Carolina Panthers

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Posted by sonny 05/04/2009 @ 04:14

Tags : carolina panthers, national football conference, nfl, football, sports

News headlines
Panthers RB Stewart vows to be ready for camp - The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart says he'll be ready for the start of training camp after being sidelined all offseason with pain in his left Achilles' tendon. Stewart revealed details of the injury for the first...
Peppers still the big issue for Panthers - The Herald |
CHARLOTTE -- Basking in the warm glow of a summer school completed, Carolina Panthers coach John Fox spoke Tuesday of how “committed” his team is. “I've mentioned more than once we have good leadership on this team,” Fox said....
A Piggyback Ride on Austin Penny's “7 Keys to the Carolina ... - Cat Crave
One of our fellow Panther fans, Austin Penny, from wrote up a nice article detailing what will make or break Carolina in 2009 outlined by 7 key points. The following is a response to those 7 keys to Carolina's success in 2009… 7....
Blogging the NFC South Division Champion Carolina Panthers - Cat Scratch Reader
Some interesting news about former Panther DJ Hackett, who has auditioned for Washington and Baltimore already this season and will get a chance to try out for the Buccaneers tomorrow alongside former Ram and Titan Drew Bennett. "I know he's there,...
Wharton hosts events - Greenville News
By Willie T Smith III • June 17, 2009 Since joining the Carolina Panthers, former Hillcrest High and University of South Carolina standout offensive lineman Travelle Wharton has given back to the Upstate. He will do that again this weekend when he...
Panthers OL hopes strongman skills pay off on field - The Herald |
By Darin Gantt - CHARLOTTE -- Maybe the idea of Mackenzy Bernardeau being the Carolina Panthers' top backup offensive lineman makes you nervous. Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable if his name was Magnus....
If at first you don't succeed ... - Philadelphia Daily News
Yesterday, Scirrotto was one of a couple dozen undrafted rookies trying out for the Carolina Panthers. However, if he doesn't make the cut, he may have a career in baseball. Scirrotto, who played both sports at West Deptford (NJ) High, was drafted by...
My Top 8 Draft “Busts” in Carolina Panthers History - Bleacher Report
The Carolina Panthers have had good success drafting players in the short history of the franchise. The success of the draft every season is key to the organization's consistancy especially during the Coach Fox era. However, there is always a pick or...
Panthers' Beavers hopes to make small-college jump - The Associated Press
But the Carolina Panthers quickly signed the speedy and confident — if undersized and untested Beavers. Holder of the NCAA all divisions career record with 13 kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns, Beavers has set his sights on winning Carolina's...
Carolina Panthers: Comings and Goings - Bleacher Report
by Eric Quackenbush (Columnist) In 2001, the Panthers added a player to their team who came with very little fanfare, but left as a fan-favorite in 2009. Nick Goings never said much during his eight years with the Carolina Panthers, but his actions...

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers helmet

The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina, representing both North Carolina and South Carolina in the National Football League. They are currently members of the South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Panthers, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, joined the NFL as expansion teams in 1995. In their 14 years of existence, the Panthers have compiled a record of 115–119, and appeared in Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, Texas.

In 1987, shortly after it was decided that Charlotte would receive an expansion National Basketball Association franchise (the Charlotte Hornets, now known as the New Orleans Hornets), former Baltimore Colts player Jerry Richardson met with a group of potential backers to discuss the possibility of bringing an NFL expansion team to the Carolina region. Richardson Sports decided upon a spot in the uptown section of Charlotte to build a privately financed stadium seating more than 70,000 fans (Evan George).

Richardson's announcement created a buzz in the region, as politicians, businessmen, and citizens all joined together to show the NFL that a team could be supported in the area. United States Senators Jesse Helms of North Carolina and Ernest Hollings of South Carolina put aside their partisan differences to lobby NFL owners to support the expansion. Meanwhile, North Carolina Governor James G. Martin and South Carolina Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. created a committee of citizens from North and South Carolina to help the cause. Preseason games were held in the region in 1989, 1990, and 1991; all of the games were sold out as part of the fans' efforts to show their support.

