The Jeckyll and Hyde Effect

My name is Steve, and I am a Panthers addict.

It's nice to be among so many who understand what I am going through, here in this safe place.

Sometimes I feel so lonely. I can't talk to my fiancee about my addiction. She doesn't understand.

She doesn't know what it's like to wake up on a cold morning in January, sweating and shaking like a leaf, knowing that its going to be three months before the draft, and seven months before the start of training camp. She has never traded her favorite guitar - the one her parents gave her as a gift on her sixteenth birthday - for two upper-deck tickets to a pre-season game. She hasn't driven seven hours and stood in the scorching South Carolina sun for five hours just to get a linebacker coach's autograph on her raggedy, eight year-old, falling-apart-at-the-seams #51 jersey. And she never cried as she read a newspaper article saying that man had died, less than a year later.

She didn't have a noise complaint filed against her in 2003 when a little guy named Steve Smith hauled in a 69-yard touchdown pass, and she surely didn't have the cops called when she trashed a room at a Best Western in Pensacola, Florida two weeks later, as a kick sailed out of bounds with just over a minute left in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl...

No, I can't talk about my addiction with my girlfriend, or anybody else in my close circle of friends and family. They just don't get it.

That is why Cat Scratch Reader is so important.

This is where I come when I need someone to understand my plight. And you all understand it so very well...

But something has changed recently, as another member pointed out in a comment earlier today. PanthersRoar mentioned that we are losing our way, bickering amongst ourselves and becoming divided, and he is right!

Threads are being derailed by long, non-sensical comment trains with weird cat photos and latent use of profanity. No one is paying their dues anymore, and BW is running around in his infamous chaps again. Noobs are waxing intellectual and playing armchair General Manager, and if Lamont Bryant doesn't make the Pro-Bowl this year I think someone may actually have an aneurism. I haven't seen a quality TopCat photo in weeks, and James has been reduced to writing articles about long-shot defensive tackles being switched to long-shot offensive tackles. TerribleMetaphorGuy has disappeared into the wilderness, Oldy is even more dolorous than usual, we all apparently hate some guy named Ivan for no reason I can discern other than the possibility that he is a viking (Not a Viking FAN, a real viking. I would never stoop so low to call anyone a Viking fan.), public rosterbation is running rampant, and I have even seen blurry pictures of PT sightings floating around the late-night threads...

It's a madhouse around here, apparently, and I am left wondering: "Where did we go wrong!?!"

I sat up into the wee hours of the last thirty minutes pondering this question, and after significant soul-searching I had an epiphany: It is the OFFSEASON. You know, that time of year when there is no real football news to keep us sated; when we dig through twelve-year old Combine numbers for over-the-hill free agents that we convince ourselves will be the final cog in the elusive World Champion machine; that time of year when Star Lotulelei is Haloti Ngata 2.0 and The Kraken is the result of a science experiment gone wonderfully wrong (see: John Randle in his prime getting bitten by a radioactive spider while simultaneously being shot by gamma-rays). This is that magically terrible time of year when we are all excited, angry, sad, bored, and a little bit hungry... And it is drawing to a close.

Take heart, my CSR brethren. Things will get better. We will weather this storm, as we always do. We will make it through the dog days of summer, and we will sweat it out in Spartanburg. We will watch as the roster gets whittled down and we will argue over every move Papa Getts makes. Our own roster here on CSR will suffer attrition, the threads will calm down, and the old hats will persevere. OTAs, training camp and the pre-season will come and they will pass, and then blessed September will arrive, and all in Pantherland will rejoice...

For one shining moment, our 2013 Carolina Panthers will be poised for a second glorious run as the Cardiac Cats, on their way to another Superb Owl. Every thread will brim with positivity and all will be right in the world. The bad times will fade in our memories, as they are wont to do, and even PanthersRoar will forget all about this turbulent time...

Until February, that is...

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