30 December, 2013


The seemingly long drive home after yesterday’s victory on the Duckie Pond, at first, found me jubilant, and then, quickly mired in a sea of emotion, none of it good. We listened to ESPN Radio’s Football Sunday broadcast, and all seven CRITICAL afternoon games were covered on the air “Red Zone” style – Packers triumphant over Bears. Niners surviving a late charge from the Cardy-Noles. Saints PUMMELLING the Sucky-neers, as expected. Seahawks dispatching the Lambs, thereby snuffing the hoped-for #1 seed. And – the Chef’s BACKUPS taking a DESPARATE Chargers team to overtime – mostly NFC teams that discovered their UnderDog Super-Energy Pills, that would watch film on our Keystone-Cops like offensive performance and begin licking their chops.

I struggled with what I’d write about, and the title – Yes, we “FINISHED” as I implored our Cats to do, but I was APPALLED at how FLAT our offense was! At a time where it was never more important to make a play, our supposed #2 receiver that NEEDED to step up – blanked. Couldn’t catch a F**KING cold! And, despite Dominik Hixon’s heroics of last week, we can see why he’s nothing more than a bit role player.

And I, just like everyone else who paid rapt attention to this game, realized just what STEVE SMMMMMMMMMMMMIFFF means to this team. Time has robbed him of some of his speed, but not his fire, not his passion, not his drive, and has done nothing but ENHANCE his leadership position on this team, a place that no one short of Jordan Gross can approach. One of these years, Luke will take that role, but right now, #89 drives this team. I thought of titling this rant “OFFENSIVE OFFENSE”, for the meager yardage (for US) gained on a TRULY SHITTY DUCKIES DEFENSE, was, well –

Offensive.  AND – in a game with such high stakes.

And then – I could not forget what ELSE we saw –

N  I  N  E 

S  A  C  K  S.

When, in this age of Super Bowls and the vertical passing game, has a team collected NINE SACKS???

I’m tempted to peruse the records of the ’85 Bears and see if they matched that feat –

And four of those sacks were collected by the ONE player on defense whose star has now begun to share the exclusive domain of Luke Keuchley and Thomas Davis – which led me to another thought, which was to subtitle the derisive editorial of our “O” with “DEFINING DEFENSE”. And for sure, when the story of the 2013 Panthers will be told, it will be the defense that will headline it. Cam Newton, that gorgeous hunk of quarterback that scintillates at least three times a game, might be the easiest on the eyes, and sexier to write about, but it’s this defense that’s carried this team this season.  Those of you who read this rant know I’ve been YEARNING for a madman on defense like Kevin Greene, a madman who can change the course of a game with a single play. I once thought earlier this season that Luke Keuchley could be that man – but he doesn’t have the character. The White Mike Singletary, yes, but NOT Kevin Greene.  And then I realized –

Greg Hardy is that madman.

MORE than MAD –


Who, in the history of the modern NFL broadcast, introduces himself as a mythical sea beast, and lists his education as JK Rowling’s iconic cotillion of higher super-natural education?

The Kraken, Class of Slytherin, Hogwarts, that’s who.

And he’s a free agent next season.




Dave Gettleman, DO NOT let this franchise cornerstone walk like Hurney let Peppers walk! What a heart-breaking prospect for the upcoming offseason, to have the closest thing to Kevin Greene leave for another team!!! You owe it to the continued success of this team to secure The Kraken’s services for the next few years – The producers of breakfast foods are DEPENDING on you!


For the future of Panther NATION –

PAY   THE   MAN  !  !  !

More on the game and the victory in the next few hours…

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24 December, 2013


A sea of unusually boisterous golf fans line the tee box all the way to the green of a long par-5 on a top championship course.  The familiar figure, with his ubiquitous red shirt and black slacks uncorks his long, chiseled body, and hits a MASSIVE drive, splitting the fairway 400 YARDS!!! (Dano says – what a piker – I can hit it THAT long after a five-day DRUNK!!!) The crowd erupts in a massive cheer – He’s on his way to holing out yet another tournament title – His playing partner is a good 75 yards back. Woods hits his second shot to the green well within makeable putting distance – His opponent has to hit a masterful fairway wood to have a chance – and does.

And Tiger


Three putts.

His opponent, a portly, aged, once-was, with his belly flopping over his belt onto his knickers holes a magnificent putt and takes the trophy. Game over, Tiger Woods.

You didn’t finish.

Panthers –

Don’t be THAT Tiger Woods.

Mike Tyson is in the prize fight of his life – a one-time amateur fighting him is barely hanging on, round by round – absorbing punishing blow after punishing blow by the most fearsome puncher in the sport, loses every round – By the 15th round, Tyson is toying with him thinking it’s in the bag. The unknown pugilist from Escodera la Mar Republica de Bananas lands a perfect punch to his chin – and Iron Mike lays cold on the mat.