In 1992, the NFL released the list of five areas open to a potential NFL team: Baltimore, Maryland; St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Jacksonville, Florida; and the Carolinas, represented by Charlotte. After the vote was delayed because of a dispute between the players and the league, the race began again in 1993. In June of that year, Richardson Sports announced that they would finance the stadium through the sale of Permanent Seat Licenses, club seats, and luxury boxes. In a stunning show of fan support, all seats were sold out by the end of the first day.

The feasibility of the team was no longer a question, but it was still up to the league to decide where the team would go. On October 26, 1993, the league announced that the owners had unanimously voted for the Carolinas to receive the 29th franchise, the first new NFL team since 1976 (Jacksonville was named the 30th team a month later). Fans all over the region celebrated with fireworks. In a memorable moment during the expansion announcement conference, Richardson spoke directly into the camera to thank the 40,000 people who had purchased the PSLs and allowing the stadium to be built without a burden to the taxpayers.

Even though St. Louis and Baltimore lost out on their expansion bids, they eventually acquired new teams: the Los Angeles Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995. And as the result of the 1996 Cleveland Browns relocation controversy, the Baltimore Ravens were established by the league as technically a new expansion team. Memphis also temporarily received a team when the Houston Oilers relocated in 1997 to Tennessee, intending to play the 1997 and 1998 seasons in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium while what is now called LP Field in Nashville was being constructed.

The Panthers signed Dom Capers, former defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as their inaugural head coach. During the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft, Rod Smith was the first player selected by the Panthers. Greg Kragen, Jack Trudeau, and Mark Carrier were among the other players selected. Bill Goldberg was picked up off the roster of the Atlanta Falcons, but made Panther history by being the first player cut by the Panthers; Goldberg would later go on to much greater fame as a professional wrestler for WCW and WWE. During the 1995 NFL Draft, the Panthers made their first significant addition (in terms of long-term contributions to the team) by drafting Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins. Upon entering the NFL in 1995, the Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars set about building their respective squads with a luxury not afforded to previous expansion teams, i.e. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks: free agency. The Panthers made excellent use of the tool, picking up wide receiver Don Beebe, linebacker Sam Mills, and placekicker John Kasay. As of 2008, Kasay is the only remaining "Original Panther" from the inaugural season. Defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina, another inaugural Panther still in the league, was on the Houston Texans' roster at the start of the 2007 season.

The Panthers became only the second expansion team (besides the Minnesota Vikings in 1961) to win their first game, winning the annual Hall of Fame Game against the fellow expansion Jacksonville Jaguars 20–14 on July 29, 1995 (a game known as the "Battle of the Big Cats," due to the similar nicknames of the franchises). The home games that first season were played at Clemson University, as the stadium was still under construction. This made the Panthers the only sports team in one of the Big Four leagues ever based out of South Carolina, even if only for one year. The Panthers first regular season game was against the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. The Panthers scored on their first three possessions to take a 13-0 lead before the Falcons rallied to win 23–20. The Panthers first home game (in Clemson) was a 31–10 loss to the St. Louis Rams. The Panthers won their first game against the New York Jets 26–15 on October 15, 1995, after Sam Mills returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown. Later that year, the Panthers stunned the league by not only winning four consecutive games (an expansion team record), but defeating the defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers, 13–7, the first time an expansion team had beaten the reigning champs. The Panthers finished their season 7–9, more than doubling the previous record of a first year expansion team (and far surpassing the 0–14 record of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their inaugural season).

In the 1996 draft, the Panthers used their first pick on running back Tim Biakabutuka, and their second pick on wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad. During the off-season, they also picked up quarterback Steve Beuerlein, tight end Wesley Walls, and linebacker Kevin Greene. The second year proved even better than the first, as the players found a groove and rattled off a seven-game winning streak to end the season and took the top spot in the NFC West. They beat the Dallas Cowboys 26–17 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers 30–13 in the NFC Championship. Their fellow second-year expansion team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, played in the AFC Championship against the New England Patriots but lost 20–6; the NFL nearly had an all-expansion Super Bowl. Panthers fans took it in stride, however, as the team had made massive improvement from the year before, and the team was represented at the Pro Bowl by eight players, including Collins, Kasay, Greene, Mills, Walls, Michael Bates, Eric Davis, and Lamar Lathon.

