I heard the "hoorah's"... the loud noise of the crowd in Bank of America Stadium... the voices of the players on the jumbo screen, asking for the crowd's yells and screams... I heard and saw the players, celebrating after touchdowns and first downs... I heard the announcers, saying that the Panthers had what it takes to get to the Super Bowl.
I heard it all. All of the hoopla of the games, and the TV shows, and the fans... it energized us, it spurred us on, it motivated us to believe in the team and the players.
And now I feel the "blah's"... the blah's still almost a week after the "big game"... there were so many big games this year, I've already talked about... biggest of which was (up to our playoff game) the Saints game at Charlotte where we took control of the NFC South, and eventually won the division. It's something to celebrate, something to be proud of our team. They had a great year... almost... an even greater year.
The biggest game of all was always the "next game", according to Coach Ron Rivera. But now there is no "next game", only months of waiting until the "next season" rolls around. There's pain, there's emotion, there's a sense of loss and of potential... all of these things are balled up inside.
It's just a game. But a game and team that means a lot to us Panthers fans. We almost feel a "part" of something big. A Super Bowl championship for our team, one they've strived and worked for... for the last 18 years. Will it -ever- come? Well... logically, yes.. sometime. But when ?
Congratulations to the Panthers for a great year. I wish that I could celebrate. But it's not really a time for that. It's a time for contemplation and restoration. This loss took something out of me, and I'm sure a lot out of a lot of Panthers fans. Time will heal. We will come back and be a strong team again. Let's look forward to next year. And enjoy taking a few months to forget about what just happened.
Go Panthers : Keep on Pounding !