Why the Start of the Panthers' Season Will Be My God-Send

Matthew GilmartinSenior Analyst IAugust 31, 2008

This week is the last school week before my favorite NFL team, the Carolina Panthers, opens their 2008 regular season. 

And I can't wait. 

I often coin the term, "I can't wait," in reference to lesser occasions such as getting the hottest new video game or getting the food I ordered at a restaurant—things I want badly in that specific moment in time.  But this time I really mean it.  I don't think I can endure a grueling four-day school week (I've got tomorrow—Labor Day—off) in order to get to the Panthers' first game.

I'm obsessed with football right now.  It's my life.

I write about the Panthers whenever I can, I play Madden NFL 09 exclusively with the Panthers—and I was so desperate for some real football with players that actually cared about the outcome of their game I even tried watching the Clemson-Alabama game last night.  That was a first for me—it was the first college football game I ever really went out of my way to try to watch.

But even then, the Panthers came out with their final roster cuts yesterday afternoon, and I just had to write an article about that.  Turned out the article garnered a Pick of the Day vote—I'm glad I wrote it instead of watching a game whose final result wasn't close.  

I simply can't wait for the Panthers to start playing.  I direly want to see them in real regular season action.  I have to see them right now. 

The Braves, my favorite MLB team, are currently at 59-78, 17 games out of first place.  They haven't had a chance to make the playoffs since early May (and at that point in the MLB season you can't make accurate predictions about who will be at the top at the conclusion of the season), and frankly I'm surprised we're not firmly situated in fifth place.

I was watching them this summer, but I haven't even bothered to look up any of their scores since I went on vacation to Vermont in early July.  I didn't have access to a computer there, and it seemed every time I checked the ESPN Bottom Line to see what the score of their game was, they had lost.

The Hurricanes, my favorite NHL team, hasn't started their 2008-09 season yet, and their first game isn't until Friday, October 10.  Fortunately they have a Friday night-Saturday night double-header that weekend, so I'm going to get to watch a lot of hockey then.

My point about the 'Canes is straightforward: They haven't started playing yet, so I can't watch them yet.

But back to my point.

I can't wait until the Panthers' first game this Sunday at 4:15.  I have neither the Braves nor the Hurricanes right now.  The Panthers are all I've got—the team is my savior.