The Panthers fully expected to return to the NFC title game in 1997, but a 2–4 start quickly began to cloud the minds of Carolina fans. Meanwhile, the Panthers became known as much for their problems off the field as they did on. Wide receiver Rae Carruth, taken with their first pick of the 1997 Draft, was arrested in 1999 for conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend. He was later convicted, and is serving his sentence in Raleigh, North Carolina. Star quarterback Kerry Collins was dealing with alcoholism, and was accused of making racial comments about teammates (notably Muhsin Muhammad). Collins was later released following the 1998 season. Former running back Fred Lane was shot and killed by his wife during a domestic dispute in 2000, after signing with the Indianapolis Colts.

After Dom Capers was let go following a 4–12 season in 1998, the Panthers hired George Seifert as the team's second head coach. Seifert had won two Super Bowls as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and had a reputation for winning with talented and experienced teams. His first season, 1999, the Panthers finished with an 8-8 record and missed out on a wildcard playoff berth through a complicated tiebreaker based on total points scored. His second season saw the Panthers finish 7–9.

Seifert's third and final season, 2001, was a disaster. The team released veteran quarterback Steve Beuerlein in the off-season and handed the reins to Jeff Lewis, an untested but promising quarterback obtained from the Denver Broncos. Lewis was released after several poor performances during the preseason that left the Panthers with rookie quarterback Chris Weinke under center. Weinke had won the Heisman Trophy leading Florida State to a national championship in college but was unable to duplicate that level of success in the NFL. The Panthers won their opening game against the Minnesota Vikings but then lost 15 straight games. This set a record for single-season losing streaks which held until the Detroit Lions' 0-16 winless campaign of 2008. The multi-season record is held by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who lost their first 26 games.

Seifert was fired the day after the 2001 season ended and the team then set out to find its third head coach. Although his final season was the worst in team history, George Seifert did help select several outstanding players in the 2001 NFL Draft including Dan Morgan, Kris Jenkins and Steve Smith who have earned several Pro Bowl berths and All-Pro awards while playing for the Panthers. Smith is considered one of the most electrifying and explosive wide receivers in the game today.

After being turned down by Steve Spurrier and Tony Dungy for the head coach job, the Panthers hired New York Giants defensive coordinator John Fox as the team's third head coach. Fox was known for defensive discipline and it would be needed to improve a team that had finished in the bottom of the defensive rankings the previous year.

Fox looked to the 2002 NFL Draft to begin revamping the franchise, starting with the second overall pick; Julius Peppers. Peppers was a dominating defensive end at the University of North Carolina and he was a solid fit for Fox's defensive plan. The Panthers also picked up linebacker Will Witherspoon and running back DeShaun Foster in the draft. Peppers combined with fellow defensive end Mike Rucker and defensive tackles Brentson Buckner and Kris Jenkins to form what many football experts called the best defensive line in the game. Meanwhile, Mike Minter anchored the secondary, while Witherspoon (affectionately called "Spoon" by fans & teammates) and Mark Fields led the linebacker corps. Fox's defense-first philosophy worked well as the Panthers improved to 7–9 and posted the second-best overall defense in the league including allowing a league-low 3.69 yards per rushing attempt.

The 2003 season began with the Panthers drafting several young prospects, including Ricky Manning, Jr. out of UCLA at cornerback, and Jordan Gross at offensive tackle. In addition, quarterback Jake Delhomme, running back Stephen Davis, and wide receiver Ricky Proehl were signed in the off-season, making additions to an offense that needed to complement a top-ranked defense. The team was not without tragedy, however, as it was revealed that former linebacker and coach Sam Mills was diagnosed with intestinal cancer; additionally, linebacker Mark Fields was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease. The team used their struggle as inspiration, and started the season 5–0. Jake Delhomme replaced Rodney Peete at quarterback by halftime of the season opener, then led the Panthers to a fourth quarter comeback, thus winning the starting job. Delhomme eventually led the team to an 11–5 record, the NFC South Division title and a playoff berth.

