all of the good gooey goodness of the awesome win of Monday, comes the next test for The Panthers.

How to handle prosperity.

We’ve shown that we can win from behind, and on the road. We’ve played so much better at home. We’ve resuscitated the run game. So many things are starting to turn in our favour in this season, even more so that in our magical ’96 and ’03 seasons. One thing we’ve not been able to do is succeed when we are suddenly in the spotlight, and heavily favoured. All that good feeling and high expectation collapses with a loss at home to Denver. Remember two weeks ago, the BRETS were the toast of the league after beating the Titans? Remember who they lost to, at HOME the following week? Yep. The Broncoids. Who lost to CROAKLAND, for God’s sake the week before! Who is the one team to beat the Duckies at home this season? Yep. The Broncoids. This game, in my opinion, will be as critical as any we will play this season. While we firmly control our destiny, the margin is still uncomfortably thin. The good news is, that Foxy and company realize this. I heard the words “focused on Denver” several times from Foxy and players mere hours after the intoxicating victory of Monday. For the sake of the season, Foxy, you’d better be right. Denver has a potent passing attack, and an opportunistic secondary, and we might be in trouble should we have to get into a passing shootout with them, especially after a short week. But there’s more good news. Denver’s defense has been consistently bad this year, especially against the run. DINGDINGDING! Hey, Foxy, think this is a weakness worth exploiting? All the defense has to do is blunt Cutler enough, and let the FIVE GUYS pave the road for Stewilliams and Co. This to me, would be a simple formula for a critical victory in a critical race not just for the division, which by the way, becomes so much tighter should the Buckies overcome the Duckies this weekend, but for the top seed in our conference! I implore the team, AND the fans-

Focus on Denver. One hundred percent. I cannot stress enough how important to the seasons’ success that is. Dispatch the Broncoids, not by a field goal, not by a touchdown, but DECICIVELY! Ovecome them on the ground. Make them choke, and early, on their own fatal weakness, and then, as the fourth quarter melts into the cool December evening, THEN, and only THEN- do those five guys and the rest of the team think about the New York Giants.

But despite the possible negatives, I cannot escape the fact that for the first time in our franchise history, we are 10-3, and we are going into the last three games on a head of steam generated by one of the most defining forces in the game-

The rushing attack.

The forward pass is so much prettier to those who don’t appreciate the game fully. But the running game is that force that wins championships. It’s the weapon that wears down even the best of defenses.

And it’s all because of five guys.

Whet your appetites for some good smoked “HOSS MEAT” Sunday! It’s gonna be a great day in the lot, no matter what, as we


See you with the handicap tomorrow.

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Email me, The Cedar Street Seer CaptnTee@aol.com

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