You see, I'm not the only panther peasant. Sorry for the wait guys, I'm sure that was as painful as waiting in line to get an autograph at this event.
Before I go on any further, I want to let y'all know that there were no rookies at this event due to some wack rookie/college rule... sucked for half of the people who showed up with their Jimmy Clausen jerseys.
Panthers in the Park was a fan appreciation event that was free for everyone to attend. It was a family-oriented event, where kids could hang out with their favorite (back up) players (more on this later). If you were too old to participate in the Play 60 challenge, you could wait in line by one of the booths for an autograph like the hundred others at the event.
...More after the jump
Here's what the schedule looked like (sort of):
5:00 Top Cats dancing
5:15 Offensive players arrive
6:20 Offensive players depart
6:30 Defensive players arrive
7:45 Defensive players depart
I know I said it in my previous post, but I must say the Panthers organization really knows how to groom their players. Not a single player has a super-star attitude, and they know how to treat their fans. But the security was tight in this event; the staff member wouldn't allow you to take pictures with the players, and you could only bring one personal item for the sake of others waiting in line.
But if I gave up then, I would have let you guys down.
Darn those security guards... I could hear their voices "No picture" echoing in my head as I was walking back to another line after getting an autograph from Dante Rosario (there were 4 different booths, each with 2-3 players). Normally, bringing a baby to such event would get you an extra autograph and a picture with the players, but these security guards were cold (not that I had an extra baby lying around).
As I was waiting, I noticed something. One of the security guards would notify a player from each of the booth (where they had been signing autographs), and these players would head over to the Play 60 challenge to hang out with the kids. 20 minutes later, they would head back to their stations and take over the signing duties as the rest of them went to play with the kids.
So there was only one way to get my pictures taken... I entered the Play 60 challenge.
Ok, I didn't really "enter" the challenge, but I had to get my pictures... And I was not the only one with the brilliant plan, as I started to see more grown-ups by the Play 60 challenge for some reason...
Something I'm sure you guys would love to see out on the field... oops, wrong guy with the dreadlocks
Other than the people yelling at me for taking too long with the players, I'd say the fans were the winners at this event. The kids had a great time hanging out with the players, and I think the players enjoyed the time off from the mini camp. Better-known players like Chris Gamble, Jonathan Stewart, Everette Brown, and Thomas Davis were busy signing autographs, and couldn't leave their stations to hang out with the kids.
And that's ok, because I took pictures with them anyway.
Guys I didn't know until yesterday:
I had no idea who he was until yesterday. He's our long snapper, and I must say even he was as conditioned as the rest of the players.
Not Matt Moore, not Kenneth Moore, but Eric Moore
He's a DE who played for the Rams last year. Not much I can say about him, but maybe you guys can help me out.
Our starting CBs (possibly):
While the guards weren't looking...
I swear that lady was everywhere.
The Panthers organization really appreciates all the support from their fans, and does a great job giving back to the community. I hope you guys can make it next time. Who knows, maybe Jimbo will be there next time.
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