In the playoffs, they easily defeated the Cowboys 29–10 in a home Wildcard game before facing the St. Louis Rams in the divisional playoff game in the Edward Jones Dome. Carolina had an 11-point lead in the last 3 minutes of play, but a touchdown from Marshall Faulk, a successful two point conversion, and an onside kick that led to a field goal tied the game and sent it to overtime. Both John Kasay and Jeff Wilkins missed potential game-winning kicks in the first overtime, and Carolina had the ball at the start of the second overtime. In the first play of the 2nd OT, however, Jake Delhomme hit Steve Smith with a 69-yard touchdown pass to win the game, 29–23, and send the Panthers into the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles, led by Donovan McNabb, were in the NFC title match for the 3rd year in a row, but had lost the previous two years. The Panthers made it three in a row for Philadelphia, as they shut down the Eagles offense and, with a 14–3 victory, headed to their first Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.

The experts all picked the Panthers to repeat their 2003 season success in 2004. Having selected cornerback Chris Gamble and wide receiver Keary Colbert with their top two picks in the 2004 draft, and not having lost any core players from their Super Bowl run, the team looked ready for their 10th Anniversary season. In addition, Mark Fields, who had missed the previous season with Hodgkin's disease, returned and was ready to go. But the team suffered major injuries early on, as Steve Smith broke his leg in the season opener against Green Bay, Stephen Davis suffered a knee injury before the second game of the season, and Kris Jenkins had shoulder problems that benched him for the season, the Panthers had problems early on. In fact, the Panthers had 14 players on injured reserve, including their top four running backs, more than any other team. This led to a 1–7 start, and people began wondering if they would repeat the 1-15 season of 2001. However, backup fullback Nick Goings stepped up to the challenge with five 100-yd rushing games, Keary Colbert played better than most rookies thrown into the #2 receiver spot, and the defense held together despite the injuries to help the team win 6 of their last 8 games, and the Panthers barely missed the playoffs after losing a close game on a 60 yard field goal attempt that just fell short as time expired to New Orleans, finishing 7–9.

Among the other things the Panthers did in 2004 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the franchise, they named a 10th Anniversary All-Time Team (listed below). With the exception of tight end Wesley Walls, every offensive starter was on the team during their Super Bowl run of 2003. The only defensive players to make the anniversary team that played in the Super Bowl were the front four (Peppers, Rucker, Jenkins and Buckner), linebacker Dan Morgan, and safety Mike Minter. Pro Bowl punter Todd Sauerbrun made the squad as well. Naturally, kicker John Kasay made the team, since he has been the team's kicker since its inception.

Despite a home-opening loss to the New Orleans Saints to start off the 2005 season, 23–20 on an inspirational field goal by John Carney, and heightened by national feelings of sympathy for the homeless New Orleans Saints displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the Panthers got revenge against the two-time defending champion New England Patriots for the loss in Super Bowl XXXVIII winning the rematch by a final score of 27–17. Despite going on the road and losing a close game to the Miami Dolphins 27–24, the Panthers managed to get a six-game winning streak going. First, they won at home on Monday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers 32–29. Then, they squeaked out victories in their next two games, on the road against the Arizona Cardinals (24–20) and the Detroit Lions (21–20). Coming off of their Week 7 Bye, the Panthers won their home game against the Minnesota Vikings 38–13. During that game, Steve Smith, who had already emerged as one of the league's best wide receivers, had a real breakthrough. He caught 11 passes for 201 yards and 1 touchdown, with his longest reception of the game being 69 yards. Jake Delhomme also enjoyed one of his best outings in years, completing 21 of 29 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns, giving Delhomme a nomination for FedEx Air Player of The Week. A week later, the Panthers won against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road with a final score of 34–14. Then, they won at home against the hapless New York Jets 30–3.

Their winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Chicago Bears. The #1 defense held the Panthers to just three points, as they lost 13–3. A week later, they traveled to Ralph Wilson Stadium to play against the Buffalo Bills. For the most of the game, they were held in check by the Bills' defense, as they were held to just three field goals. In the fourth quarter, the Panthers rallied and got a 13–9 win, thanks to a three-yard TD pass from Jake Delhomme to TE Michael Gaines. Then, they would go home and win against their division rival, the Atlanta Falcons 24–6. Unfortunately, the Bucs would come to town a week later and get revenge with a final of 20–10. Despite winning against the Saints 27–10, they would lose a close game to the Dallas Cowboys 24–20 after a controversial running into the kicker call.

