You remember pep from High School, the entire team, coaches, cheerleaders, faculty, the school band and student body meet up for a big send off before the big game?
For many it was the best part of high school sports. It usually made every one feel good about their school and themselves and being a part of a tradition and hopefully a winning team.
|Photo Credit Associated Press|
When fans asked in mass via social media, why Friday? The answer given was, it had to do with matching several VIPs prior commitments. Most assumed that meant Panthers players, mainly Cam Newton. Sadly the VIP was only North Carolina Governor Pat McCorory.
Which meant that the Panthers who drifted in at the very end were River Boat Ron and a handful of players: Nate Askew, Tre Boston, Thomas Davis (with his broken arm), Ed Dickson, Josh Norman, Scott Simonson, Jonathan Stewart, and Mike Tolbert.
Serious props to these players who took the stage after fans endured a long painful wait, listening to Jennifer Roberts lead a seriously bad Go Carolina Keep Pounding Cheer.
If perhaps her honor did the "Fish Cheer" she would have had better fan participation. (I know I'm giving away my age)
The biggest bust of the event, Pat McCrory who was greeted with a window rattling chorus of boos. Few fans looked as out of place a our governor in an oversized football jersey.
Entertaining sure, but food vendors were absent, which meant no hot coffee or hot chocolate was to be found anywhere. Kids complained about being hungry. Adults complained about the lack of beer.
Yet, it was fun for many seeing a number of over the top Panthers fans dressed up in their best team sprit and being a part of the community effort.
The Panther's operation from Jerry Richardson on down need to understand that Panther Fans are not just those in the seats. Most of those gathered on the cold damp grass of the Romare Bearden Park were not PSL owners, and while the PSL owners fill the stadium it is the other fans who drive up the TV ratings, buy the Cam Newton Jerseys and help fill the pockets of owners and team management as well as the players.
The most valuable fans are not those who have the ability to plop down 10 grand for season tickets rather the ones who took a day off from work to see Cam Newton in person, those who took their kids out of school or drove from Florence, South Carolina to be a part of the big send off.
Sure it was a nice day but the wind made it cold unless you were protected from the wind like the local politicians were.
The music was dated, and please someone destroy all copies of the Panthers fight song. Telling the DJ you're fired might be a good place to start as the music was just sad and did little to motivate the gathered crowd.
I understand that Center City Partners where the force behind the event, and deserve most of the criticism but it still needed the endorsement of the Panthers.
Seriously our city deserved better.
Lets hope that a victory parade is better organized, and more fan centric and for God's sake limit the political hacks to the sidelines!