06 October, 2013


As I nurse a glass of red vintage, and put in perspective what I saw with the core Pantherfanz group this afternoon, I’m left again with a very palpable and disgusting feeling, one that hasn’t left me, really, since the debacle we saw unfold in that fateful January evening in 2009, when the Super Bowl was as close as we’ve seen it since the year we’d made it.
The faces have largely changed, save a few stalwart veterans, but the ghosts still haunt us.

I don’t want to revisit that place again, ever, but today forces me to.

On a day where continuing a season of hope crashed cruelly on the shoulders of these same Arid-zona Cardy-Noles, I’m forced to accept a notion that is antithesis to the passion of my fanatic heart –

The 2013 Carolina Panthers are just not a very good team. We have a collection of VERY GOOD players, but those players have consistently been inconsistent in the execution of play in the most CRITICAL of situations. When, WHEN, have you seen Steve Smith drop not one, but TWO balls that would have resulted in either a score or a huge gain? And Travelle Wharton? That safety you gave up in the third quarter??? INEXCUSABLE!!! LaFell? That fourth-down catch you let drop to the Arizona turf? A difference in the outcome!!! 76 yards of drive-killing penalties?



The curse of the Cardy-Noles continues, friends. On a day when Charlie Brown could kick not only the ball out of Lucy’s grasp, but Lucy’s f**king head as well, Charles’ Schultz’ eternally downtrodden character performs as expected. And like Charlie, who is easily the most likeable of Mr. Schultz’ creations, Ron Rivera and his Panthers again meet with failure. There comes a point where optimism and “we’ll get ‘em next time” mantras fail to satisfy the desires of the fan base, who fill that stadium game after game, who tune in to EVERY game, vent on talk radio, and support the franchise to whom we are committed.

I’m unsure that blame for this abortion of a game falls completely on Rivera, but in the real world, as well as professional sports, the ones in leadership positions ultimately take the blame for failure. Something is surely going to change with the Carolina Panthers, and I’m sure that the coming weeks will see Dave Gettleman continue to pull the switches he feels he needs to pull to make this team better. To make this team more competitive. To win.

Because right now, we just don’t have it.

Beating the Gi-‘Aints?

It was fools’ gold. Pure, unadulterated fool’s gold. The Gotham Goobers are truly, truly bad, and not a good measuring stick of where we are as a football team, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Now, big picture, we are not mathematically out of the playoff chase, but realistically, the teams we will need to catch are moving forward with their seasons. We are NOT going to catch the Saints for a division championship, I can say that with complete confidence. Today, we went backwards. And we have a pumped-up Vikings team to handle next week. Even a victory there won’t restore the hope I had two weeks ago.

I resign myself to another season of underachieving , and putting my faith in the mechanizations of a general manager that’s not afraid to make bold decisions to improve this football team.

The Braves are on and beating the Dodgers, so I’m also failing at caring anymore about today’s game.

I have other things to care about.  Thanks for tuning into the Pantherfanz “Rant Of The Week”

Chop on.

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