Disclaimer: I know this is going to ruffle some feathers, and I'm fine with that. But, it needs to be said.
I think I can say that I speak for the rest of Panthers Nation when I say this:
We love you. We really, really love you; and we're beyond stoked that you're our quarterback for the next four years. We hope that you're our quarterback for the next fifteen years, because we all think that you're the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well, most of us think that anyway. There are still some of us who don't believe in you, but for the most part - you're our guy.
Please know that we love you, and please take what I'm about to say to heart. I'm only telling you this because I love you and because I love the Carolina Panthers with every fiber of my being. So, don't take this too hard, because these words are being written out of love.
It's time for you to grow up Cam. Sometimes, you lose. Sometimes, you get outplayed by the other team. It happens. It's happened to every quarterback who has ever set foot on an NFL field. (For some guys, it happens a lot more than it does for others, but that's just how the ball bounces.) You're not going to be perfect, and we don't expect you to be perfect. We understand that it's a process, and we understand that sometimes things just don't go your way.
So please, when things aren't going your way - don't sulk on the sideline like a spoiled baby who's lost his binky. It's not becoming of a franchise quarterback to do that. It makes us look bad Cam, and it makes you look even worse. Sure, the fans were giving you a hard time last night, but that's what we do when you're not playing well. You should know that by now since this is your second year in the league. You're not a rookie anymore Cam, and it's time you stop acting like it. It's time to be a man, take a leadership role, and learn how to lose. Trust me, you're going to do plenty of it over the course of your career, so you might as well get used to it now.
I don't know if you've read the inscription on the inside collar of your jersey or not, but it says "Keep Pounding". Perhaps you know what that means, but maybe you don't know the full story behind the phrase. I suggest you ask some of your teammates about the late Sam Mills (RIP), and see what they have to say about him and about the "Keep Pounding" mantra that's plastered all over everything at Bank of America Stadium. Maybe you should pay a visit to the big bronze statue in front of the stadium. No, not the twin panthers (although they are really cool). I'm talking about the other one - the one of the man wearing the #51 jersey. That's Sam Mills. You should get to know him.
Mills would be ashamed of you right now Cam. Mills wouldn't give up when we're down by 20 points. Heck, he wouldn't give up if we were down by 50 points. That's just the way he was, and that's the way that you should be Cam. You should have that fire inside you. Maybe you do, and you just don't know how to show it yet. Hopefully with time you'll figure that out, because you've got to do something to change your demeanor on the sideline. That kind of stuff is contagious Cam, and we can't have everyone with a Mr. Mopeyhead attitude when things aren't going our way.
Be the leader you were drafted to be, Cam. Be the man who everyone can turn to when things aren't going quite like we want. Be the man who leads his team onto the field instead of the man who covers his face with a towel to duck away from the repercussions of bad play. We'll love you even more when you do this Cam, so I would humbly suggest that you do it before it's too late.
In closing, I will leave you with this thought: Jake Delhomme is currently our favorite quarterback to ever suit up in a Panthers uniform, and the reason is because while he may not have always been the best athlete on the field - there was never a time when we wondered whether or not he had the biggest heart. Take note of that, Cam, because if you can be the man with the biggest heart on the field, the rest will take care of itself.
Again, we love you Cam, but we're ready for you to take the next step in your journey to NFL stardom. Please, take that next step, and learn how to handle losing with a little more grace. You'll be glad you did.
A Concerned Panthers Fan