You remember the classic children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, right?
The book starts with Alexander waking up with gum in his hair and his day only gets worse from there.
Carolina Panthers fans like me know how Alexander feels.
2012 has been nothing short of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad season so far.
The Terrible Losing
As I have previously written, the Carolina Panthers have lost more games since 2010 than any other NFL team.
Nothing frustrates a fan base like losing, and Panthers fans like me are frustrated.
The 2-14 season in 2010 was a complete debacle, but optimism returned in 2011 after Cam Newton, coach Ron Rivera, and company improved to 6-10.
This year was supposed to be a breakout year for the Panthers. Before the season the Panthers were widely labeled as a "classic sleeper team" and possible playoff contender.
As a Panthers fan I was also expecting a 9-7 type season with Carolina fighting for a playoff spot. With a 1-5 record thus far, the playoffs are a pipe dream and disillusioned fans can only shake our heads at the mounting losses.
The Horrible Pouting
Cam Newton's pouting has made the losing feel even worse.
Last year Newton looked like a franchise savior. After years of middling quarterback play, Carolina fans thought we had the QB we could ride into the playoffs for the next decade-plus.
But so far this year Cam's performance and his attitude have left fans frustrated and he has burned much of the goodwill he built during his stellar rookie season.
Steve Smith lit into Cam for his sideline sulking during the Panthers' Week 3 blowout loss to the New York Giants. Newton was widely criticized for his immature "suggestion box" press conference following Carolina's Week 7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Instead of a franchise savior, Panther fans are wondering if we now have a franchise headache on our hands for the foreseeable future.
The No Good Firing
Somebody's head had to roll, so it was GM Marty Hurney who was led to the gallows this week.
Hurney's firing left me feeling empty. Yes, the last two-plus years have been terrible, but Hurney also oversaw a Panthers team that went 64-48 (.570) between 2003-2009 and made the Super Bowl.
He constructed a team that was competitive for seven straight years and assembled a roster of likeable, dedicated guys like Steve Smith, Jordan Gross, Ryan Kalil, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Jon Beason, Thomas Davis, etc.
I know they are losing, but I like these guys.
Yes, Hurney made a lot of draft-day mistakes and blew too much cap space on running backs, but I like the team he assembled. Firing Hurney may have been necessary, but it will do nothing in the short-term to make the Panthers more competitive.
The Very Bad InjuriesInjuries are now making it less likely the Panthers will turn the season around.
In the past two weeks alone Carolina has placed three key players on the injured reserve - Jon Beason, Chris Gamble, and Ryan Kalil.
Shelving three of the team's most important players will only make losing more likely for the struggling Panthers.
It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad season indeed.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Panthers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles:
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Cam Newton
- Carolina Panthers