Yesterday I went to the Panther game with my old friend Granville. I hadn't been out to the stadium in a couple of years and I got two tickets way up in the sky on sale through a promotion I found via the team's Twitter feed. I was unaware that upper deck tickets are now $57 if you include the Ticketmaster ass spelunking. I got mine for $32 each which is a reasonable price. Maybe there would be fewer empty seats in the upper deck if the tickets didn't cost almost $60 each. That just seems like a lot to me.
As you can see, we are way up high
It was fun as any trip to the stadium is for an NFL game. NFL games are always fun for me. They feel like an event. Early on I did have a nice chuckle watching the defensive unit players each do their individual dance as they came out of the inflatable tunnel. Maybe it would have been less silly if the stadium was more than half full and we were able to make a bunch of noise. Nothing rocks quite like an NFL stadium when the stands are full of pumped up fans. We aren't there yet with this current roster. The Panthers will make a playoff run someday with Cam Newton at the helm and I can't wait to be there for a couple of those games.
One unique thing about this trip to Bank of Ameria Stadium was the ending. The Panthers set the kicker, Mare, up for pretty much a chip shot of a field goal that would have likely sent the game into overtime. He missed it. He is catching a lot of heat for it but if you've played golf sometimes the chip shots are the hardest. I've always had a special sympathy for kickers. First the jocks in the broadcast booths and at the studios laugh at them and don't think they are real players. Those guys are dicks. Secondly, what other player in sports essentially comes on the field only when points are on the line? Not even goalies have that much pressure so leave these fucking guys alone.
When Mare missed that kick you could feel the energy leave that stadium. Before the drive that put the team into a chance at overtime the crowd was getting kind of ugly. You could hear drunk guys getting angry and people who weren't drunk and angry began scanning the crowd, looking for the potential fights (there weren't any). Then a couple of excellent plays put the Panthers back in the game and then elation took over which was then quickly supplanted by grief and denial when that kick sailed wide left.
The same view as before but only different