After losing to the Cowboys in the season's penultimate game, the Panthers needed a victory to secure a spot in the playoffs. They responded with a dominating New Years Day performance at the Georgia Dome, a 44–11 victory over the Falcons, making the score the largest margin of victory in franchise history. This was the first time since 1997 that the Panthers were able to beat the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. With that victory, the Panthers secured themselves the NFC's #5 seed.

The Panthers began their post-season play on Sunday January 8, 2006 at Giants Stadium against the New York Giants. After both sides failed to score in the first quarter, the trifecta of Jake Delhomme, DeShaun Foster, and Steve Smith showed dominance as they shut out the Giants 23–0. Carolina's coach, John Fox, used to be the defensive coordinator for the Giants when they went to the Super Bowl earlier in the decade. New York was the nation's number one television market, and the shutout in the playoffs was significant.

Their next opponent was the Chicago Bears, home to the nation's third largest television market, who started off the week by reminding the Panthers about their regular season victory over them. The Panthers responded with a victory, beating the Bears at Soldier Field with a final score of 29–21. Unaffected by the major media hype of the Bears' defense, the Panthers led throughout, starting with an incredible touchdown reception by Steve Smith on the second play from scrimmage. Steve Smith had 12 catches for 212 yards with 2 touchdowns in Chicago. With that victory, the Panthers advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the third time in the franchise's 11-year history. However, during the Chicago game Deshaun Foster suffered a crushing ankle injury that would keep him indefinitely sidelined. Also, star defensive end Julius Peppers re-injured an ailing shoulder. The next weekend they played against the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC Championship, but injuries and playing on the road for the fourth straight week caught up with the Panthers and they came up short, losing 34–14.

Coming off a playoff season and with new acquisition Keyshawn Johnson, the Panthers sold out Bank of America Stadium fifteen minutes after tickets went on sale. An early injury to Steve Smith led to a two-game losing streak, but his return coincided with a four game winning run. However, Jake Delhomme was injured soon after and lost for three games. The team finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs. Following the season, offensive coordinator Dan Henning was fired and Johnson retired and became an NFL analyst for ESPN after being released after the team drafted Dwayne Jarrett in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

The Panthers began the 2007 season as playoff contenders, and won their opener against the St. Louis Rams for the first time since 2003. However, the next week at home against the Houston Texans the Panthers jumped ahead 14–0 but lost 34–21, unable to fend off a relentless passing attack by the Texans. In week three against the Atlanta Falcons, Jake Delhomme had won the game, but was lost for the season with an injured elbow, which resulted in Tommy John Surgery. After a close loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 4, the Panthers got back on the winning track behind the passing arm of former Houston Texans standout QB David Carr, who drew from the playbook of his 2006 defeat of the Indianapolis Colts by engineering two 4th-quarter drives; the first for a TD, and the last to set up the game winning field goal by John Kasay to defeat the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the popular Carr suffered the first major injury of his career, badly injuring his back against the Saints. After returning to the game in the second half to get the win, Carr would play sparingly for the rest of the year, forcing the Panthers to rely on 44-year old Vinny Testaverde and rookie Matt Moore for the remainder of the season.

With the help of a much improved rushing offense, the Panthers rebounded in the 2008 season, going 8–0 at home, and finishing the season with 12–4. After defeating the New Orleans Saints 33–31 in the last game of the regular season, the Panthers claimed the NFC South title and a first round bye in the playoffs. However, on January 10 the Panthers' season came to a disappointing end, as they lost to the Arizona Cardinals 33–13 at Bank of America Stadium in the Divisional Playoffs.

The Panthers logo consists of the head of a black snarling panther outlined in blue. It is shaped to resemble the combined borders of North and South Carolina. The helmets are silver, and in 2003, they changed the helmet color slightly to a more metallic shade. The team normally wears silver pants with their black jerseys, and white pants with their white jerseys. Both the black and the white jerseys have blue stripes over the shoulders. The team introduced an alternate jersey in 2002 that is blue with black shoulder stripes. The alternate jersey has been worn twice a season beginning in 2002.

Like many other NFL teams located in temperate climates, the Panthers traditionally wear their white jerseys at home during the first half of the season — forcing opponents to wear their dark ones under the warm autumns in Charlotte. In the preseason, the Panthers wear their white uniforms at home.

