In a recent on-line survey, SI.com had fans vote on the best NFL stadium experiences based on the usual criteria including affordability, food, tailgating and the price of beer.
It was no surprise that Green Bay's Lambeau Field was voted the favorite stadium, which tells you how far a good bratwurst can go. It also tells you the voting was done in summer, not on one of those stone-cold December nights when the tundra isn't the only thing frozen.
The Pittsburgh experience was second, Denver third, Baltimore fourth and, proving the unscientific nature of the vote, Jacksonville was voted fifth-best.
Bank of America Stadium ranked 13th among league venues. It was rated better than Philly and Dallas but didn't crack the top 10, perhaps because so many club-level fans spend the second half of games inside sipping chardonnay or at their beach houses.
Here's a suggestion to make it even better. The Panthers should adopt ‘Ole, Ole, Ole' as the song that blares from the loudspeakers and fans sing after each score (by the home team, not by the other guys). It would give the place – and the fans – an identity.
It's a bigger deal in Europe, where it's part of the sports landscape, and, dare I say, it might make us seem a little more world-class if it became as familiar as those flag guys running across the field.
Just as long as I don't have to lead the singing.
All together now, “Ole, Ole, Ole…”
As for Week Eight:
ARIZONA AT CAROLINA: If you're into trends or numbers or just want to start thinking way too far ahead, consider: This is the fourth time the Panthers have started 5-2 or better. In each of the three previous seasons they've started this well, the Panthers reached at least the NFC Championship game. Make of that what you will.
Panthers 24, Cardinals 23.
BUFFALO AT MIAMI: Pretty soon, we're going to take the Bills seriously.
Buffalo 17, Dolphins 13.
ST. LOUIS AT NEW ENGLAND: Just in time for Halloween, the scary man in the sweatshirt and his team have risen from the grave.
Patriots 35, Rams 21.
TAMPA BAY AT DALLAS: Watching the Cowboys is almost as much fun as watching ‘The Office.' If the 'Boys could somehow trade for Dwight Schrute …
Cowboys 30, Bucs 24.
OAKLAND AT BALTIMORE: The Raiders have already won their game this month.
Ravens 27, Raiders 17.
KANSAS CITY AT N.Y. JETS: Brett Favre admits to talking to former Detroit exec Matt Millen before the Lions played Green Bay, but Favre insists he didn't give away any of his former team's offensive secrets.
Favre talked about tractors and bulldozers, made fun of some of the Packers' haircuts and said the yellow pants make some Packers look heavy. Favre was immediately booked for a guest spot on ‘The View.' Jets 34, Chiefs 20.
WASHINGTON AT DETROIT: Upset special. On second thought, never mind.
Redskins 24, Lions 21.
SAN DIEGO AT NEW ORLEANS (IN LONDON): Jolly good.
Saints 27, Chargers 20.
ATLANTA AT PHILADELPHIA: Pretzels for everyone.
Eagles 33, Falcons 24.
CINCINNATI AT HOUSTON: The Bengals take another step toward a perfect season.
Texans 41, Bengals 20.
CLEVELAND AT JACKSONVILLE: Gentlemen, start your naps.
Jags 28, Browns 12.
NEW YORK GIANTS AT PITTSBURGH: If this Plaxico Burress-Tom Coughlin spat gets any uglier, the Giants might have to call in Dr. Phil.
Giants 26, Steelers 24.
SEATTLE AT SAN FRANCISCO: The who cares game of the week. 49ers 27, Seahawks 13.
INDIANAPOLIS AT TENNESSEE: How's this for different – this game features the best team in the AFC and Peyton Manning plays for the other team.
Titans 29, Colts 23.
LAST WEEK: 10-4.
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