The Carolina Panthers are a relatively new franchise that makes up part of the 32 teams of the NFL, as they were established later on in 1993. The Panthers are part of the South Division in the NFC. They began playing their home games at the Memorial Stadium in Clemson, but soon after they moved to the Bank of America Stadium, where they have played since 1996. Their team colors are somewhat representative of their mascot, being Black, Panther Blue, Silver, and White. Their mascot, Sir Purr, is a large panther with human qualities, such as wearing a jersey, walking on two feet, and even jumping on live balls during punts. The Panthers have an ongoing rivalry with the Jacksonville Jaguars, seeing as they entered the NFL at the same time.
Panthers Brief Team History
The Carolina Panthers did not have a smooth history or entrance into the NFL. It took over 6 years for the NFL and the owners to agree on which State would get to be the 29th franchise to enter the NFL. Finally, in October of 1993, they finally made it official that the Carolinas would become part of the NFL franchise in their efforts to expand. Coincidentally, the Panthers are the first new NFL team to join since the 1976. They were able to build a stadium by selling off percentages of the team, which today Jerry Richardson, the person who originally wanted an NFL team there, owns 48%, while 14 others own the rest of the 52%.
Despite their short history, the Panthers have been able to achieve some great feats in the NFL. They were able to win three Division titles, along with one Conference title which led them to the 2003 Super Bowl where they sadly lost against New England Patriots. During this particular season, the Panthers managed to win their games by close margins or by going into overtime, which is why they were nicknamed the Cardiac Cats.
Notable Panthers Figures
The Panthers have not had all that long of time to be able to acquire any great legends, but they have still had several key figures on their team that have given way to their successes. Even now they have several members that strengthen the team and give the fans something to cheer for.
Past Panthers Figures
Dom Capers was the first head coach the Panthers had, and he made quite an impression. He led the Panthers from 1995 to 1998, where the Panthers posted great numbers for their first two seasons, but went on a decline after that. It wasn’t until John Fox came on as the third head coach, from 2002 to 2010, that the team started to improve, most of all in their defensive play.
Jake Delhomme was the starting quarterback for the Panthers from 2003 until 2009. He is most famous for his fourth-quarter comeback over the Jacksonville Jaguars; they were down 17 – 0. Once he took over previous QB, Rodney Peete’s position during the game and managed to win, he had his starting position assured. During that same season, he led the Panthers to their first Super Bowl in franchise history; although they ultimately lost against the Patriots by just 3 points.
Present Panthers Figures
Steve Smith was drafted by the Panthers in 2001, where he started playing as Wide Receiver. He has managed to achieve many great things while playing with the Panthers, such as in 2005 where he was the NFL Receiving Yards, Receiving Touchdowns, and Receptions Leader. Even now he continues to do great things for the Panthers, being able to get over 1,000 yards during various seasons. During his long career with the Panthers, he has been able to get over 10,000 yards and 67 total touchdowns.
Cam Newton is the new starting Quarterback for the Panthers, and he is quite the athlete. Newton has a good arm, but what makes him stand out is his outstanding ability to read plays and run the ball himself. He has already managed to throw for more than 1,000 yards this season, and has run the ball for 3 touchdowns. This well-rounded quarterback will certainly be a game changer for the Panthers.
Charles Godfrey is the Panthers strong safety and he doesn’t take the title lightly. Godfrey has gotten 245 tackles since he started with the Panthers in 2008. He does a good job at reading the opposing offense and stopping/breaking up crucial plays. He does a good job all around at keeping the opponents on their toes and away from the Panthers goal line.
Even with their short history in the NFL, the Panthers have always had a great eye for talent. They just need to improve on their weak points, and they could become strong Super Bowl contenders.
Present Team Personnel
The Panthers have a pretty broad ownership, where they have Jerry Richardson owning 48% and another 14 people owning the other 52% of the team. This is a great way to ensure that the team maintains a high level of income and interest, and since most of the owners are from the Carolinas, this will play in favor of the State. The Panthers head coach is Ron Rivera, who started in 2011 trying to improve the team and give it a different playing perspective.