The Panthers Are My Favorite Team

My Blood Runs Deep For My Favorite Team, And Nothing Will Ever Change That

Dab on 'em!

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The Carolina Panthers are the NFL team that represents North and South Carolina. I am born and raised in North Carolina. Despite the New York accent that some of my friends can pick up on. My first memory with this team was the Super Bowl for the 2004 season. The Panthers lost to the New England Patriots 32-29. I remember being so upset as I watched the football sail through the uprights for the Patriots, dooming my team to defeat. Ever since then I always watched every single Panther game that I could. The ups and downs of this team are well known to anyone who follows this team.

The Panthers as of writing this have not put together back-to-back winning seasons. There are sixteen games in an NFL season. The Panthers have had great seasons followed by horrible seasons. The 2015 Panthers won fifteen of sixteen regular season games. They went to the Super Bowl that year. They lost again, but the team is still trying to get its first championship. The very next season the team won only six games and did not even make the playoffs. The team is talented in my opinion, it just comes down to working together and trying to recreate that magic to make to the Super Bowl.

The team has provided me with so many memories. They had a game against New England on Monday Night Football. The ending was deemed controversial, but at the end of the game when the clock hit double zeros, the Panthers had won. This leads to another great memory with a favorite player of mine. His name is Steve Smith. He always brought heart and toughness to the team. He was fighting with a Patriots player during the whole game. A reporter asked him after the game what happened, he replied "I don't know, ask him, he didn't finish the game. ICE UP SON!!"

That will always be a favorite memory of mine that comes from this team. I can't wait until the season starts again and I can make even more memories with my favorite team.

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn't sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It's obvious your calling wasn't coaching and you weren't meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn't have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn't your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that's how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “It's not what you say, its how you say it."

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won't even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don't hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That's the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she's the reason I continued to play."

I don't blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn't working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Seattle Seahawks 2019 Draft Review

This year's draft featured predictability and surprise.

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The Seattle Seahawks made a few expected and unexpected moves in the 2019 NFL Draft. With only four picks in the draft, many analysts and fans suspected that they would trade down. They did exactly that, trading their first-round selection (21st overall) to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for theirs (30th overall) along with two fourth-round picks (114th and 118th overall). However, they promptly traded their 30th selection to the New York Giants for three picks of theirs (37th, 132nd and 142th overall) and traded the remaining two picks to the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, respectively. In return, they acquired New England's 64th overall selection and Minnesota's 120th and 204th overall picks. However, Seattle's most notable move was acquiring the Kansas City Chiefs' first-round selection (29th overall) while giving them star pass rusher Frank Clark.

Not many expected Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf to fall to Seattle at pick 64 at the second round, but the Seahawks snatched him up when they realized he was still available. They also drafted two additional wide receivers in Gary Jennings Jr. and John Ursua to add depth to the position and possibly replace longtime mainstay Doug Baldwin eventually. They used their top two picks on TCU defensive end L.J. Collier (29th overall) and Utah safety Marquise Blair (47th overall) to fill needs on the defensive side of the ball after the departures of Clark and Earl Thomas, and drafted a pair of linebackers in Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven as insurance for Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, the latter of whom will likely not be with Seattle in the long-term future.

The Seahawks have made both predictable and surprising moves in this year's draft, and we will see how they pan out after the 2019 NFL season commences in September.

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