If there were ever a team that deserved a spot in Super Bowl 50, it is the Carolina Panthers. The last five years have been an absolute uphill battle as the team rightfully earned Sunday Night’s NFC Championship title. Through roster changes, injuries, and internal conflict, getting to this point required not just strength but perseverance.
Here are 3 key ingredients I learned from the Panthers about perseverance.
3. The journey will be met with opposition.
— NBC BLK (@NBCBLK) January 25, 2016
Ron Rivera became the Panthers head coach in 2011. Within two years, there were calls to Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson and general manager Dave Gettleman to give Rivera a pink slip.
And, what about all of the roster moves? Steve Smith. Jon Beason. DeAngelo Williams. Gone. And the list continues. You remember, the “valuable” players everyone had a fit over, claiming administrators were only causing harm to the organization. Lies. Every cut was necessary to get to this point.
2. Celebrate every win, both big and small.
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Panthers breakout star quarterback, Cam Newton arrived in the same year as Rivera and has received the utmost disrespect even up until last night’s impressive NFC Championship victory over the Arizona Cardinals. He was young then, extremely high on rookie juice, but naysayers continued to blast him for celebrating even when the team was being dragged on the scoreboard.
Every touchdown, superman came out.
Which evolved into the dab.
When the team lost, somehow it became Cam’s burden. Being the team leader, neurotic fans somehow equated the entire team’s loss as an inadequacy to Cam’s talent. And his personal life, somehow becoming a media frenzy and what certain Panthers fans considered a disappointment to the franchise. Nonetheless, Cam extended his legacy.
Clothing line = hate. Celebration dance = hate. Throwing a kid a ball = hate.
Too bad they don’t make band-aids for feelings.
“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” – Muhammad Ali
1. A loss does not diminish your magnitude.
An almost perfect season, comes with one defeat and a few close calls. Yes, the Panthers lost to Atlanta, but that doesn’t make them a lackluster team. They fought to the finish.
With every obstacle in the last 5 years, the Panthers proved you can’t wait on everyone else to see your value.
Patience has its own time and perseverance is the timekeeper. Jamie Foxx once said, “The greatest story ever told is when the underdog comes out on top.” The story is finally about the Panthers.