As the Ringleader of the Roaring Riot, I know a little something about being a Carolina Panthers fan. I’ve been a fan since they came into existence a quarter-century ago, I’ve drank my sorrows away following a couple of Super Bowl losses, and I haven’t missed attending a game — home or away — in many years.
I’m also old enough to remember when Doug Pederson and Frank Reich weren’t head coaches, they were quarterbacks I could be mad at for throwing interceptions for my favorite team. I remember when the Panthers’ biggest division rival was the San Francisco 49ers AND I even remember being EXCITED the team was hiring George Seifert.
If you’re like me, some of these reasons will sound familiar to you, some might even hit a little close to home — I know my wife would certainly agree with you — and if you think you’re the biggest Panthers fan in Charlotte, you should probably be a part of the Roaring Riot, home of the best tailgate in town and the reason you hear LUUUUUUUUUKE chants and see so much blue in the stands when you watch away games on TV.
Here are 22 signs (to honor Christian McCaffrey’s number) you’re a die-hard Panthers fan.
(1) You can’t hear the word “Keep” without whispering “Pounding” under your breath.
(2) You describe your age in jersey numbers. I may be Captain Munnerlyn, but on Friday nights I act like a total James Bradberry.
(3) Your friends don’t call you between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sundays and if they do, they’re really not your friends.
(4) You’ve once held it for an entire half because the last time you went to the bathroom during a game, the Saints scored.
(5) You hate everything about Atlanta. Everything.
(6) Your dog’s name is Luke. Or Cam. Or Julius. My dog’s name is Sam.
(7) Your cat’s name is Sir Purr — there are no other acceptable names.
(8) You can’t set foot inside a Marshalls or a Big Lots without spending at least $20 on something with a Panthers logo on it, even though you definitely don’t need it.
(9) Your favorite flavor of Gatorade is blue — and not because you like the taste.
(10) You once broke up with a significant other because they were a Patriots fan. Or because someone in their family was.
(11) You have nicknames for players that you made up yourself that no one else understands like JJ “Big Fish” Jansen and “Crazylegs” Beuerlein. (You call him Big Fish because he’s a Long Snapper — get it?)
(12) You choose to not visit specific Charlotte bars during the week because they host opposing teams on Sundays.
(13) You refer to yourself as a professional Panthers fan in your Twitter bio.
(14) There are at least three Panthers jerseys in your closet — blue, white and black (plus the jersey with the Super Bowl 50 patch that we won’t talk about).
(15) You can’t get on the dance floor without dabbing. Still.
(16) The Riot Report is the first website you open each morning in your office to kill time until your coffee kicks in.
(17) Every Spotify playlist you create has both Sweet Caroline and Petey Pablo on it.
(18) You’ve been to a CANS:RECYCLED party.
(19) You’ve had a meal at Willy Taco, Wade’s, Ike’s, AND The Beacon
(20) You know what Change the Culture represents and you’re doing your part
(21) You timed your wedding and/or baby’s birth so that it would come during the offseason.
(22) No matter how angry you are after a loss (see: Washington 2018) once the 24-hour rule has passed you’re reeled right back in for the next game because you know what the Cardiac Cats are capable of (see: Philadelphia 2018).