This is my first thread. I hope I clearly communicate why this year's Panther's version may blaze another heroic journey into Football history as the '03 Panthers did.
But first let me define my term:Optimism. Dictionary. com lists four definations and I accept each and they are:
1. a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
2.the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
3the belief that goodness pervades reality.
4.the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.
In case someone is concerned that my case of optimism is delusional, allow me once again to define that term.Delusion as defined by Dictionary com: " a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact."
I can assure you by that meaning I am not delusional and would like to present my case using subjective reasoning that compares the two seasons and the events surronding them.
1. I don't think any Panther fan can ever forget the agony of the 2001 season. I think the agony of one season was condensed into a single game on a bitterly cold wet Saturday night in BOA stadium on Jan. 10 2009. Certainly the emotions are similar and still hurt.
2. In 2002 we got a new coach. While 2009 didn't see a new HC it did see new defensive coaches including a new DC that may turn out to be our new HC if Fox leaves. In '02 our final record was 7-9 and in '09 it was 8-8. Very similar. The '02 season saw us winning 4 of 5 in the stretch run and '09 again saw us winning 4 of 5 to end the season. In an odd display of numbers in '02 we start the season 3-0 and the '09 season saw us start 0-3 and yet each team was sitting at 3-5 after 8 games.
3. The quarterbacks. Jake Delhomme
was a 5 year FA vet picked up that year and had started exactly 8 games and was 6-2 in his career. He was unknown and fans were split between him and Weinke. I remember wanting the other "Jake" from Arizona that went to Denver that same year.
Matt Moore is a 3 year vet who has the advantage of having spent his entire career in Carolina that has started 8 games going 6-2. Many are doubting Moore and opinions are split between him and Clausen. Like Weinke Clausen is a highly touted college prospect. And like Jake ,Moore is an UDFA. Another eerily similar stat between Matt and Jake, each threw 11 TDs in their 8 previous starts. But unlike Jake, Matt in those 8 starts has thrown 3 picks to Jake's 7...lest than half.
4. The '02 defense finished the season in the top 5 and the '09 version finished ranked #8.
We start the 2010 season much as we did the 2003 season with a top #10 defense and an offense with an unknown QB that I think is an upgraded Jake. Looking back Stephen Davis
was a bit of a longshot at 29 and coming off a down year in Washington. Who knew if he could stay healthy the entire year. The same can be said of all our WRs not named Smith. Who knows if any will step up?
And in an odd twist of irony '03 provided the impetus for Fox's extended stay in Carolina , similar success in 2010 could provide the impetus for his departure.
Am I making a SB prediction for Carolina this year? No but I think 10 wins is a reasonable bar to set and expect. As Arizona and the Giants
proved if you get in the playoffs anything can happen. So that is my case for optimism based on a odd set of similarities and contrasts.
What do you all think? Have I made a good case for optimism this year?