So, as many of you may know, I'm a bit all over the place when it comes to opinions regarding the Panthers. Often, I live up to my screen name, routinely sugarcoating issues with the team/over rating our successes (I can't help it, I've been breathing and bleeding the black and blue since our first exhibition game against the Jags in 1995). However, I've become much more grounded in skeptical reality during the draft process this year, no doubt aided by the fact that our picks this year have taken on far more importance with the looming specter of a shorter and shorter off-season with which to work with (although in all honesty, I kinda wish we'd move the draft up to mid-march and push back FA to right afterwards; I kind of like drafting before FA, but that's just me)! Anyways, many of you are well aware that despite pulling for Cam and the Auburn tigers this season (I blame my sister the Auburn student for encouraging such behavior), I've been highly cynical about his ability to improve some of his on field issues to the point where he will be able to achieve his massive potential (I'm not getting into the off-field questions anymore; he's a Panther, and all I can hope for is that he doesn't lose sight of what good behavior can do for an individual, even in the face of exorbitant amounts of cash). However, I found myself going through a nostalgia moment and re-reading my first ever contribution to CSR (which happened to be a Fanpost)....continue after the jump if you're not bored yet!
It was a piece called "A return to Delusional Optimism". At the time, we were 0-5 and staring at a very long season ahead of us. I had frequently perused CSR prior to that, but I became disenchanted by the amount of hopelessness that had seemingly infected our fanbase (which can hardly afford that at this juncture). Negativity and skepticism are one thing, but hopelessness will kill a franchise faster than Rambo wielding a .50 cal on top of a Burmese hilltop (Rambo 4; critics hated it, but I'll be damned if that wasn't the coolest 10 minutes of action filming in a LONG time)! I felt like our fanbase had become apathetic; that we were resigning ourselves to Redskin like mediocrity because of one lousy season out of 10, and it was time for us to "Buck the fuck up" and reinvest our interest in the team. Is it slightly delusional? Oh hell yes, but is it what this team's fanbase needs? Can I get a "Hell yeah"!
By now you're wondering "What the hell is this DC bum doing, writing a self-pleasuring puff piece?" Well, I've realized that I've let my worries overtake my fandom; that my "delusional optimism" is being derided by overly skeptical reality (the current political climate, and my heavy investment in it, is doing me no favors either). But I've had an epiphany; If Cam sucks, so be it...I remember the late Capers years/Seifert tenure, and I'm not sure even a #1 pick failing to live up to expecations can eclipse how shitty those years were for us as a fanbase. However, I'm putting back on my "delusional optimism" facemask; Saints think they got better in the draft? Can't wait to see Fua stuff Mark Ingram in backfield! Falcons think they got their man in Julio Jones? Can't wait to see Hulk Hogan and Captain Picard make him their bitch in the secondary! Bucs think they've got the D-line to rule them all now? Can't wait to see Cam juke Bowers out of his jock, followed the next play by Beef Stew stiff arming Gerald McCoy into the ground, followed by D-Will running a couple of circles around Brian Price before heading up field, just to fuck with his head! Wash, rinse, repeat; Hell, I'm making it a mission to portion off my monthly allowance from the GI Bill, just so I can come down to Charlotte and witness these division beatings occur in our house! So to finish off this rant, I'm re-issuing the call to "delusional optimism", because at this point...Why the hell not?
It's not like we can look much worse than we did last year :)