KO – Ernesto “Le Mancha Pescadores Grande” Rodriguez wins his only prize fight and becomes a body guard for a prominent Mexican drug cartel.

Tyson didn’t finish.

Panthers –


Kevin Harvick, the new Stewart-Haas Sprint Cup driver takes his new #39 Chevrolet to Victory Lane in Daytona – As an official supplier of product to SHR, SMI Properties is given a rush order of 1200 premium polo shirts with Harvick’s number and sponsors embroidered on it. The Embroidery department manager gets the product and pushes it through – the shirts are all stitched in time but there’s a problem – Joe Nejberger, the department manager didn’t schedule enough garment trimmers to get the shirts finished and bagged and barcoded –

The order doesn’t get to the SHR distribution center in time and they are very unhappy.

Joe didn’t finish the order.



Happy Holidays, Fanz –

It’s nice to have a ten-day break so that I can pay a little more attention to the blog, so I’ve got this particular vision in mind as we near the final game of the regular season – and this vision only.


I watched with particular concern last evening as the Duckies gashed the vaunted Phoney-Niners  defense again and again, coming within a scant 3 points with a mere 90 seconds or so to play – A HUGE defensive play keeps the Niners from disaster in their final home game at Candlestick Park. And my mind fast forwarded to this Sunday.

This could be us.

And – on the other end of it. That can’t happen.  Not after the magnificent season we’ve put together.
I’m going to admit I had, and still have a certain amount of trepidation going into this Sunday’s game –
Despite all of the stats and trends pointing to a Panther Victory – I’m reminded of a few things –

This game is being played at the Duck Pond, a place we’ve historically been awful at. This will be Tony Gonzales’ final game. They are BOUND to be absolutely GEEKED to perform well for him. Matt Ryan, despite the wretched year he and his Duckies have had, has not quit on this team, as evidenced last night. They certainly detest us as much as we do them, and nothing would make a terrible season a bit more palpable than to F**CK up our playoff seeding. There’s more than a reasonable sense that this smells of upset –


I’m comforted in the fact that the Panthers got to see something in their locker room after our slugfest in the Carolina Monsoon last Sunday – Seattle, getting their ASS HANDED to them by the CARDY-NOLES in a place they were supposedly INVINCIBLE at! I’m also sure they paid attention to the Ravens looking TERRIBLE at home in a game they HAD to win. And I KNOW they’ve scouted the Duckies last night. The one thing I take the greatest comfort of all in is hearing Riverboat tell his team, more than three times in his locker room speech –


I’ve got this feeling that he feels this more acutely than anyone on this team, and the team tends to follow him. While Cam may have earned the trust of his teammates now, I feel that Rivera has also earned that trust – Part of the reason that the Panthers have had a successful season is Riverboat’s propensity to go for it on Fourth Down – AND MAKING IT – I don’t have to remind you that he elected to punt last week – WITH TWO MINUTES TO GO – and at first, the fans and team were aghast – but as evidenced by the final results, our trust in Rivera was rewarded. I think the team knows what we have to do.

Finish in one putt.

Knock that banana-picker on his ass.

Get Kevin Harvick’s Daytona shirts to SHR in time.

Finish it.

Give the Duckies no hope, no chance, no question about who is the better team, and make that statement IMMEDIATELY from kickoff whether it be offense, defense, special teams. Play hard, clean, and within yourselves. Just like we have all year.  You will have an added bonus too, Panthers – it’s almost a certainty that the Georgia Dome will be half-filled with Panther Fans, as the fair-weather Duckie fans will long be looking for something better to do. We will be there, and cheer loud.

We will help you finish it.

And the reward – two weeks to heal, extend the season, and a very, very, real chance –

To finish. Something far, far, bigger…

I wish you all, dear readers, the Merriest of Christmases. We’re in the playoffs –

Merry indeed.

And some of you – I’ll see on the battlefield this Sunday –


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23 December, 2013


I’m a little late coming to the keyboard to pound out my thoughts and passions as they command my most of my waking thoughts as a testosterone-poisoned sports lunatic, but the date of December 15th, our home game against the Jets, did not pass without me thinking about someone that a good many of you were very close to, or dug hangin’ with in the early days of PantherFanz tailgating. Still, quite a few of you may have never met him – but the day of Marc “JoKer” Stanton’s departure from the mortal coils of this corporeal existence into the realms of eternity brings to me a flood of thoughts, most of them warm and positive.  I feel his presence most profoundly on the few times I’m privileged enough to operate his vintage WWII hand-operated air-raid siren to fire up the tailgaters in the lot,  but there are other times that Marc comes to my mind as a dedicated, zealous PantherFan.

