The Day After

While the rest of the nation, the media and the league offices concern themselves with Tom Brady’s knee, those of us who actually watched football on Sunday and who know what a big win looks like, are still celebrating.

Carolina Panthers fans have much to be proud of and so do the players.  That win Sunday in San Diego almost made me want to be there to cheer them on when their chartered plane landed at Charlotte-Douglas Airport.

Football is back!  There was enough to cheer about on Sunday and we all finally got our chance to stake out that comfortable seat in front of the television and watch the greatest sport in the world.

More importantly, real football is back in Carolina!

Oh, there are a lot of pundits who will point to how the Chargers historically start slow.  They’ll say that Norv Turner could figure out a way to lose to Central Missouri State with a team of all-stars.  Others will say that the Panthers got lucky.

For those people I have a message – that wasn’t luck.  It was skill and don’t you forget it.

Was there a bit of luck involved in that pass to Dante Rosario with the clock already showing zeroes long before be came down with it in the back of the endzone?  Maybe.

But was it luck that led the Panthers to put up 142 yards on a team that many, including myself, thought would be in the Super Bowl and that was one win away from the ultimate game back in January?  Nope!

Did luck have anything to do with holding Ladainian Tomlinson in check for much of the first half and keeping him out of the endzone all day?  Nope!

How much luck did the Panthers have to use in beating a team that had gone 15-1 in their last 16 home games?  Absolutely zero!

And did luck have anything to do with Carolina beating San Diego with their best player sitting back home serving a suspension?  Not a chance!

Sunday proves something to me and to all Panthers fans beyond any reasonable doubt – fans want to focus on their own teams and crow about them.  They want to stay in their own worlds apparently.  I say let ‘em stay there.

While they are locked up in some room somewhere moaning about Tom Brady’s poor little knee or how rusty Peyton Manning looked, the rest of us who paid attention know that real football is once again being played in Carolina.

The day after should provide everyone a chance to take a closer look at all the teams and all the games.  They don’t have to.  We already know that this is an improving team.  They’ll still be able to sneak up on some people.  That’s fine.  It’s just too bad that one day later no one outside of Charlotte and San Diego knows about it.

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