20 September, 2009


I’m sitting at the keyboard this afternoon, trying to summon up a rant.

How do you go from absolutely wretched last week to offensively average this week, and from defensively wretched last week, to defensively porous this week? When you start the season with low expectations, and experience the failure to even meet that, how do you work up the bile to spew? Or the pride to crow? I feel completely underwhelmed by what we saw today in Atlanta.

The offense of the Panthers isn’t the problem. The coaching is one part of it. I saw abominable clock management at the end of the second half which COULD have been some points, but nooooo, Foxy didn’t call one of his TWO remaining timeouts! The defense is the other part. It’s simply not good enough to win at the highest NFL levels. This team is going to be carved to pieces by strong passing teams, and run over roughshod by those strong rushing teams. To win this year, the Panthers are simply going to have to outscore the opponents. And make sure A.J. SeemeTouchmeHearmeFEELEY learns the playbook.

And, despite the late pick Jake threw at the end of the game, this loss is NOT hung on him. He made a good throw, and the defender read the play well. At this stage of the game, you have to involve your big playmaker. Jake did that. How many plays did the million-dollar lineman make? I remember an NCAA tournament, oddly enough, when USC’S Tony Gonzales was abused by Julius Pepper’s Tar Heels. For one game, Peppers dominated. On this day, the roles were reversed. Peppers made no serious contributions to the game. The defense hemorrhaged yard after yard. Even had Smitty made that catch with 2.34 left in the game, and the Panthers somehow managed to win, I would still be beating this defense with the nuclear ugly stick. I can’t believe I’m saying this –

I’m actually starting to miss Turkey-Vac.

You know what this loss means? 0-2 teams have an only 22% chance of making the playoffs. This loss means further eclipsing of this team as a major NFL brand. This loss means that once again, our stadium becomes full of the other teams fans. Look who’s coming to our house this year! The Redskins. Buffalo. Miami. New Orleans. Atlanta. Mini-Soda. These teams have both devoted and bandwagon fans well represented in this region of the country. How easy will it be for them to get tickets from us fair weather fans who will start selling them off enmasse when Dallas is victorious next Monday night? Get ready, Pantherfanz, to endure once again, a season of disappointment in our house. Thanks to all of the so-called fans who wouldn’t lower themselves to pull for their 1-14 team in a sub-freezing rain at the end of the season. Thanks to all of the season ticket owners who think their role is to show up, sit down, and wait to be entertained. And thanks for not putting forth the effort to cheer. And thanks for chiding us who do. This is what’s coming down the pike, y’all. Facist Stadium is fixin’ to go dictatorial on us. It’s gonna be ugly.

So, we have a mandate, friends. We, the minority, the TRUE fans that don’t look through spectacles of false optimism, have a job to do. While it’s true, there’s 14 games left to be played, and it’s foolish to already write off the season, we need to be realistic about our team’s quality level. Let’s be good, knowledgeable fans, show up to the games, cheer when we should, boo when we should, and party hearty in our respective tailgating lots. Let’s not abandon the season just because the playoffs might not be in our future. Let’s appreciate the team for playing the game. Let’s be grateful for the opportunity to come to an NFL stadium, and watch this sport being played at its highest level. If we can’t totally love the team, let’s totally love the game they play.

I’m ranted out.

See you Friday with the picks.

Gotta Comment?
Email me, The Cedar Street Seer


No comments: