This has been on my mind for a few months now. I have been wanting to post this for quite sometime and get it off my chest but have been waiting for the right time to do so. Well right now in the middle of the slowest part of the off season, I figured now would be the perfect time to post this..
A lot of the times, I have no idea what i'm talking about. I have been afraid to admit this on here because frankly all you guys are experts when it comes to Panthers and the NFL in general that I would feel embarrassed admitting this but it has to be said. I honestly started being a true hardcore Panthers fan just a little over a year ago. Now don't get me wrong. Over the last decade I have always rooted for the Panthers, and watched on Sundays. But up until a year ago I could care less about the draft, free agency, who our GM was, who was shining during training camp etc. All I cared about was watching the games on Sundays and it stopped there.
If you want to know why I made such a drastic change only in the last year its because of two words.. Cam Newton. And no its not what you think. As soon as we got finished with our awful 2-14 season I made a post about it on Facebook, how disappointed I was. A friend of mine commented on my fanpost and said "look on the bright side, you guys will probably draft Cam Newton." Now sadly I had no clue who the hell Cam Newton was at the time and mind you, this was after he won the national title, appeared on Leno and won the Heisman. I never have and still dont watch college sports. So I googled, Youtubed and wikipediad Cam Newton. Well after doing my homework on him, I thought to myself.. "holy shit, now is the time I go all in on the Panthers because this Cam Newton guy is going to light up the league, If I wait until then I will be considered a bandwagon fan."
So several weeks later I stumbled upon this site and got hooked ever since. Co workers, friends, and even some on here criticized me greatly for being so adamant about us drafting Cam. For me it was Cam or bust. I was probably the only person on the face of the earth that said we should draft Cam over Andrew Luck, I wanted Cam well before Andrew Luck announced he was going back to school. I received a lot of ridicule for saying we should draft Cam over Luck at the time. I believed 110% in Cam and this team. Infact, I believed so much that I was willing to put my money where my mouth was. One week after the draft I bought a authentic, custom made Cam jersey on NFL.com, im talking the real deal. $275.00 with shipping and I dont regret it to this day (other than the fact that a year later the new and improved Nike jersey came out but I digress). I bought Panther hats, Panthers shirts, a Panthers cup etc. I went all in on this team and let me tell you. The ridicule I received far outweighed being considered a bandwagon fan if I had waited until after Cam proved to be amazing. It feels amazing. Like a stock trader who bought a penny stock and a year later made millions. Before Cam the Panthers became that penny stock and I bought in months before the draft, Thats how I felt.
Now let me bring this full circle. Im still new at this being a hardcore Panthers/football fan. 2 years ago I was the ignorant, "fire everyone" type fan that would post in the ESPN comments section and as most of you see from time to time I have relapses. Slowly but surely Im working to transition and become fans like you guys on here. Expert fans. Im slowly learning the ins and outs of sports. How teams are built, how GMs and front offices work, learning the jargon, learning how cap space works learning how and why good teams are good and why bad teams stay bad. The key word here is learning. And I have learned so much about the sport of football in the last year or so. There is just so much detail. I use to just think a good WR and good QB is what made a team great but boy was I wrong. This is such an in depth and intricate sport and im learning that its not all about the flash of WRs that make great teams. I know I make a lot of outlandish comments and that is just my way of learning. So my confession is, Im still new to all of this and still learning the ins and outs. I have always felt ashamed to admit Ive only been a hardcore fan for only a couple years. This site is amazing and I have learned so much and continue to want to learn. So please be patient, im getting there. Like the Carolina Panthers myself, im still learning the ins and outs and getting it and one day hope to be on you guys level.