It's early in the morning and your daily routine is about to begin. The rising December sun is warming your back now, but there's an ominous chill in the air. Something isn't right. Fearlessness has suddenly been reduced to uneasiness, yet you must press on. After all, you have a wife and three children who are counting on you to provide for them, and this has been the most job security you've had in a long time.
Sure, there were risks associated with your profession, but you've come to accept them despite those recurring nightmares. You know them well by now. The ones where your platform somehow breaks and you begin plummeting at breakneck speed to the busy Manhattan streets below. The free fall seemingly lasts forever, then suddenly you awake just before impact.
Did you know that you have a fifty percent chance of surviving a fall from a 3 story building? How about a 10 story building? Approximately 5 percent.
There are no statistics to calculate the odds of surviving a fall from forty-seven stories, but there is at least one person who miraculously beat those overwhelming odds in 2008, and It happened almost exactly as I described in my opening paragraph.
As you can imagine, the thirty-seven year old man was in awful shape when he arrived at the hospital. So much so that twenty-four units of blood had to be pumped into his literally broken body in the first few critical hours after the accident. Although he did sustain some swelling on the brain, the trauma was actually minor considering the height at which he fell. Severe spinal injuries are very common among survivors of these falls, but he managed to dodge that bullet as well. Doctors even went so far as to say they believed he would walk again. Football? Now that's a different story altogether, and that is where we will go next.
Ron Rivera and the Carolina Panthers are in the midst of a free fall of their own. Of course, no one's life is on the line, but jobs are at stake. Some of us have become so cynical about coach Rivera and the season that we've already given up. These are desperate times for the fans and the organization. We've questioned Rivera's judgement for the better part of two years now, and the answers have fallen flat nearly every time.
But I'm here to tell you that all hope is not lost.
I may not believe in Rivera's static philosophy and unwillingness to adapt to his personnel, but I believe in Star Lotulelei's ability to take on multiple blockers and overpower whoever is in front of him.
I may not believe in the Panthers' porous offensive line, but I believe in Cam Newton's ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver the game winning touchdown pass that propels this team to places it's never been before.
I may not believe in our talent-deficient, injury-plagued defensive backfield, but I believe in a tandem of defensive ends who will give everything they have to mitigate the burdens of that very same secondary.
I may not believe in Mike Shula, but I still believe Steve Smith can improvise with the best of them and lead this receiving corps to greater heights.
I may not believe in the Panthers prevent defense, but I do believe in a guy by the name of Luke Kuechly who can finish an opponent in spite of a flawed defensive scheme or game plan.
In other words, I haven't given up on the 2013 season.
To be clear, defeating the Giants this Sunday certainly shouldn't be classified as impossible, but it does seem highly unlikely, especially when you consider the potent passing attack this decimated secondary will be facing. Furthermore, a Panthers' victory appears to be even more absurd when you throw in the fact that our bottom feeding offensive line will be facing a formidable defensive line who is looking to shake off the cobwebs of a slow start. Admittedly, all of the signs are pointing to another agonizing loss, and a painful two week pause to ponder what might have been. Even so, I believe the nightmare ends this Sunday as the Panthers earn their first win of the season in dramatic fashion.
Final Score: Panthers 34 Giants 31
Do you think that Ron Rivera and the Panthers will continue their free fall into the forgotten land of 2013 irrelevance by losing this Sunday against the Giants? Be sure to let everyone know how you feel in the poll and the comment section that follows.