Archive for October 2nd, 2006

I was very excited about the 1-2 Panthers having a shot at an undefeated team… even more excited that the undefeated team was none other than our perpetually underachieving Saints that are now amazingly 3-0 and looking great. Fortunately, Lori from the Charlotte Athletic Department owns six seats through her PSL and so after she, her husband, and her two kids take up four of those, she had two seats left over that Jane and I purchased. So my day started out at the Original Pancake House where I had an enourmous omelete which has more than filled me up for breakfast and lunch, and leaving me only room to eat a small snack for dinner! (It was a really big omelete) Then I parked far enough away to pay $5 for parking (a long ways away). And after walking to the front of the stadium @ about 11:45 and running into Charlotte49erfootball.com’s Eric Vernon (visit his site and pledge money for Charlotte to get a college football team) I was ready to see the FOX NFL Sunday pregame party with Howie, Terry, JB (Joe Buck) and Jimmy. Needless to say, it was crazy and crowded,

Panthers fans were excited to be featured on national TV

Jane was enjoying her first visit to Bank of America Stadium

After about 20 minutes of screaming and jumping up and down, chanting “Go Panthers” and “Terry, Terry, Terry” I decided to get up to my seats a little early. When I got there I realized that Lori had great seats that gave us a great view of both sidelines and the field in general. It was way sunnier than I though it would be and my skin is definately red now. I was greeted by these two guys sitting in front of me which were obviously related and had been excited about this game longer than I had been,

These two people represent the duality of the matchup, the traditionally successful Panthers vs. the traditionally abysmal Saints, its black and white…

I was pretty happy about it all too,

The fatigue of walking up an entire stadium is clearly reflected in my smile

And once Lori and her posse arrived the game began and after the 2nd Panthers drive Steve Smith entered the endzone with glory and the fans responded  with unabashed revalry.  Fortunately, the Panthers “Fight Song” which played during my attendance at the Dolphins v Panthers preseason game was absent from every score the Panthers made. It was an annoying song!

The Saints eventually got a field goal and we entered the half after the Saints missed a second field goal leaving the score in our favor, 7-3. Throughout the game I was suprised at how little Reggie Bush was a factor and was also suprised by his fumble in the first half. I wanted to go to this game so much so I could see him play but Panthers rookie DeAngelo Williams was the more impressive runner. In the first half Williams had a run that had basically no lead blocking for a 30+ yard gain to set up the scoring touchdown.

In the second half the Saints took the lead after a very questionable pass interference call which led the crowd to boo for the next 10-15 minutes. 10-7 Saints now lead, and the Panthers defense looked exhausted after what seemed like a 10 minute drive. So now the ball was in the Panthers court, 9:00 left in the 4th quarter and our offense entered the game. After some solid passes by Jake and some great blocking by the offensive line, Delhomme connected with a wide open Drew Carter in the endzone to take the lead with a few minutes left. In what seemed like a split second, the Panthers had the ball back and DeShaun foster broke for at least 30 yards for yet another touchdown. 21-10 Carolina! But the scoring was not over with about 2:00 left…

Drew Brees came out of nowhere to complete a bomb to Saints rookie WR Sean Colson to give the Saints a fighting chance after a succesful 2-pt conversion, 21-18. The onsides kick would decide the game. Nick Goings decided to catch the kick and give the Panthers the victory. But as the Panthers won I realized how lucky we were in our victory, had Carney hit his late 1st half field goal, we’d be headed to OT… had Foster failed to have his spectacular run (when it seemed as if the TD wasn’t even necessary) we would have lost!

On the way out of the stadium the fans were loud! Everyone chanted GO PANTHERS on the way through the concrete walkway and the echo amplified the volume. But the greatest spectacle of the day was yet to be seen. On the way out, I heard an electric guitar which slowly got louder. This guy was really good at playing it and as I walked through the center of the road, I saw him. A tin man. Playing electric guitar. In the center of the street. I’ll leave it at that.

He played guitar, because he was made of tin

Read Full Post »