The Terrible Morning Metaphor: Desperate Times Call For Desperate Pleasures

Words cannot describe how terrified I was searching for 'teeth' in the SB Nation photo database. - Scott Barbour

This dentist reports on the depressing efficacy of the Carolina Panthers current dental hygiene practices.

This dentist reports on the depressing efficacy of the Carolina Panthers current dental hygiene practices.

We are the fans of an often sad football team. Whether they floss or not, we are the dentists of the Carolina Panthers. We earned our doctoral degrees in dental science over years of hard work watching the Panthers occasionally win, often lose, but usually compete in their weekend football eating contests. This led to all of the kinds of gum disease and cavities and teeth yellowing that keep us, as their loyal dentists, in business. Recent years, however, have seen leaner, healthier diets take over the Panthers. Gone are the exciting and regularly occurring health issues that kept us on the edge of their tonsils. With demand down our business, which is really more of a passion, is a suffering.

No longer can we hold the Panthers down in our chairs and ‘clean their teeth’ with the sharpest of instruments whilst mockingly chiding them about their flossing habits. Now we are forced to sit back and comment on, even marvel at, how clean their mouth is, how perfectly white their teeth are, and how unbleedy their gums are. Sure, we sometimes think we are seeing the beginnings of a serious problem. Just last week, I spent the first half of our visit under the impression that the Panthers had some dangerous bacterial infection beginning to take root around their incisors. It turned out to be particles of collard greens left over from the lunch they ate right before our visit. This because the Panthers have become nearly as inconsiderate of their dental healthcare providers as they have become generally immaculate in their oral hygiene routine.

It has become clear that this is not the time to bet our entertainment futures on the ability of the Panthers to schedule regular appointments during which we can inflict maximum discomfort upon them. Therefore, we must find other avenues from which to derive our oral pleasure from the Panthers. Basically, we are left seeking the dentist's metaphorical equivalent to secretly enjoying a stray dog humping your leg or burning your own house down just so a fireman (or anybody, really) will give you a hug. For this means that we shall begin to inflict upon them our own carefully cultivated halitosis. We shall become less discriminating in our own diets so that our noxious and nauseating breath will strain the bonds of apparent sanity that keep our team in the chairs beneath us. We will no longer investigate the ingredients list before buying food products. Non-dairy Velveeta, you say? These are the Bleacher Reports of food and we shall eat them with relish. Ideally, this will remind our dear patient Panthers of the good old days and act as subtle encouragement for their reform.

Some of us held a fools hope that this year we would be exchanging Christmas gifts, after a fashion. We thought they might schedule a few more visits to clean those holiday sweets out of their teeth. In turn, we considered buying a present for them, perhaps a shirt or a hat. You know, something casual but not too casual. We didn’t want to look creepy or obsessive or have that ‘stalker’ word thrown at us again. But something nice. We don’t want them to think we don’t think about them, we just don’t want them to think that we do think about them maybe as much as we do. You understand. Except now we are hearing rumors that they are going to be out of town for the whole holiday season. We are hearing something about some forced vacation from work. If this is truly the case then we will require retribution for our dashed hopes. I suggest buying them bottles of cost effective holiday liquor. I’m talking $12.95 handles of whiskey about which connoisseurs have said such things as "imminently palatable" and "doesn’t taste like grain alcohol, so there’s that."

None of this is to say that we should stop cleaning the Panthers teeth or servicing them in any way, even if they do stand us up after New Year’s. It is merely an expression of frustration. After all, passive aggression is truly a fans only recourse in the face of a faltering franchise.

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