Do yourself a favor if you've never met the man. Go to the "JoKer Tribute Page" on the website.

I apologize to you all, dear readers, but the rest of this rant is a conversation between Marc and I.

Yo, JoKer!!!

Dude, I have no clue how you’re experiencing the afterlife, and how much you’re able to keep tabs on Julie, the kids, your Microsoft associates or James, myself with the rest of the tailgaters you’ve befriended in your long history of passion for the game, its accompanying festival and in particular, the Panthers, along with this website and community that was the genesis of a really good buzz between you and Dano. It’s the firmest belief I hold that you indeed have a never-ceasing view, not only of “The Lot” you took much pride in, but everything else on a galactic level, since now your essence spans a space none of us that still slog around this planet can yet comprehend. So, bro, I suppose you know that I’ve been particularly naughty this year, and deserve a bag of switches this Wednesday –

I could go on and on and on about how things have gone in this world since you left us, but that might bore you and definitely the readers of the blog YOU created, so I just wanna tell you, in case you’ve spent the past seven years digging something on a plane of existence we couldn’t  fathom, how, indeed things are going in the lot – I personally think you would be, to paraphrase my dad, who I’m counting on you hooking up with by the way, if you haven’t already – “EXCITED AS HELL” to be a physical part of PantherFanz tailgating –

You know, Marc, one of the last conversations I had with you was how some of us could take on more of the work in the party preparations, and I remember how glad you were in that SOMEONE was FINALLY going to make a serious contribution to the tailgate – Not only have Dano and James done a stellar job in keeping this thing going, but Marc, bro, there’s now about a dozen of us that do something important to keep the party goin’, game after game, season after season. And dude – you would LOVE the concoction Lauren and I came up with as our signature party drink – it’s called, of all things – Panther Potion, and it’s one part each of these liquors – Bartlett’s Orange Vodka – Captain Morgan’s SILVER Spiced Rum (why? Cause EVERYONE’s got a little Capn’ in ‘em!!!) Good Gordon’s Gin, and the cordial that gives it its blue colour, Dekuyper’s Blue Curaco. We cut it with an equal part of diet tonic water, and serve it in a gallon pitcher or a special dispenser James has on the bus, and the tailgaters get REALLY buzzed from that! Dano tells me that the game a bunch of Matt’s football teammate’s parents attended a tailgate party, much intimacy was achieved afterwards! It’s also a big tip generator at the party. And speaking of tip generators, Dano and Brain have gotten really awesome at cooking our main courses on the venerable “JoKer Smoker” so christened by us after we refurbished it. It’s still in great shape, bro; we’ve taken really good care of it! And of course, it goes without saying, even though we’ve never lost a tailgate, the party’s SOOOOO much better when we’re winning – and this year, Marc, this team is fantastic on levels we’ve never seen before – Dude, our defense is ’85 Bears good – no shit, and Ron Rivera is our coach! Our quarterback is a dude that wasn’t even in college yet when you left us – he’s a freak of athleticism on par with Julius Peppers, (who you may know isn’t on the team any more..)and can do things Jake Delhomme couldn’t even dream of doing. And DUDE –

WE ARE BACK IN THE PLAYOFFS after a five-year absence – with a chance to end the regular season in Atlanta, yeah, that town that you HATED with a fiery white hot passion, as the #2, maybe even the #1 seed, bro!!!

And Marc –

Bro –

Speaking of absence, I’m unsure if you get the internet where you are, I’m guessing you’ve got ways to circumvent the regular physical properties of needing a WiFi connection and a nice Windows machine to get it on, cause there’s no way, NO HOW, they’ve got Macs where you are… but I really feel your absence when I take to the keyboard to write for the website the rant you SO EXCELLED at. I could never call it “The View from the Lot” – that was yours, and yours alone, bro. I so miss the wit, passion, and INTELLECT and KNOWLEDGE you imparted to your sometimes weekly rants, and here in the past few years, I’ve felt so inadequate to keep that part of your legacy goin’ dude, but in that Sam Mills spirit – (Oh, give Sam my best for me-huh?) I will “KEEP POUNDING” because that honors you, bro.  I just really hope that you approve of it.

I get kinda maudlin this time of year, Marc, not JUST because you’re gone, but I do think A LOT of you in December, man. I just wanna let you know that the party you started is better than ever, the people who are part of it are more like family than ever, we’re extending into the national tailgating community more than ever, The Panthers you LOVED are better than ever, and Marc-

Julie and the kids are great.  Everyone’s takin’ great care of ‘em. You got nothin’ to worry about there, bro, but again, I think you know that.

You’re legacy’s in great shape, Marc.