The team's uniforms prompted a 2003 lawsuit by the Oakland Raiders, who claimed that the NFL and the Panthers had infringed upon key trademark elements of the Raiders' brand, specifically the silver and black colors. In the same suit, the Raiders challenged the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1997 uniform design, including the pirate logo. The Raiders wanted the courts to bar the Buccaneers and Panthers from wearing their uniforms while playing in California. However, since the lawsuit was filed in a state California court, the lawsuit was tossed out because only federal courts have jurisdiction over intellectual property issues. The Raiders have yet to appeal the ruling.

The Panthers have played in six postseason games, wearing the all-white jerseys in all but one. Two of those games were at home against the Dallas Cowboys, making the Cowboys wear their "unlucky" road navy-blue jerseys. The Cowboys are one of four teams who routinely wear their white uniforms at home.

The Panthers Ring of Honor was started in 1997.

When the Panthers started in 1995, fans would sing the official Carolina Panther Fight Song "Stand and Cheer" (composed by Duane Evans) every time the team would score. As the first season was played at Clemson University, many fans felt that the song was reminiscent of the collegiate atmosphere those games had.

The fight song only lasted a few years before being officially retired. Officials with the Panthers organization said that they received a large number of fan complaints regarding the fight song. The fight song was revised, although in an abbreviated version, during the first preseason game of 2006. It was used throughout the remainder of the season. Currently, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond is played and sung by fans after every home victory.

Growl Towel (1996–1997 then called the "Prowl Towel") is the nickname adopted by fans that refers to small, terry-cloth towels that are waved or spun in the air during football games. The towels are similar to the Pittsburgh Steelers' Terrible Towel, but in Panthers team colors (also white in more recent years).

Perhaps the most heated rivalry the Panthers participate in is their rivalry with Tampa Bay. These games are noted for their hard hits, trash-talking, and occasional fights. The rivalry started in 2002, but it wasn't until 2003 that it heated up. The Panthers lead the series 10-7.

The rivalry with Atlanta is also quite heated. As with their rivalry with Tampa Bay, trash-talking is common, although fights do not occur as often. It is refered to often as the 'I-85 Rivalry'. The rivalry started in 1995, and the very first game the Panthers ever played was a 23-20 Overtime loss to Atlanta. The Falcons, dominating the series through 2002, hold a 16-11 series lead.

Although not as heated as the Tampa Bay and Atlanta rivalries, their rivalry with New Orleans is also notable. The rivalry started in 1995 (the Panthers expansion season) The Panthers lead the series 16-12.

The Panthers main Interdivisional rival is Dallas. The Dallas Cowboys have ruined the Panthers playoff hopes on more than one occasion, and Carolina in turn has beaten the Cowboys twice in the playoffs. Dallas currently leads the rivalry 7-3, but the Panthers lead 2-0 in playoff competition.

Although more of a quasi-rivalry, the Panthers have played against the Cardinals for every season since 2001. The Panthers 2008 playoff hopes were crushed in the divisional round 33-13 by the Cardinals, who they had beaten earlier in the season 27-23. Although Carolina leads the series 6-3, the Cardinals lead 1-0 in the playoffs.

Although they are not regularly scheduled against each other, the Panthers have a special hatred for the Patriots. After losing Super Bowl XXXVIII to them, 32-29, the Panthers had their revenge in 2005 with a 27-17 win. The series is currently tied, 2-2.

The Carolina Panthers have an overall record of 6-4 in the playoffs. Their 4 losses were the Packers, the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII, the Seahawks, and the Cardinals in their 2008 season.

The Panthers' flagship radio stations are WBT in Charlotte and WBT-FM in Chester, S.C. The announcing team consists of Mick Mixon, Eugene Robinson & Jim Szoke. Most preseason games are locally broadcast by Charlotte's Fox affiliate, WCCB channel 18.

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List of Carolina Panthers seasons

Bank of America Stadium (formerly Ericsson Stadium), the Panthers home stadium since September 14, 1996

This is a list of seasons completed by the Carolina Panthers American football franchise of the National Football League (NFL). The list documents the season-by-season records of the Panthers' franchise from 1995 to the end of the latest completed season, including postseason records, and league awards for individual players or head coaches. The Panthers, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, joined the NFL as 1995 expansion teams. The franchise home city is Charlotte, North Carolina.

