Game Day in Charlotte

September 13, 2017 12:46 pm

We love game days in Charlotte. And the first regular season home game is special, because it ushers in an entire season of personal, family and city traditions including “good luck superstitions” (it’s only weird if it doesn’t work), being part of the thrills and agony on the field and the sheer unity of being Panther Nation! These are our favorite parts of the first game day of the new season. We hope it resonates with yours.

The silence of the typical Charlotte Sunday morning is broken by the sizzle of grills and the laughter of fans donning jerseys ranging from Kuechly to Newton. The summer air may still be heavy, but the season has definitely changed. Charlotte has now officially changed from non-football season into Carolina Panthers football season. The change is marked by Uptown streets crackling with life as swarms of people fill parking lots with creative tailgates. These people are joined by tens-of thousands more fans who stream to the epicenter of Panther Nation, Bank of America Stadium.

Fans are shaded by Mr. Richardson’s vision for a “stadium in a park” as they wait eagerly to enter to see their favorites take the field in the first home game. As fans ramble through the concourse, some kids get faces painted while other fans refresh themselves at the concession stands.

As people start to fill the stadium bowl, the pregame rituals begin. One fan favorite is the final tradition before the kick-off. It’s the banging of the “Keep Pounding” drum in honor of Sam Mills’ message, which has become the motto for the Panthers. Four drum beats ring out, symbolizing four quarters of dedication. A chilling call and response rings out from the fans, “KEEEEEEEEP” one side says, and “POUNDING” replies the other.

The kicker places the ball on the tee and with a swift kick, sends it soaring across the field. And with that simple motion, the Carolina Panthers football season returns for another campaign in the National Football League. Go Panthers! Keep Pounding!


Alex Funderburg

Eleni Saunders