The story behind that cheesy “Stand and Cheer” Carolina Panthers fight song

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If you were one of the lucky fans at Sunday night’s Carolina Panthers game, and if you stayed until the end of the 26-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, you probably heard this:


I remember the first time I heard it — after a win over the Atlanta Falcons late in the 2012 season. “This can’t be a real thing,” I thought.

It is. And, with the Panthers 6-0 for the first time in franchise history, fans have been hearing it a lot this season.

Here are the lyrics:

Stand and cheer for the Panthers/In our grand ol’ name
Nothing could be finer/Than to be in Carolina
For a Panther football game.
P-A-N-T-H-E-R-S, Ho!
Nothing could be finer/Than to be in Carolina
For a Carolina Panther football game.
Carolina! 

Think it’s cheesy? You’re not the only one.

The fight song, “Stand and Cheer,” was originally written by Spartanburg’s Duane Evans and was around for the Panthers’ debut season in 1995.

“When (then-team president) Mark Richardson first told me what he wanted in that song, he said he wanted it to irritate the opposing team,” Evans told the Observer in 1999, after the team decided to stop playing the song. “He said he wanted the other team to absolutely hate when we all were singing it. He didn’t say that he wanted our fans to hate singing it.”

The original version is slightly different — and longer — than the new one. That’s because fans reacted so negatively to it in the first few years of the franchise’s existence that team officials decided to bench the fight song before the 1999 season.

“It was too cheesy,” quarterback Steve Beuerlein said at the time. “This is not meant as a shot at the guy who wrote the song, but when we were running out to that at the beginning of the game, it was kind of embarrassing.”

So what brought it back? Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Part 2” (“Na na naaaa na, Hey! Na nana”) was the song of choice until it was banned by the NFL after Glitter was busted for child molestation in 2006.

“Stand and Cheer” took its place after a touchdown in a 2006 exhibition game against Buffalo. The Panthers told the Observer that surveys indicated that fans wanted the song back.

One Observer columnist (*cough*Tom Sorensen*cough*) was less than pleased.

“The song should be on trial,” he wrote Aug. 16, 2006. “Most fight songs are bad. Stand and Cheer is Department of Social Services bad.

“Let’s say little Timmy refuses to go to bed. … To punish him, you play the song.”

Harsh.

Like or not, hearing it means the Panthers are winning. I bet most fans would listen to it on a loop for hours if it meant a Super Bowl win.

Photo: Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer

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