On the radio when talking about individual players, I always hear stuff like "He's a likable guy" or "He's a fan favorite". They are referring to players that are in sharp contrast to guys like Julius Peppers or Jake Delhomme. This got me wondering who are the most and least liked Panther players... by fans of course, since non-fans tend to automatically dislike the players that are the biggest threat to their team. Here is a "likable" ordered list of a handful of current, more common Panther names... not me personally, but what I believe is the general perception among Panther nation. How would yours differ?
The Take Ems'
1. Deangelo Williams
Big Smile + Big numbers put this guy as possibly the most liked Panther. Even though his potential replacement was taken in last years draft, Deangelo embraced him, never complained and swore very convincingly that it didn't bother him. He topped this great attitude by having the best single season of any RB in Panther history.
A household name... Even my Grandma knows the name Moose. He's been with the team through thick and thin, and when he left it became very evident that he would not be easily replaced.
3. Steve Smith
I wanted to put Smitty first being that he is not only the best player in Panther history, but also the most fun to watch. He has shown the nation that you don't have to be the tallest or the fastest to be the best. You just have to want it the most and never quit. I dropped him however due to his attitude and sometimes violent actions that rub people the wrong way, and sometimes leave him apologizing to fans.
4. Jon Beason
A natural leader combined with great talent. Being that he is already one of the best LBs in the NFL, he might be higher on the list when it's all said and done.
5. Jordan Gross
Even non-Panther fans like Gross because they know it's not easy to find a franchise, pro-bowl Offensive Tackle. Plus he is featured on local Fox news as an American Idol analyst, so he has to be likable... right?
Every Panther fan has high hopes for this kid. He has the build, speed and skill that fans get excited about. And with Deangelo lighting it up in front of him... His mistakes get swept under the rug.
7. John Kasay
The lone original Panther. He has literally been through everything. The only reason I don't put him higher is because he flippin' could have won us a Superbowl! Gotta hold that against him.
8. Brad Hoover
You know why he is here the first time you go to a game and hear "Hooooooooooooooooov".
9. Chris Harris
You gotta like Chris. He came from a "hate-able" team that under-valued him, and immediately showed that he was going to be an impact player. When interviewed he is always smiling but yet a straight shooter, which is refreshing on a team where the motto is "It is what it is".
The Leave Ems'
1. Jake Delhomme
As much of an asset as Jake is to this team, he also has to be the most hated. Jake is the face and the butt of the franchise.
2. Julius Peppers
Due to his lack of effort and his "Can't wait to get out of town" scheme, some fans don't even want him on the team. A weird fate for a potential Hall-Of-Famer.
Dude came into town on a white horse. The heir apparent to the beloved Moose. But he was too over confident, forgot to study his play book and partied a way too much. It took an All-Pro wide receiver to rebuke him on television to knock some sense into him. Lucky for him, a big season in 2009 could erase everything. Fans want him to change his stars.