As of the end of the 2007 season, the Panthers have played over two hundred games in a total of 14 seasons, all of which were in the NFL. In those games, the team has appeared in one Super Bowl, Super Bowl XXXVIII, and lost. That year was also the only NFC Championship win in three appearances. The franchise has won three Division Championships and one Conference Championship.

The franchise has never experienced consecutive winning seasons; every winning season has followed and preceded a losing season. The best year was the 2003 NFL season, in which the team, under the direction of then second-year and current head coach John Fox, won the NFC South division for the first time in franchise history. The Panthers had five wins compared to one loss in division play. In the first postseason game, the Panthers beat the Cowboys 29–10 at Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte. The team then traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to compete against the St. Louis Rams in the Divisional playoff game; the team won 29–23 in the second overtime. For the National Football Conference Championship, the Panthers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 14–3. The team lost by a last-second field goal to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII, 32-29.

The team's worst season came two years before in 2001. The team won only one game while losing 15. The only win came in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. The team then lost every other game (an NFL record 15 straight), and came in last in the NFC West, which led to the eventual firing of the team's second head coach, George Seifert, who finished with a record of 16-32 in his three-year tenure with the Panthers. Overall, the franchise has had four winning seasons, eight losing seasons, and two 8–8 seasons.

Note: The Finish, Wins, Losses, and Ties columns list regular season results and exclude any postseason play.

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Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers)

Steve Smith 2006-10-15.jpg

Stevonne Latrall Smith (born May 12, 1979 in Lynwood, California) is an American football wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He was brought to the Panthers organization as a third round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at University of Utah.

Smith, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, has emerged as one of the NFL's most productive wide receivers, leading the league in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns in 2005.

Smith grew up as the only child in a single parent household. He was brought up in a Hispanic household. His mother, Florence Young, was a drug counselor. Smith's mother did not make a lot of money, but to give him a positive upbringing. She would often take him to work, where the addicts waiting to see his mother would horrify him. Because of his mother's job, Smith vowed to stay away from narcotics and alcohol.

Smith spent most of his early years in the Athens Park neighborhood of south Los Angeles. Although Athens Park was relatively better than other underprivileged neighborhoods in the area, it was still plagued with explicit drug activity and gang related violence. As Smith grew up, he witnessed several horrific crimes. Although most of the crimes did not directly affect him, he was disgusted by the fact that no one cared to correct or improve the situation.

Smith attended University High School in Los Angeles, California, and was a letterman in football and track & field. In football, he played tailback and defensive back, and was an All-Metro League selection and was an All-California Interscholastic Federation selection. In track & field, he set a handful of school records, was named as an All-City selection as a high-hurdler, and also excelled in the triple jump and 300m hurdles. Steve Smith graduated from University High School in 1997.

After graduating from high school, Smith attended Santa Monica College. While playing for the college’s football team, Smith quickly defined himself as a talented football player, and earned a starting position. During this time, Smith was teammates with future NFL wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco.

While impressing spectators with his performance on the football field, Santa Monica’s head coach, Robert Smith, encouraged Smith not play for riches or fame, but to play so that he might earn a scholarship to a Division-I school, where he could receive a better education. He also advised Smith and Ocho Cinco to not do touchdown celebrations and as Smith said, "they put the cuffs on us." Smith took Taylor’s advice to heart, and excelled in his academics, not missing a single day of classes while attending Santa Monica.

After completing two years at Santa Monica College, Smith transferred to the University of Utah, where he established himself as a standout wideout in the Mountain West Conference where he was a teammate of running back Mike Anderson. While at the University of Utah, Smith set the record for yards per catch with a 20.6 average, and was chosen to play for the conference’s all-star team twice. However he missed their bowl game in his final season due to injury. After the Blue-Gray All-Star game on December 25th, 2000, Smith began to receive attention from various NFL scouts. He and his wife have endowed an athletics scholarship at the University of Utah.

The Carolina Panthers chose Smith in the third round (74th Overall) during the 2001 NFL Draft.

Smith spent a majority of his rookie season as a kick and punt returner, leading all rookies in net yardage with a 1,994 yards, and landing in fourth place among all NFL players behind Priest Holmes, Marshall Faulk, and Derrick Mason. Smith’s performance was rewarded with an invite to the Pro Bowl. Smith joined Todd Sauerbrun as the only players to represent the Panthers in the 2002 Pro Bowl.

