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Panthers 2021 season opener countdown: 64 days to go

It’s Mick Mixon Appreciation day, y’all!

Carolina Panthers introduce head coach Matt Rhule David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

We’re only 64 days away from the start of the Panthers’ 2021 season, but who should we talk about today with nobody on the roster wearing that jersey number? That would be none other than Forest Orion ‘Mick’ Mixon III, the Panthers very own play-by-play man on the radio and all-purpose emcee.

The dulcet tones of Mick Mixon have shepherded the Panthers faithful through events big and small for 16 years, having stepped up from the Tarheel Sports Network to become the Panthers play-by-play guy in 2005. While known for an ample vocabulary that has allowed him to offer penetrating insight in both losing and Super Bowl seasons, Mixon has also had the opportunity to prove both a staunch and amorous Panthers fan himself when introducing Matt Rhule at the head coach’s introductory press conference and in playing host for Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen’s joint retirement ceremony.

Mixon announced earlier this year that 2021 was going to be his ultimate season as the voice—and the spirit—behind the team’s radio calls. He’s moving to a farm upstate (in a highly non-metaphorical way), and all of us here at Cat Scratch Reader couldn’t wish him more luck in a well-earned retirement.

The team has a big suit to fill with Mixon’s departure and they know it. The Panthers have been quietly auditioning old fan favorites to take his place for a while now. Those auditions have included such aging stars from the team’s storied past as Jordan Gross, Jake Delhomme, and, most recently, Steve Smith. Only time will tell if anybody can live up to the glistening reputation of the man they will have to try to replace.

Go ahead, Panthers fans, sound off in the comments with your favorite Mick Mixon quote. It’s like picking the perfect blade of grass to kick from, but that kick might as well be to your own world wide web when you find it. It’s electric.