29 September, 2009


Steve Austin, the brave and fearless test pilot, was a little too brave on one fateful morning, destroying his plane in a horrific crash that all but should have killed him. Dedicated doctors and engineers, who were on the cutting edge of cybernetics, completely restored him, giving him bionic legs, a bionic arm, and a bionic eye. With these prosthetics, he could run at 60MPH, lift a truck with one hand, and see for miles the finest of details. All for the price tag of 6 million dollars. (BTW, the actor playing the Bionic Man, Lee Majors, really DID play football, for the Lost Angeles Lambs, at one time)

For 2.85 times that amount –

I think you know where I’m going with this –

We get Julius Peppers.

And at this time, because of his infathomable inability to perform up to his self-defined lofty standards of performance, he is now probably the most vilified of Panthers. He couldn’t SNIFF performance 1/100th of the ability of Major Austin, even on roids. But at one time he could. And because we know what he’s capable of doing, we the fans are even more enraged. Enraged, that his gameday paycheck is the amount of Dr. Evil’s version of fiscal perfection.




To get ONE TACKLE in possibly one of the most important games in franchise history, on football’s grandest weekly stage, is insult to not only US, the fan, but to his teammates who DO bust their ass in practice, AND on the field. How do his teammates NOT become incensed at his lack of production? If I’m Thomas Davis, Jon BEASTon, hell, even Captain Mummerlin, I’m spitting nails. At HIS direction, and that of management! Perhaps, just perhaps, this could be the crux of our defensive problems. Never mind that the obscene one year-contract hamstrings the team in signing players who could otherwise benefit the team. If the opposition marks first down after first down, how is the offense going to get on the field and get into a rhythm? Not happening, friends. And if our defense isn’t getting off the field, they are gassed by the time the fourth quarter rolls around. I don’t have to point to last night’s debacle to perfectly illustrate that point. I don’t have to tell you how invisible #90 was. Last night’s game was the most critical time for him to DOMINATE, to CONTROL THE GAME, to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
And when the game was on the line-

Where was he?

On the sideline.

With this goofy, retarded oblivious look on his face.

Damn you.

Damn you, Fox, and Hurney, and you too, Richardsons, for not recognizing the handwriting on the wall with Peppers.

No, you know what- I take that back. Mr Richardson, that’s your money. You pull the financials on the team. You have the right to do whatever it is you want to do with this team. And if I was as good a coach or manager as Foxy and Hurney, I’d have a job in pro sports. But I’VE got money in this team, too! My PSL payment helped build the stadium that ensured your acquisition of the 29th franchise of the N F L. And that requires me, year after year, just like the rest of my lot family, to buy the season tickets, and the possible playoff tickets, even if the team is going to suck. Like this year.

And I just don’t want to rehash what we saw last night. Everyone saw it. Dallas was there to be had. Wade Phillips looked like a man walking the Green Mile for most of the game. All we needed was a few first downs, and the defense to duplicate what they had done in the first half, which was not terrible by the low standards this team has begun to set this young season. But this game was so poorly coached in the second half, I wondered if last year’s version of the Carolina Panthers was a cruel aberration.

Friends, I just gotta say. Three weeks into this season?


I knew we had an ominous feeling of doom going into the season. I know I crowed about another 12-win season. That was before the preseason started, and things just didn’t look right. And now, instead of something appearing to be wrong, there IS something wrong, bad wrong, in the way this team executes, in ALL PHASES OF THE GAME. Which is head-bangingly frustrating to us fans who watched THIS VERY SAME GROUP OF PLAYERS soar to a 12-4 record last year! If the same group of players who excelled last year is vastly underperforming THIS year, then perhaps the focus of blame rest squarely on the coaching staff.

And what was once unimaginable is now tangible. Could John Fox be losing this team?

And if he is, it’s an indictment that he’s not going to escape from this time. And he’s running out of chances to make it right. A loss at home to the dreadful DeadSkins will pretty much finish the excitement and passion for the team from the fans. The sound of cheering will stop. And you wanna see UGLY? The next six home games will be excruciating for all involved.

I got tired of banging out negativity back in ’07 when I took Marc’s place on the rant box. I delighted in writing about the euphoria of success last year. And now, it looks like I’d better stock up on some serious venomous verbiage, adverse adjectives, and noxious nouns for the weeks to come.

And it starts with a LOOONG two weeks before Judgement Day against the DeadSkins.


I’m ranted out.

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