During the 2002 NFL season, Smith earned a starting position as a wide receiver and continued to carry out his kickoff and punt return duties. On November 10, 2002, Smith was involved with an altercation with his teammate Anthony Bright during a film-room meeting. The fight left Bright with a broken nose and he was hospitalized for two nights. Smith was arrested and briefly jailed on charges of misdemeanor assault, but was not sentenced to any prison time. The Panthers suspended him for one game. During the 2003 season, Smith played a critical role for the Panther offense and further improved his statistics. During the NFC divisional playoffs, Smith caught a 69 yard pass and ran it for a touchdown in OT to defeat the St. Louis Rams 29-23. He went on to catch 4 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown and returned a kickoff for 30 yards in the Panthers narrow 32-29 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Smith suffered a severe break in his leg during the 2004 NFL season opener against the Green Bay Packers. During the 2005 NFL season, Smith recovered from his injury and returned to the NFL, accomplishing the difficult Triple Crown of receiving by leading the NFL with 1,563 receiving yards and tying for receptions (103) and touchdowns (12). Prior to Smith, the Triple Crown had only been accomplished by Jerry Rice in 1990 and Sterling Sharpe in 1992. He also returned 27 punts for 286 yards, giving him the second highest return average of his career (10.6).

After a wild card shut-out victory over the New York Giants in the 2005 post season (with Smith catching 10 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 12 yards and another score), and delivering a costly upset to the Chicago Bears (Aided by Smith's franchise record 12 receptions for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 26 rushing yards), Smith and the rest of the Carolina Panthers would go on to face the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship. The Panthers would lose the game, 34-14, and Smith would only gain 33 receiving yards, due to excessive coverage. He also returned a punt 59 yards for a touchdown in the game. Nevertheless, Smith, along with teammates Jake Delhomme, Julius Peppers, and Mike Wahle were invited to the 2006 Pro Bowl. At the end of the season, Smith shared the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award with New England Patriots’s linebacker Tedy Bruschi.

After suffering a hamstring injury in training camp before the 2006 season, he returned to the field after missing two weeks of action. During the fourth week of the preseason, Smith pulled a hamstring and developed an ingrown toenail, which sidelined him for the remainder of the preseason and the first two weeks of the 2006 NFL Season. Steve was double covered frequently but still managed to battle through that and injuries to catch 83 balls for 1186 yards and 8 touchdowns. He was also invited to the 2007 Pro Bowl.

Smith made headlines during the 2008 training camp when he was involved in an altercation with teammate Ken Lucas on August 1, 2008. Smith broke Lucas' nose during the fight and was later sent home for the remainder of the day after reportedly apologizing. Smith was given a two game suspension by the team. Smith then suffered a severe concussion during the 2008 preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts, where Smith was hit in the head when catching a pass. He continued to play that game, but did not travel with the team to their next game against the Philadelphia Eagles. After returning from suspension and scoring his first touchdown of the 2008 season, Smith presented the ball to Lucas on the sideline. Despite his 2-game suspension, Steve Smith was voted to the 2009 Pro Bowl.

There were false reports of Smith being homosexual,Smith and his wife, Angie, have three children: Baylee, Peyton, and Boston. He coaches his son’s soccer team in his spare time. Among Steve’s tattoos are Papa Smurf, a Superman S, the Tasmanian Devil, and Chinese letters that translate as “Strong Soul.” He also has the names of his wife and children tattooed on his leg. Off of the field, Smith is a partner in Athletes United for Youth along with Dell Curry and Jay Bilas. Athletes United for Youth is a charity organization that provides educational, programmatic, and structured support to youth housed within under-served communities. Athletes United for Youth provides youth services and a Safe Haven throughout the Charlotte-Mecklenburg communities. In May 2008, Smith announced that he purchased nearly a 50% interest in the existing Velocity Sports Performance franchise in Charlotte and an equal ownership percentage in any future Charlotte area Velocity centers. In May 2008, Smith announced that he is working at Morgan Stanley's Charlotte, NC office as a financial planning intern.

In winter of 2008, Smith did a commercial for ESPN's Sportscenter with Kenny Mayne.

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Source : Wikipedia