Ya better darn well believe we are!
This is it panther people. Something we've
been waiting on for a long time. This is our
year to go out and earn the respect of the
league and show that our insignificant,
backwoods, small market, wine and cheese
expansion team, might not bolster the
southern hospitality you'd expect. In fact,
I will even venture to say -
ALL WHO OPPOSE, SHALL BE CRUSHED!
The revolution begins on Sunday, won't you join me after the jump...
The Carolina Panthers have taken a path less traveled. Coming into the league in 95, I can imagine it wasn't easy being the new franchise on the block when all the other kids had a 25 year head start figuring out how to win in the NFL. Despite the odds, the cardiac cats took it all the way to the NFC Championship game in just their second season, showing some teeth and creating a buzz about a team on the rise. (check it - http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/multimedia/photo_gallery/0801/nfl.surprise.playoff.qb/images/collins.brunell.jpg).
But this time, the momentum would fizzle out. A few bad decisions and a couple unfortunate events later, the Panthers set the record for worst team of all time, going 1 and 15 in 2001. Which forced change, a change to the defensive ideals of emerging DC Jon Foxxy. Nobody can deny that Fox absolutely caught lightning in a bottle in 2003 when our old pal Jake Delhomme came out of freaking nowhere to lead the team to a Superbowl.
As you all know, that championship was a bit of a heart breaker, but it did inspire a feeling around the fan base and organization that the Panthers were elite. It just seemed like a simple matter of time before everything clicked, and in 2008 it finally did. Carolina was imposing their will on opponents the whole season. D_Will and J_Stew were on fire, a Peppers/Beason defense was stout, the stage was set, the division won.The Panthers stars were aligning UNTIL... the Cardinals came to town for playoffs and #17 had the meltdown of a lifetime setting the NFL post season record for turnovers. And just like that, the fun times were over again.
The Panthers tried plugging holes of the slowly sinking ship with some creative and silly solutions the following seasons. Jake just seemed to get worse and when Peppers decided to leave, it took some serious wind out of the Panthers sails. Then the 2010 season rolled around and there was a feeling that Matt Moore could be the answer, or possibly the new comer Clausen would light the world on fire and take over as big dog. Well none of that ever went down, it was a a blur that went by so fast, but I certainly remember something about getting the first overall pick as a result. And boy oh boy what a pick it was.
I don't need to even waste another keystroke recapping the 2011 season that Mr. Newton brought to Charlotte (I think we beat that topic into the ground this offseason), but looking to 2012 is another story. If I learned nothing else from Ryan Kalil it's that you should always shoot for the pie in the sky or not shoot at all. So in keeping that theme, I thought It would be more exciting to convey my feelings through the art form of interpretive youtube viral.... enjoy!
Alas panther brothers and sisters, the wait is nearly through. Soon we shall all be soaking in the life bearing springs of football glory. Hang on just a little longer, good times are just around the bend!