2008–2009 Panthers Season Recap
Posted on 11 Aug 2009 by Rob Cummings
My son (Cole) and I took in the Panthers Fan Fest activities this past Saturday at Bank of America Stadium. At the beginning of Fan Fest, the Panthers played a 20 minute video recapping last year’s season. It is amazing what kids retain. It has been close to a year since the beginning of the 2008-09 season but my son could tell me what happened in each game as soon as the video commentator announced the opponent. When the video progressed to the Packers game, Cole turned to me and said, “this is the disaster when Jonathan Stewart fumbles at the goal line. But we still scored and won the game.” How did he remember the game, let alone the series of plays that led to the Panthers second quarter touchdown? I can hardly remember who the Panthers played last season. So that got me thinking…let me have my son recap last season from his vantage point….through the eyes of a 7-year old boy. Here is what he had to say.
My name is Cole and I love the Panthers. I have Panthers stuff all over my bedroom including 2 fatheads on my wall and an autographed Steve Smith photo when the Panthers beat the Giants in the playoffs back in 2005. I also love to play Madden 09 on my Xbox 360. I always play as the Panthers and always win. My Dad has season tickets to the Panthers and I get to trump my Mom, my sister, and even Dad’s friends when it comes to using our 2nd ticket to the game. I went to 6 games last year.
Last season started out great. I have never heard Dad yell as loud as he did when Jake threw that pass to Dante Rosario to beat the Chargers in the first game of the season. I thought he was going to jump through the TV. Then the first home game against the Bears was awesome. At the end of the game, I went down to the Panthers tunnel and Mushin Muhammad (Moose) threw me his hat. My Dad keeps calling it my Mean Joe Green moment because Moose said, “hey kid, catch” when he threw me his hat. I still don’t know who Mean Joe Green is. The next game the same thing happened after beating Atlanta – Rhys Lloyd gave me a wrist band and Jeff King threw me his glove. That was really cool. We are lucky our seats are right next to the Panthers tunnel.
The next home game against the Chiefs we went to the Kids Combine at the practice fields. I did all of the stations and won a T-shirt. My Dad and his friend kicked field goals. Dad made a 27 yarder and says if he can hit that after not having kicked a ball since his high school soccer days, that there is no excuse for John Kasey to ever miss a field goal. Of course he didn’t have 71,000 people screaming at him either. My sister met the cheerleaders at the Combine also. They were pretty….or as Dad says, “hot”.
The next game against New Orleans the guy in the next section was really intoxicated (funny word my Dad uses for drunk). He actually ripped the seat out of its place and the ushers escorted him out of the stadium. A similar thing happened at the Lions game a few weeks later. A guy got in a fight and the police hauled him away in hand cuffs. It is always the visiting teams fans that seem to get into trouble.
Dad wouldn’t let me go to the Monday night game against the Bucs since it was a school night. He said the atmosphere was electric. Apparently there were crazy things happening in our section again. Dad is tight lipped about exactly what happened but apparently the medics had to haul away a couple of fans, leaving some extra teeth behind. They say we are a ‘wine-and-cheese-crowd’ but apparently that isn’t the case in Section 107. You’ll have to ask Dad about that night – he isn’t filling me in on all of the details.
The Broncos game was my favorite all season. It was cold (see the photo with me in my ski mask) but everyone was really into the game. Dad says the night games are always more fun.
We were in Vermont for the last game of the season against the Saints. Dad and I reserved a TV at the local pub. All of the Patriots and Giants fans were none too happy about losing one of their precious TVs to an NFC South game. But we were there first and had squatters rights. During the game, Dad kept telling me that we were going to go to the Playoffs in Charlotte if we won. I was so excited. But then Drew Brees started picking apart our secondary. I started to cry. All of those Giants and Patriots fans at the pub started to pull for the Panthers when I got so upset. Needless to say we jumped for joy when John Casey nailed the final field goal to win it.
Two weeks later and it was playoff time vs. the Cardinals in Charlotte. I got the nod to go to the game even though it didn’t start until 8:15pm. We were so excited but it went downhill quickly. I hate fireworks and they went off and scared me during the Star Spangled Banner. In addition, the fans were really loud – much louder than they had ever been. And a bunch of Cardinals fans bought the seats around us and were hootin’ and hollerin’. I couldn’t take it. I had to call Mom to walk down to the stadium to come get me. When I got home, I turned on my Xbox 360, loaded up the Cardinals and Panthers, and subsequently beat the Cardinals 42–0. That’s the way that night should have gone anyway. I went to bed happy. Dad hasn’t been the same since.