And DUDE –

If that was not you hammerin’ the stadium with the Hammer of Molinjor yesterday when Cam threw that TD to Domenik Hickson, I wanna know WHO WAS!!!

Gotta comment Bro???

Email me, The Cedar Street Seer (the name YOU game me, bro!)

And if you do, I would hope I recover from the certain flip-out….

02 December, 2013


Happy Holiday times, Fanz!!!

It’s been five years since our Panthers have been relevant in December – and now firmly entrenched in the league’s TOP FIVE – NOT conference, mind you – LEAGUE – I, along with the rest of you, continue to spend week after week in incredulous amazement at the ascendancy of these Carolina Panthers.

As I made an incredibly FAST trip through a now speedy security process, which does the double duty of not only getting you to your seat WELL before kick-off, but there’s virtually NO buzzkill in the process, so you are guaranteed to have that “tailgate fresh” feeling when you’re ready to cheer – I was in quite the contemplative spirit as a horde of fans REFRESHINGLY devoid of devotees of the Sucky-neers excitedly made their way to their gameday positions in the seating bowl.

And as I indeed had the most MASSIVE of buzzes courtesy of your PantherFanz tailgating group, and the concoction Lauren and I created for you, I drank in the event that is Carolina Panthers Football (no pun intended-), Gameday, at the stadium. I watched the cheerleaders, the pre-game ceremonies, the players warming up, everything, with a focus I’ve not brought to bear here in many years –

I reveled in the pageantry.

And amazed at how much more precise the choreography of the TopCats is when you’re 8-3. How profound the invocation of the Holy Man is when you’re 8-3. How sincere and tone-perfect the National Anthem is sung when you are 8-3. Don’t think that I didn’t notice the NEW inflatable version of the Panther statue over the home team’s visitor’s tunnel. As the players’ introductions were met with a deafening roar from the crowd, I could feel myself being transported to a teeming ancient metropolis, the Eternal City of Rome itself, where, resplendent in his toga and freshly adorned laurels, Cesar Jerry lords over the day’s Circus. I could imagine Steve Smith, covered with scars his gladiatorial armour could not conceal, as the favorite of the immense crowd that came to watch their hero duel the enemies from a rival city, as the loudest roar from the stadium was given for him. And he deserved every decibel.

And yet, as the old warrior sees his gladiator days shortening, a new star of the crowd is coming to ascendancy – Many of us expected to see this from Cam Newton, some of us right away in his rookie season, most of us were expecting this last year. And as it goes in reality, this young, immature athlete, gifted beyond the mere percent of a percent that are good enough to play this game, NOW gets the nuances he MUST understand to be part of a winning team – part of a “BIG BOY FOOTBALL” team. Cam Newton is growing up. When the crowd began to become quiet, and the Sucky-Neers moved  the ball on our vaunted defense with unexpected ease, this super new gladiator turned on the hyperdrive generator, much like Jake Delhomme did way back in ’03 when he rushed the field in the third quarter of our opening game . The energy spread from the team to the crowd, who resumed the throaty ear-busting cheers of our Monday night victory over the Cheat-a-Cheks. And Cam reveled in it. The players reveled in it. I've never seen our other new gladiatorial star, Luke Kuechley, more animated and active in the defense. (Adding to the pageantry aspect, the stadium PA has taken to playing "Lukes Theme" from StarWars for every "BIG BOY TACKLE" Luke makes. Cheesy, but I LOVE IT-)  The crowd couldn’t get enough (until 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter- REALLY FANS? That’s a rant for another time) and the pageantry continued with a halftime hip-hop show, and more excellent dance choreography from those smokin’-hot TopCats. The beatdown was on, and we now own the longest winning streak in franchise history.


I’m going to want you to reflect on that –

These Panthers are making history – Every reception Steve Smith makes now puts him in the rarified company of those who have busts in Canton. Cam Newton is on a pace to take his place among the elite of the elite. This defense is approaching the yard-miser and point-denier status of – of –

The 2000 Baltimore Ravens – and dare I say it –

Rivera’s old team –

THEM.  If you know football, REALLY KNOW FOOTBALL, you don’t even need me to tell you who this group is, but to be compared to – to –


It’s Historic.

Deserving of the pageantry heaped upon them and the contests they wage. Between now and the battle in The Bayou, hundreds of thousands of words will be written preceding this game against the Saints– I don’t plan on adding to them, except to say –

We’ll be in this game. Drew Brees, if you think the Seattle Defense was tough –


And these games decide the division, home playoff games, a season of success. And it felt like it was galaxies away two months ago, after the detritus had been swept away from the Arid-Zona defeat.

Win or lose, it’s just an honour to be there, to give our all for Cesar Jerry and the Panther Empire.

And the pageantry for us continues, quite likely into January –


I do.

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