Another season is gone and in the books. However, this one was a bit more special; We made the playoffs, won the NFC South, had a winning record, and finally looked like the team every fan knew we could be.
I can't help but realize though as I read through the newspaper articles, Facebook post, and Twitter feeds today how lucky we are as fans. These players only get so many opportunities with a team. Whether it be because of talent, necessity, money or age; At some point they have to leave as a player. Every year around this time they have to pack up and head home until camp starts and many are left to wonder if they will ever be back or not.
As fans, we get the amazing luxury of seeing our team every year, every game and every play. We can't be traded, franchise tagged or released. We are here by choice and most of us stick with our team through thick and thin. Even our bandwagon fans are welcome to come and go as they please. There is not a restriction on fandom. Which is part of what makes competitive sports so great.
So yes, I'm disappointed with our loss yesterday, as every fan is. But as I read the players reactions, and comments as they pack their bags this morning I am grateful that I can still come back next year dressed in black and blue and ready to support the Panthers!