Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back David Wilson (22) and New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (34) celebrate Jacobs

Road to MetLife Stadium Contest Winning Entry

Folks, we have a winner for the Road to MetLife Stadium contest! His name is Anthony Dunn and he’s from Grimesland, NC. His winning entry for the contest is below, and thanks to everyone who entered! He wins two tickets to this Sunday’s game at Bank of America Stadium against the New York Giants!

Mr. Dunn clearly went the “extra mile” with this thoughtful entry:

Prowling through the Valley

After opening the season 0-2, it looks as it will be easier for a “camel to go through the eye of a needle” than it will be for the Panthers to make the Super Bowl. As an outraged fan base stands outside Panthers’ facilities in the battlefields of social media, armed with pitchforks demanding Ron Rivera’s head, what if anything can the Panthers do to be at MetLife Stadium in February rather than on their couches?

There is one person that “must walk” the Panthers “through the valley of the shadow of death,” out of the NFC South, through the playoffs (on the road for sure), and out of the tunnel onto the the 2013-14 promised land (Super Bowl XLVIII )–Ron Rivera.

That’s right Ron “Coolio” Rivera!

The media never considered Carolina contenders prior to the 0-2 start, the most dedicated fans have trouble comprehending the thought of making the playoffs, let alone a Super Bowl, and most would think that the players themselves are “saying prayers in the street lights.”

For 24 hours, ESPN has continually looped the graphic that 0-2 teams have a 12% chance of making the playoffs. What then are the odds of an 0-2 team winning the Super Bowl? Oh yea, if they made it after this, you know we would settle only for victory!

Sep 15, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera walks on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Rivera must keep his cool, channel 1985 Chicago Bears’ toughness, and focus his team on the fact that three 0-2 teams have done it: the 1993 Dallas Cowboys, the 2001 New England Patriots and, that’s right, the 2007 New York Giants!

This weekend, at home, Rivera needs to lead the battle worn Panthers to a statement victory against the last team who rebounded to Super Bowl victory after such an abysmal start–the also 0-2 Giants. Giants fans are praying for the same.

The defense will have to get mean, the offense will have to play clean, and Ron “Coolio Rivera” must go for broke! This all or nothing showing on Sunday could just win the Panther faithful back long enough for the Cats to lick their wounds in the bye, pounce on the Redbirds, maul the Viking warrior Peterson, and feast on Ram before defending their home hunting grounds of the South. If the Panthers could surprise injured Patriots in Monday moonlight, they could run through the South, up I-95, and into MetLife Stadium.

How amazing would it be to witness the beginning of an unprecedented run this Sunday that ended in Panther fans demanding Rivera lead the Cats in the Panther Super Bowl Shuffle. At the end of the video he would sound bite, “I didn’t make the last shuffle, so I made my own!”

By: Anthony Dunn

To say thank you for the warm Carolina welcome MetLife received earlier this year when the Retail division moved its headquarters locally, MetLife and former Panthers defensive end, Mike Rucker, are joining together for a special fan celebration at “Panthers in the Park.” Fans can step inside a larger-than-life, 25-foot interactive Snow Globe, complete with falling snow, have their picture taken and interact with PEANUTS® Character Snoopy. The Snow Globe will be open from 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in Bearden Park.

Yours truly will be holding a brief interview with Mr. Rucker during the event, so if you’re there and see me, feel free to say hello! I’ve always got a little time for fellow Panthers fans!

Before Sunday’s game, fans are encouraged to visit Panthers in the Park, the Carolina Panthers’ brand new pre-game interactive area located at Romare Bearden Park in uptown. Activities at the park include the Play60 Kids Combine, which has been relocated from the team practice field. MetLife and former Carolina Panthers defensive end, Mike Rucker, are teaming up to invite football fans to a “cool” experience – a life-size Snow Globe, complete with falling snow! In a nod to the final game of the football season being played at MetLife Stadium, and likely in cold weather, MetLife is helping football fans begin the celebration early by stepping inside the Snow Globe for photos and interacting with PEANUTS® Character Snoopy. Join in the fun Sunday from 10:30 am-12:30 pm!

Enjoy the game and congratulations to Mr. Dunn!

Above all, GO PANTHERS!!

Follow me on Twitter @Ken_Dye

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve partnered with MetLife as part of the Road to MetLife Stadium Preferred Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving special access to MetLife Stadium events and be conducting reader giveaways, with prizes provided by MetLife. However, NO payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.

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