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Panthers 2022 season opener countdown: 89 days to go

We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off the 2022 season.

Minnesota Vikings v Carolina Panthers Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images

There are only 89 days left until the Panthers kick off the 2022 season, so that means it’s time to take a look at one of the best (if not the best) players to ever wear a Panthers uniform — wide receiver Steve Smith.

Steve Smith, aka Smitty, aka Agent 89, aka The Rules and Regulations of the Game, aka Ice up, son! is one of my all-time favorite NFL players. I love how he kept a chip on his shoulder for the entirety of his career. I love that he took it personally when no one believed he could make it due to his size limitations. I love that he proved every single doubter wrong. There’s no question that Steve Smith belongs in the conversation as the best wide receiver of his generation, and when you factor in the quarterbacks who were throwing him the football, he moves to the top of the list in my book.

To make this day fun, let’s discuss our favorite Steve Smith moments. I’ll share one of mine.

Against the Giants in Week 16 of the 2009 season, Smith caught a pass from Panthers quarterback Matt Moore and slammed into the defensive back, but held on to the ball and galloped into the end zone for a touchdown. Sure, that’s just another ho-hum play for Smith, you’re probably thinking... but wait, what if I told you that he broke his arm on that play? Because that’s exactly what happened.

Steve Smith broke his arm on that collision. And didn’t drop the football. And kept running. And scored a touchdown. The amount of toughness it takes to do that... it just doesn’t compute in a mere mortal’s mind. But that was Steve Smith for you — always doing the unexpected, and making it look easy.

What about you, Panthers fans? What’s your favorite Steve Smith moment? Share your thoughts with us!