11 October, 2011

FACING REALITY

Your Miss December Pantherfanz needed the box last night, so my rant’s a day late, but I know most of you support Lauren’s continued education as she works towards a career that will afford her own PSL’s.

I, like many of you, drank the Cam-a-lot Kool-Aid as if it were Holy Water. And I will continue to guzzle it, friends! And I encourage all of you to join me in the regular self-induced libation that is Panther Hope, a more intoxicating elixir than our newly created Panther Potion.

But there are some serious realities that have surfaced after the latest disappointing loss. We felt SURE of a victory on Sunday, and with 2 minutes to go in the game, we had a 4 point lead on one of the strongest teams in the league! But then, the stark realization of where we are as a team manifested itself.

We are not a good team.

YET.

Our defense has a huge, gaping hole in it that free agency or waiver wire pickups will not fix this season. Just NOT happening. Remember my pre-season article about changing the recipe? Chef Ron doesn’t have all of the spices in the spice rack to fix HIS kind of cordon-bleu masterpiece. And come to think of it, Chef Ron hasn’t had his own set of knives but just a few months himself. He’s GONNA burn the ratouille once in a while. He’s GONNA have his soufflé fall flat once in a while. But when his kitchen’s fully stocked and staffed, what he makes is gonna be –

SPECTACULAR.

Everyone’s gotta start somewhere. And the great thing about the NFL is that it rarely takes long for a decent organization to go from suck to suck-cess. Hell, it happened to US. And it can happen again. And it WILL happen again. We will surely taste victory again this season. We’ve got the offense in place, we always did. We just had to have the right driver in the seat. And continuing with the food metaphor, I know a crown rib roast with rosemary chutney fromage and pommes du francais with glazed almonds in creamed basil reducto sounds like just the thing to dive into when a drive through for a nice fat Whopper will have to do, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’ve got a steady diet of Whoppers this year. The Panthers will continue to pile up the yards. We’re built to do that, and we’ll continue to do that. But the reality is, our defensive shortcomings will hamstring us game after game after game until the 2012 draft. I accept this. We can’t do anything about it. The organization, short of the band-aid of waiver wire additions, can’t do anything about that.

But another reality is, that going to a Panther football game is FUN again! Its’ a BLAST! Come on, did you think we WERE’NT coming back from a ten point deficit, even against the Saints? I didn’t. I KNEW we’d get in the endzone again and again. We didn’t have that hope, certainly not LAST year, and not the year before that. For us, the game is more than wins and losses this season. It’s about watching a hatchling beast crawl out of his egg, and sink his tiny teeth into his first unsuspecting prey, a fat juicy worm perhaps, and then progressing to a croaking frog, then a screaming possum, and then a terrified deer. Before we know it, our full-grown predator will be downing titanic sauropods and bellowing to Serge a warning –

We’ve arrived. Don’t think about messing with me anymore!

The harsh reality is, today is NOT that day. The Saints are a better team than us. The Packers are a better team than us. The Bears have better special teams than us. But they ALL came away from their contest with us thankful to have won. And they know the next game may not end the same. And every team on the remainder of the schedule, INCLUDING the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans, are no longer confident they’re notching a “W” after facing the Cam-a-Lots.

I had purposely waited to write this rant until I fully absorbed the CERTAIN Duckies loss to the Packers Sunday night. I wanted to start pounding my verbal drum, baiting the downtrodden Falcons to accept another ass-kicking from our reborn Panthers. But now I’m not so sure of our certain victory. We certainly have more of a chance than we’ve ever had against them, but the fact that we have mediocre talent in the middle of the defensive line, no depth at linebacker, and a mediocre secondary, makes me think it will be another case of last team with the ball wins. Even THAT didn’t help us last Sunday, but the Cam-a-Lots will soon learn to play two-minute football. Another vicious reality. It’s not this week.

And another reality is, I will tire of writing inflating positives week after week after loss after loss.

But knowing the day of deliverance, the day where the memory of the infamous January home playoff game becomes forgotten forever, is coming. It may come sooner than we think and that makes every effort we make, whether it’s Dano dragging the Joker Smoker and his sound system to the lot, to James coaxing the hulking Panther Party Prowler to Cedar Street, to my pounding of the keyboard, worthwhile. That thought is what keeps me, and I hope all of you, going to the game, filling your seat, coming to the tailgate party, and cheering for your Panthers.

And one of the brightest realities of them all, is that day will be wearing the #1 jersey.

Got a blast from the past coming up for the pre-game rant on Duckies week. Stay tuned.

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

1 comment:

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