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Carolina Panthers: The untold truth of a bandwagon fan base

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The Carolina Panthers are in the midst of a horrible season. Nothing is going their way and while the players are having a hard time coming to terms with the failure, the fans are taking it even harder. This is the price you pay as a sports fans. You love your team one minute, then the next, it’s “screw them”. So goes the life of sports.

It’s common to have a strong connection with a team. The Panthers are a southern-based franchise and if you’ve spent any time in the south you know that sports and breathing are one in the same. Last season the Panthers were the talk of the league and rightfully so. They ended the regular season with a 15-1 record and may have placed their fan base as top 3 in the NFL. But the 2016 season has brought change and we may be seeing the true colors of many.

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There is bickering, arguing, name-calling and finger-pointing going on and it’s not on the field. These are daily occurrences in Facebook groups. The Panthers have a loyal base but some fans loyalty are becoming questionable. I admit, I have seen Facebook groups numbers rise last season from a group that started the season with 500 members and by the time the Panthers were headed to the Super Bowl the #KeepPounding group was at 12k strong. But now that they are losing where are those same 12k members?

What everyone must remember is that losing a game is a part of the season but as fans, we must accept that and look forward to the following game. It’s okay to trash your team, who doesn’t? But when you start to throw doubt as to why you are a fan then you prove that either you have little invested or you just don’t understand the nature of the game.

“Sit Newton down, he’s not the real MVP”. “Jonathan Stewart is a bum”. “Dave Gettleman is a fool for letting Josh Norman go”. These are normal responses you will here in a Panthers group, and everyone has the right to express their feelings but let’s be serious here. Two months ago, Newton was the best player to play the game, you were saying Stewart would be in line for his biggest year and Gettleman was the greatest mastermind in the league. Now, this is what we hear every Sunday or Monday morning. Face it, you are not a real fan. You are one of those people Abe Burns accidentally hit approve on when your request came through to be added to the group. Shame on you Abe..lol

It’s sad to see the Panthers go through this but my message to the Panthers faithful is simple: We’ve been here before, been through a 1-15 season, lost two Super Bowls and yet we have stayed the course. The season is still early and you are forgetting that this is the same team that has won three straight NFC South titles. Do not doubt them, support them, and support your fellow fans. Because at the end of the day, your word is your bond and once you lose that, your bandwagon privileges are forever revoked.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]