Regardless of what level of football you are playing, one thing is consistently true. Attitude is the primary factor in how well your team does. Without the right attitude, no team can go out on the gridiron and win consistently. As a huge Carolina Panthers fan, I have silently sat and watched many things over the last few seasons and pretended not to see them. I was embarrassed. The Carolina Panthers need to make some major changes to truly fix that losing tradition. Some of those changes are not so obvious, while others are as clear as the grass stains on their uniforms.
An early example highlights one needed change
Back in high school my team was considered one of the best teams in the area. Every season, we had a tough slate of games that included teams that would go on to win the state title most years. Still, if you went down the line of teams that we would face every season, the one that we all secretly dreaded was Mount Airy. Mount Airy never had the best team or the biggest players, but they always punched you right in the mouth. You never came out of a game with those guys without some scars and blood being exchanged. They fought for every inch and had the respect of every team they faced. They might not win more than a couple of games, but you could be sure they would win more than the newspaper predicted every season. They got more with less because of attitude. The Carolina Panthers need a little bit of Mount Airy in them.
There was a time when the Carolina Panthers had that type of swagger. I know they can return to that. They simply need someone to lead the way and make an example. I am not so sure that Ron Rivera is that guy, but I certainly hope so.
Hating losing and committing to winning are two different things
If you look at the awesome quarterbacks in history, they seem genuinely unfazed when they lose most of the time. Aaron Rodgers this year is the perfect example. Check out his post game interviews after a loss. He goes up to the podium with the attitude that he knows the next game will be a win. He cares that he lost a game, but he clearly is not going to let it stop him from changing what needs to change to win next time. He is calm. He is cool. He is a champion. Cam Newton has got to learn that concept or his team will ride his pouting example right down the drain.
The fans should take on some blame here too
The fans? Absolutely. When you go into a stadium to face another team, you are inevitably going to have fans from another team on occasion. Being a relatively young franchise, the Panthers get their fair share of that. Still, when you go to opening day in your stadium and can't hear the cheers of your own team over those of the opposition, you have a problem. If you don't believe me, check out the Dallas Cowboys game. It is insane.
The fans need to become a sixth man for the franchise and the Seattle Seahawks are a wonderful example of that. Nobody wants to go to face the Seahawks in Seattle. Their fans are like that when they win or lose. We need some of that in Carolina and I am finally speaking up about it. We don't have a wine and cheese problem as some say. Our problem is that we need to come out in droves for every game and support our team. Only sellouts that rock the stadium should suffice. Many teams would kill for an NFL franchise, right?
Source--Yahoo Sports Stats Page
*Southern is a huge Carolina Panthers fan that is convinced that he will see a Super Bowl Trophy in Charlotte within five years.
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