For those of you who know me, you know I love me some Carolina Panthers football. Growing up, I was a little slow to really hitch my fandom to the Panthers. I was a big San Fransisco 49ers fan because I loved Jerry Rice and Steve Young. But in the 1996 NFL playoffs when the Panthers beat the Cowboys... I permanently became a Panthers fan 'til death do us part.
Fast forward to July 2016 and me posting my #PlayLikeAPanther photo on Instagram. The Panthers, in partnership with MillerCoors, were holding a contest to win a VIP trip experience at training camp. After tons of entries, I actually won!
|The winning photo that my amazing wife took.|
|Reuben at Cam's locker. He keeps hot sauce in there.|
|Now before you start hating... ain't we fresh tho?!|
|Us blocking the jealousy directed at us.|
|Players during lunch, magician not pictured.|
|Killa Cam in the straw hat. He is a large human being.|
After Q&A, we hit the field! Wes took us through some drills and routes before we played some touch football. Wes played all-time QB, and of course, the game ended in a tie.
On day 2, we had an early breakfast, then made our way back to Charlotte. After a quick lunch Uptown at Blackfinn, it was time for another tour in the stadium. This time we met some of the people that make the Panthers go. Among those people were radio executive producer, David Langton, and award-winning, play-by-play announcer, Mick Mixon. While speaking with David Langton, I was able to step in the radio booth and call a play. I totally crushed it... but that's because I majored in Electronic Media/Broadcasting. So it wasn't my first rodeo.
Once the stadium tour was finished, it was time to relax in the Miller Lite Suite and watch the Panthers' practice during Fan Fest. Luckily, the off and on rain didn't deter our awesome fans and once the rain finally left, Fan Fest was much more enjoyable. Free food and drinks with leather seats and a great view of the field... equation for an awesome time. To make things even better, we went down onto the field. When you're on the sideline, you really get a true feel for how big and fast the players really are. They are not normal human beings. At the end of Fan Fest, we were able to head down to the tunnel and greet players as the exited the field. A few of them were clearly tired and not exactly in the mood to speak with fans, but many of them stopped and signed a few things for the few lucky fans there... including Superman himself, Cam Newton.
I don't win too many random contests very often, but winning the #PlayLikeAPanther social media contest was the perfect way to end my summer. With what felt like the longest offseason ever, I'm now officially pumped and ready for the Panthers' season! Super Bowl 51, here we come! #GoPanthers #KeepPounding!