Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week 2: Rock N Roll

Nacho: Anyone who read our Panthers preview is probably smugly smiling today, and probably a little richer. Which, I hear, could prove better for the ol' wallet. I'm not advocating gambling on sports, but it just feels a little safer these days.

I returned to my Panther headquarters out in Hollywood this weekend. The most ADD environment one can possibly watch football: Big Wangs. 42 flat screens showing every game being played. We camped out between Lions fans, Colts fans and a few shifty-looking Bears fans.

The game started, we ate humble pie, things looked about as good as they have at home for the past couple years. By halftime I was on the receiving end of some pretty pointed barbs and hilarious insults. I chomped on my barbeque chicken wings and smiled with sauce in my beard: the game is sixty minutes long, kids. Why does every team in the NFL not get this? We're the Panthers. We don't play for three quarters, we play the whole damn game.

Anyway, two more towers of beer and a cheese pizza later the Panthers had eked out another victory, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. There truly isn't a more anti-climactic ending to a pro game than four knees taken, but hey, a W is a W.

For the record, I'm getting a ton of de ja vu recently: in 2003 there was a shitty, war-mongering president named Bush in office and no one could beat the Panthers in the fourth quarter. Welcome back, Cardiac Cats.

and now, for something completely similar...

Nacho cont'd: Jonathan Stewart taught me a valuable lesson about not starting him in my fantasy leagues, and I have a feeling the phrase "Pass intended for Mushin Muhammed" was not said over the PA system nearly as much as last week. The turning point in the game, the moment that made me turn to all those probably-felonious Bears fans and say, "Oh dear, you don't have a chance, now," was when Jake was spearheaded by a Bear defensive back, sprang up, threw off his helmet and started pounding his chest. Minutes later Beason made a spectacular tackle and started slapping his own chest. These two unbridled displays of enthusiasm and testosterone sealed the deal for the Cats.

One last note: Darius Rucker sang the national anthem yesterday. The two other previous times he's sung it, the Panthers have made the post season. These are the things that matter, people.

Brethren: Week Two didn't have the heart-stopping drama like the Week One victory over San Diego did. But it certainly was a roller coaster, and it took me though all the highs and lows of a Carolina Panthers win. I'm physically and emotionally exhausted, and all I did was scream at a TV and drink beer made from the Rockies.

It was an awesome comeback win -- done without our best player, the suspended Steve Smith. I am downright giddy we've got him coming back next week; as Jake said, "we've got our rocket back."

And now to the Brethren patented bulleted thoughts:
- The first half was downright sloppy. I really don't understand the outrageous amount of false starts. I seem to remember at least six. Not cool. Not cool.

- We need a nickname for Jonathan Stewart. Two weeks in, and he's nickname-worthy. I love that he has stated his goal of trying to become the "greatest running back in NFL history." That's badass. And not even remotely outrageous.

- Moose was huge today, and has been a big reason this team has gotten out to a 2-0 record without Steve Smith. What a veteran, a leader. I love the guy. Feels right to have him back.

- The Cap't bought a BeasTON black jersey today. It was an awesome sign for another banner day from the second-year defensive stalwart.

- Chris Harris, at it again with the forcing of the fumble. He is the awesome. Rock.

- Minnesota scares me a bit, as they'll be a desperate 0-2. But fuck that, they should be scared we're getting Steve Smith back. Rock.

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