Editor's note: Fans of the Arizona Cardinals had a head start on Broncos boosters when it comes to hating on the Carolina Panthers.
Before Cam Newton and his crew played the Cards in the NFC championship game on January 24, Benjamin Leatherman of the Phoenix New Times, one of our sister papers, assembled a list of ten reasons to hate the Carolina Panthers. And his takes definitely haven't reached their expiration date, though we have a feeling that Von Miller won't be fond of his views about dabbing. Colorado-connected Dog the Bounty Hunter may have a problem or two with his opinions as well.
Check out Leatherman's complete list below.
10. They're the NFL's biggest bandwagon team.
The Panthers attracted hordes of fair-weather fans (in the Carolinas and across the nation) with their league-best 15-1 regular-season record. Die-hard Panther fans hated these come-latelys, including one Panther Nation vet who wrote the following online: “Dear new Panther bandwagon fans...if you’ve ever worn a Steelers jersey to a Panthers game, we don't need ya. If you ever used the phrase Who Dat, fug off.” Don’t worry, we’re sure the newbies will all be away when the Cardinals upend your pussycats this weekend.
9. They ripped off the Boston Red Sox.
It has become tradition for Panthers fans to sing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” at home. Y'all know, right, that another pro sports franchise already does that shit. Way to be original.
8. The Carolinas suck as a location on many fronts.
Sweltering humidity. Swarms of Insects. Bible-thumping politicians. There are so many reasons that you’d never want to live in either Carolina, including that the literacy rates are worse than ours, the barbecue is overrated, creationism is regularly taught in schools, and rednecks and junkies are everywhere. (Don't even get us started on the Confederate-flag thing.)
7. The Panthers' owner is a sourpuss.
If Newt Gingrich and Grumpy Cat were to have a kid, he'd look exactly like perpetually dour Panthers czar Jerry Richardson. If you need a few more reasons to hate the multimillionaire (whom Rolling Stone cited as one of the "worst owners in sports"), Richardson made his fortune shilling greasy swill via the Hardee’s chain and reportedly was a jerk while negotiating the most recent collective-bargaining agreement with NFL players. Plus, he pulled off the worst rendition of the “dabbing” dance we’ve ever seen. On that subject…
6. The whole dabbing thing is freakin' stupid.
The dabbing dance fad that Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has popularized among his teammates and throughout the Carolinas is just flat-out ridiculous. Seriously, y’all look like you’re trying to stifle a sneeze. Or even shield your eyes, which is what we wanna do when senior citizens, fat rednecks, or even Panthers head coach Ron Rivera start dabbing.
5. The Panthers don't deserve the accolades in such a weak division.
Although it's true that the NFC South wasn’t the league’s worst division this season (the dishonor goes to the AFC South), it wasn’t what you’d call ultra-competitive. As a matter of fact, the Panthers were the only team with a winning record. And things were even worse in 2014, with Carolina winning the division with the esteemed record of 7-8. It's easier to go 15-1 when nearly half of your games are against awful teams.
4. Their field is a disaster area.
Much has been said this week about the awful turf at Bank of America Stadium. It's described as soupy mire, even after team officials had the thing re-sodded. Just ask the Seattle Seahawks, who slipped and tripped all over the place during their recent playoff loss to the Panthers.
Thing is, the bad turf is nothing new, as Carolina had such problems right after the place debuted in 1996. And again in 2001, 2003 and 2013. It could be that all the area precipitation is to blame — or maybe it’s just the team’s secret weapon. Yeah, that's it! Either way, it’s a good thing the Seahawks gave the Cardinals advice on how to handle the situation: better cleats.
3. Their fans are classless...
After Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was toppled with an injured hamstring during a game with the Panthers last season, Carolina fans cheered manically. So much for sportsmanship. Even Cam Newton found it in bad taste, later calling the move “classless.”
And back in 2013, Rams defensive end Chris Long got showered with trash after he was ejected following a minor scuffle with a few Panthers players. “Thanks Carolina fans 4 the flipped birds+few bottles to the head,” Long later tweeted. “Sticks n stones may break my bones but aluminum zimas will never hurt me.”
2. ...and include tons of rednecks.
Look, we’re willing to admit that not every fan of the team is a beer-swilling hillbilly. But the fact that you can see dudes dressed as Dog the Bounty Hunter at Carolina home games, buy a “Redneck Wine Glass” made from a Mason jar that bears the Panthers logo, or catch players rubbing elbows with NASCAR drivers speaks volumes, don't it?
1. Cam Newton is a pompous ass.
Look, we get it. Cam Newton is one of the best in the game today, a money quarterback, dynamic playmaker, and a future Hall of Famer. But why does he have to act like a pompous ass, continually running his mouth, taunting opposing players, arrogantly celebrating touchdowns and pouting after the Panthers lost their lone game of the season to Atlanta?
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.