Looking back over a lot of 'Being Thankful' entries, there is not a lot of substance to them. In truth, there is little anyone can really take through life. Each breath is a gift, everything else is a bonus. Enjoy what you have, no matter what it is, but you should also be willing to let it go in a moments notice if the need was great enough. Do not sacrifice the essential, for the trivial. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." (Jim Elliot) So, a quick note that, while i am truly thankful for each of the things i have posted, they are not all of the same importance to me.
Today, i am thankful for the Carolina Panthers. My mother was, and my father is, a huge Washington Redskins fan. My first memories of American Football was of the Washington Redskins. I grew up with the likes of Sonny Jergensen, Sam Huff, Art Monk, Joe Gibbs, and many other names that escape me right now. My mother was IN to watching the Redskins, and it sometimes got pretty intense.
|(AP Photo/Bob Leverone) *|
My dad is a much more subdued observer of the games, but when they lose, you can see it affect him some. Well, around when i got married i came to the realization that the only reason i was a Redskins fan was that my parents were fans, and i was pretty much only a half hearted one. Well, when the NFL announced the expansion of two new teams, i decided right there and then, that i would follow which ever team ended up in the NFC, for no other reason than the Redskins were in the NFC, and the AFC were just a bunch of pretenders anyway. (joke btw) I didn't even know the cities that would be given a team, or even what the potential team names would be, but when Charlotte was awarded the team for the NFC, and the team name was the Panthers (basically a melanistic color variant of any of several species of larger cat) - man, it just fit. I still remember the quizzical looks, and my father not understanding, but i was determined to 'make them my own' - insofar as me claiming a team to be a fan of.
That first season, my father took me to the first meeting between the Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers. The 'Skins still played at RFK then, it was Christmas Eve, 1995. My dad scored seats just a few rows up in the endzone! The Panthers lost that game 17-20. I didn't have any Panthers gear except an old fashion pennant like deal. But each time the Panthers scored i waved and shook it, and i was fortunate enough to see each score in the endzone right in front of me. I still have the ticket stub. It was cold, it was loud, but my dad took me, on Christmas eve, to see his son's favorite team play against his favorite team. It was pretty cool, and will always be a great memory of mine.
* Picture used from the Charlotte Observer's website; Carolina Panthers' Jonathan Stewart (28) runs as Denver Broncos' Mike Adams (20) pursues during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) - used without permission