Monday, December 22, 2008

Week 16: Will this be our "Patriots loss"?

Brethren: That's about the only thing I'm clinging to this morning. Last year, the NY Giants infamously took a 16-0 Patriots team down to the wire in a Week 17 loss, giving them the confidence that they could play with the best team in the league. They then went on a 4-game road win streak to win the Super Bowl. Could this overtime, "should have won but didn't" loss in the Meadowlands be the same kind of propulsion the Panthers need to take home their own Super Bowl title this year?

Like I said, it's all I've got.

We got beat at our own game: power football. We had control through the fourth quarter -- a few things bounce differently for us and that's a huge road win. Instead, we probably got too conservative on our last few drives, pining for a field goal and defensive stop that never materialized.

It was a heart-wrenching loss in that I know we could and should have won that game. Four beastly touchdowns from DeAngelo; a beastly performance by Steve Smith (why do we ever stop giving him the ball); some jarring big hits on defense; and it was all for naught. The silver lining is that this is just a regular season game -- it counts as much as the Tampa debacle, the Atlanta loss, or the Week 3 Vikings loss.

More musings desde

Brethren: Oh! I found one more silver lining: now the Silver Fox is forced to play our starters and get that win next week. If we can go on the road and beat an NFC South opponent (something no one in the division has done this year), we'll take home the #2 seed and division title. Lose, and we're a road wild card team. Given our 8-0 success at home this year, I really really want that home January game and the bye week.

Foxey: we need a W this week. Then shit gets real.

Nacho: The SportsParents put the kabbash on me watching last night's game in a bar, so I ended up in our quaint living room, surrounded by some family friends in a cocktail party setting. The compromise was that I was allowed to behave in my usual manner (read: every other word out of my mouth is fuck; this affliction was named "Situational Tourrettes") The game happened, the fridge has a dent in it, and my fist hurts today. To dull the throbbing pain, I went down to Bank of America Stadium and bought over one hundred dollars in Panthers paraphernalia. Retail therapy rocks, but---

Oh my god....Oh my god....Is that Will Clegg's music?? IS THAT WILL CLEGG'S MUSIC?!?!

Ladies and gentleman, a Panther fan who actually attended last night's game. The one, the only, Will Clegg:

I have attended many a Panthers game in my time, but never in the other team's house until the epic battle for the number one seed on Sunday night. The Clegg bretheren made the short trek to East Rutherford, NJ, and here my non-patented, random thoughts, as they actually occurred:

7:15pm Why did we get here an hour early? It is cold as hell. This italian sausage sandwich is terrible. I can't believe... Oh shit! Steve Smith is yelling at Antonio Pierce! That's why I came early. TELL 'EM SMITTY!

1st Quarter- DeAngelo scores. Panthers are awesome. I am so cold.

2nd Quarter - DeAngelo scores again. This time I got a picture of the touchdown dive. I can't feel my toes. I pray that Brandon Jacobs continues to limp around the sideline.

2nd Quarter - Jacobs is back. God hates me after all.

Still 2nd Quarter - OMFG we are leading 21-10! This is amazing, I'm here in the Meadowlands with my brother, watching my team win, I'm so happy and - OW THAT ICE BALL THAT JUST HIT ME IN THE BACK OF THE NECK REALLY HURT!

3rd Quarter - We are not scoring. Steve Smith is not touching the ball. I can feel my toes again, but this is bad because they hurt so much.

4th Quarter - We are winning 28-20. FINISH THE @#$!^$#&ING GAME! Derrick Ward is a dick!

4th Quarter - Field goal is good! Oh, no wait, no it's not. Oh god. I am uncomfortable with the old man pointing in my face right now.

Overtime - We lost the coin toss. If my tear ducts were not frozen, I would cry right now.

Game Over. Derrick Ward is a super huge dick. At least it won't be an hour and half before I get home.

I must say that overall, Giants fans were pretty pleasant. They seemed to recognize that the Panthers came to play and were pretty good, and some even showed genuine concern for our game next week. Many commented on what a great game it was. But to the one who hit me in neck with an ice-ball: we will be back in January. And you will take an ice-ball to the nuts when the Cats win the NFC.

photo courtesy of Will Clegg

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