Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Cold Splash of Reality

The Carolina Panthers got just that on Sunday, thanks to a sluggish start. Trailing 17-0 in the first half, the Panthers eventually fell 45-28 to Atlanta. Do the math. The 17 point margin looks a lot like what Carolina spotted the Falcons in the first half, right?

It's inexcusable. You can pay lip service to the Falcons, but the fact of the matter is the Panthers have started flat in the past 3 weeks, and you could even go back to the game before the bye when they started slowly against Arizona.

I hate being "that guy," right now. You know, the guy who points out the flaws, but offers no tangible way to correct them. Here's why I can't offer anything in the way of advice. I'm not a football coach or a player. I don't have the practical knowledge of the game, and how to best instruct anyone on getting off to a faster start.

Here's the rub, however. This isn't about being talented, or being properly coached. To me, from the outsider perspective, this comes down to simply wanted to beat the daylights out of the opponent. It's about smacking (in this case) Green Bay in the mouth from the opening kickoff, and continuing to deliver the punishment until the final gun. It's about wanting it. It's about willing it. It's about walking off that field at the end of the game exhausted, knowing you spent the last 3+ hours physically imposing your will on the opposition, and taking what you feel is yours--the victory.

It's about attitude. Swagger. Moxy. Guts.

Don't get me wrong--I am not down on this team. Unlike many people I have spoken with, I do not believe they will go 8-8, and miss the playoffs. The Panthers are talented. They are well coached. They have all the tools. They need the killer instinct to take teams behind the woodshed, and get the job done. They need to find it over the next 5 games, starting with the Packers this Sunday. Watching New Orleans throttle Green Bay Monday Night was enough to send chills up your spine. Carolina needs to let their fans feel that good, too.

Oh, and I nearly forgot--big props to my newest, best buddy, Shane from Shane's Towing in Winder, GA. The News 14 Carolina live truck suffered a cut right rear tire on the way back, and with the truck being as heavy (with the added weight of TV equipment), a standard jack is no good. Shane came out, got to us around 1am (after a 44 mile drive to us in Commerce, GA), got us straight and on the road. My photog Adam Butler, and I made it back to the station right about 4 a.m. Shane is a small business owner, family man, and a pretty cool dude. Problem is, it took an issue with our ride to ever come in contact with him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You tell it like it is, Mike. Keep that butt-kickin', tough love attitide

-- from a fellow Panther Fan, couch coach and New "Solarte" Reader