13 September, 2009


Knowing what we knew going into this party…

Dano could be the new “Cedar Street Seer”.

“We’re your support group” he hollered over the brand new mega-rockin’ Pantherfanz sound system-

How prophetic he was on that infamous Thursday night last week when we closed out the suckiest pre-season we’ve had in some time. Perhaps ever.

But tell me – Who among you REALLY thought the Panthers were going to claw themselves to an impressive first season victory today? Come on! It felt like it in the first quarter, but a replay of the “Bad Jake” record started again.

Back to that later.

A permanently, and poignant, happy ending to “EjectGate”happened today. Scott Paul, the stadium manager, John Ross, the kid who ejected me Sept 3rd, and HIS boss had a pretty quick meeting in my section today, pre-game. He was pretty much told that the way I cheer was good for the team, good for the section, and that was it. They will leave me alone for the foreseeable future. So, I’m still curious, why was I ejected? I’m getting over that. I also found it curious that a new, older, gentleman in the fascist red shirt was patrolling my section after that meeting. How sad it is, that I’m not feeling a lot different about the bad vibe in the stadium. Kathie and I went to the opposite side of the stadium,and REFUSED access to the section Blu and Julie sit in! WTF?? The game had gone into the 4th quarter, and had long been decided, and they’re gonna be NAZIS about letting us connect? Sorry, Stadium Staff –

I’m still of the mindset this is STILL Fascist Stadium. A season that started ended badly that has resumed badly certainly isn’t going to help the vibe for all of us hard-working PantherFanz. For now, I hang up the sword against my oppressors. But I title this rant how I have because –

Despite the sub-crappy performance of our team-

I had a terrific time in the lot. It was awesome seeing Kathie enjoy conversation with “strangers” (well to her, at least), talking with Tina about the lizard she caught, getting fired up with fellow fanz about yesterday’s college football contests. Kathie twirling little Eli Hastings around and seeing the delight on his face. Julie’s Birthday. Life. And a party, with the Panthers as an excuse. It was then, I realized that the reason we all get together transcends whatever the Panthers do.


We were all in love with the game before we assembled in the Cedar Street lot for a big buzz and great fellowship. I took an impromptu poll after the game – It was a “Tower Of Babel” list of teams – 49ers, Saints, Giants, Pastry-Rots, Dolphins, Cowboys, DeadSkins, on and on and on. I realized I had that passion yesterday, not only in cheering on my Tar Heels, but in getting intensely involved in the Notre Dame/Michigan game. I have no dog in that fight, except for the fact I think that school in South Bend, Indiana is one of the most overrated and overexposed programs in college football. And I like saying – “MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMICHIGAN!” Sorry, Patty. So, if the Panthers aren’t playing the kind of football we’re accustomed to, the game is being played to an exciting level somewhere else that we’re connected to.

Long live Football!

Long live passes to our children on a crispy fall day. Long live the intoxicating fragrance of grills firing up on gameday. Long live the fellowship of slightly inebriated football fanatics dissecting or forecasting games played, and games to play. Long live the lingering taste of the succulent meat coming off those fragrant grills. Long live the scratching of dancing feet into the Cedar Street gravel. Collins, Greene, and Biakabatukka have gone. We’ve seen Steve Young, Brett Favre, and other stars have crappy games in our stadium. Most of you are gone, and one of you should be.

And soon, Jake Delhomme, Julis Peppers, and yes John Fox and Marty Hurney will be gone.

After today, I’m thinking sooner than later.

And I’m thinking about ancient Rome. If our Panthers were gladiators, Jake’s body would be feeding the lions right now. And the rest of the team, save Jon BEASTON and DWill and JStew would be on notice that they would be “feeding” the wildlife on the next dreadful performance. But there are 15 games left in the season. So soon to bury your team, oh Crazy Joe? Yes I am. What I saw in the last few games of last season, to what I’ve seen in this one is a STARK difference to another game played six years ago. Remember? The 2nd year coach, John Fox, benched his starting QB, Rodney Peete, for a relative unknown Jake Delhomme after a listless first half. The stadium came to life. And it was cheering for him until the second half of last year’s playoff game. And friends,

The city is finished cheering for him. Unfair? Debatable. Expected? You betcha. In this “win now” mentality of the No Fair League, there are no more Walter Peytons, no more Neil Lomaxes, no more Dan Marinos who stick with their teams until the end. No more loyalty. And this could be part of the Panther’s problem. Those with storied performances of the past are held onto as long as they are by this franchise because of that excessive emotion. I’m feeling without question that Jake Delhomme has reached the end of his serviceability as a starter in the NFL. And what do we have who’s better?

Not Matt Moore. Certainly not Josh McClown. I personally think our Luke Skywalker (thought you’d think I’d forgotten about that geek angle, huh?) resides on our practice squad, and yes, Brain, I DO owe you a case of beer over that bet!!! But having crap or used up at the quarterback position is OUR DESTINY this year! And as I predicted, a possible explosion on the team could be on the horizion.

Again, the players come and go. Sometimes, the ownership comes and goes. But football, NFL football, is alive and well in Charlotte, North Carolina. The passion for it goes back even to radio stations tuned to New York Giants games with Y.A. Tittle at QB! A state full of “Redskins Fever” just because the hometown hero, Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice was a star running back for the team? We will always be passionate about the game. We will support the team as we can because that’s what we do. But they won’t get in the way of life. Whether they win or not doesn’t influence the quality of life Shawn and Lilly or Ashley and Matthew or Eli and TJ or Jessie and Lauren have! Or any of us for that matter. We’ll tune in next week to see the Panthers get crushed by the #$%*^@)&#$_( Duckies, and we’ll come back to the lot for the FredSkins game. And we’ll be glad to see each other, and sample our grilled delicacies and hope for a home win, or at least looking good doing it.

We got two of three today.

It was great to light the tribal fires once again, and to catch a terrific buzz with you all again. We have seven more opportunities to do that this season, and if a miracle occurs, if Luke Skywalker really does have a seat on the practice squad bench –

Maybe one more.

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