It seems hard to fathom now, but our Carolina Panthers could have been named just about anything. Ages ago, Jerry Richardson's son, Mark Richardson, was asked why they decided to name the team what they did, and his response was:
"It's a name our family thought signifies what we thought a team should be—powerful, sleek and strong."
In other words, it doesn't rally have anything to do with the Carolina region. In fact, according to most maps, the Carolinas are pretty far away from the closest Black Panthers habitat in the United States. Most are located in the Rocky mountains and points west, with a small population in southern Florida.
That doesn't really bother me much though. While they may not be native to our region, Panthers are a pretty awesome animal, and I would argue that we have the coolest statues in the entire NFL outside our stadium thanks to the fact we made them our mascot.
But it does make you think what some cool alternate names would have been. Personally, I like the idea of going with a regional animal. I always thought "The Carolina Copperheads" would have been a unique name. Something native to our region, and definitely scary. Maybe a logo of one coiled up with its mouth open, fangs showing.
Another name that I'm surprised hasn't been made use of somewhere in the NFL is the Sharks. It wouldn't have been outside the realm of our use given the mammoth amount of coastline along the Carolinas, and the fact that we always see several reports a year of shark attacks.
What names do you guys think would have been cool alternates? I know it is hard to think of at this point, because Carolina Panthers fits so well in our brains, but what can you think of? Rec the best ones.