Here are a few things about the Carolina Panthers that some fans may not know:
1. While some NFL fans outside of the Carolinas call Cam Newton classless and a bad role model, they're probably completely unaware of how much our QB gives back to the Charlotte community and inspires young kids. Here’s just a quick run through of a few of the ways Newton has a positive impact in the Queen City.
The Cam Newton Foundation provides resources for kids who cannot financially afford to be involved in sports and recreation through special programs promoting football, as well as other sports. One of its key events is the annual Cam Jam, when Newton hosts close to 1,000 underprivileged children for Thanksgiving dinner. The event has grown so much through the years that we hear they may have to move to a bigger location. And guess what, Newton dons an apron and serves the food with the volunteers!
2. Coach Ron Rivera was able to lead the team to Super Bowl 50 after a year of personal tragedy. The first of the year got off to a rocky start for Rivera when his Charlotte home caught fire while his family slept inside, causing approximately $500,000 worth of damage. The family made it out safely. Rivera then suffered another tragic loss when his oldest brother, Mickey, passed away from pancreatic cancer weeks before the team’s training camp began.
3. We had a movie star on our roster! Well … sort of. The hit movie “The Blind Side” is based on the life of offensive tackle, Michael Oher, who played for the Panthers from 2015 – 2016.
4. Though most people may associate the Panthers with North Carolina because of the stadium’s location in Charlotte, original team owner Jerry Richardson made a point to make sure the team represented both Carolinas when the team logo was designed. Hidden in the logo’s panther head is the shape of the two states’ merging borders. Richardson also had dirt from every county in both states brought to the stadium’s construction site.
5. Why the Panthers “Keep Pounding.” In 2004, one day before the biggest game in Panthers history to that point (a playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys), late Panthers player and coach Sam Mills urged the team to keep fighting and for the first time, keep pounding. The five-time Pro Bowl linebacker had been diagnosed with cancer a year before and given only months to live but continued coaching in the midst of chemotherapy treatments. After a two-year battle Mills died, but his speech inspired the team to win that game and start the Keep Pounding charity in his memory. Today, many of the players continue to pass down the story on their own. Click here for the entire story on the motto.
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