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Carolina Panthers fan Steve Katsamas strikes a Superman pose, and wins

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Steve Katsamas had seen Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton strike his Superman pose many times his rookie season when an idea struck.

A friend had an old replica of the famous red-and-blue costume made famous by the Man of Steel. Katsamas offered to buy it.

Then on Christmas Eve two years ago, Katsamas was in the stands at Bank of America Stadium for the game against Tampa Bay when he started to put the suit on. When the right moment came later in the game, he pretended to rip the top open – just like he’d seen Newton do many times – and revealed a Newton jersey underneath.

An image from that day has won Katsamas the second prize in the Observer’s Panther-craziness fan photo contest. Two more winners will be chosen after the remaining preseason games.

Katsamas said the reaction from fans that December day was “fantastic.”

The crowd all around him snapped pictures with their cell phones. Katsamas also was featured in photos in the Observer and other media.

“I couldn’t believe someone hadn’t come up with the idea before me,” he says.

Katsamas, 35, lives in Winston-Salem but has family in the Lake Norman area. He got tickets for that Panthers-Buccaneers game through his brother.

A Panthers fan since 1995, he says he watches whenever Carolina plays and tries to make a home game two or three times a year. He expects to wear the Superman costume at least one game a season.

He calls Newton one of his favorite players, and predicts he’ll have a breakout year. “I think he’s going to hush some of the haters,” he says.

Katsamas isn’t 100 percent sure, but he thinks Newton saw him in the Superman costume that first game. He was sitting seven rows from the field, and thinks he saw Newton and Brandon LaFell pointing in his direction.

He never got to a chance to speak with him that day, but hopes to soon.

“If I could take a picture with him that would be amazing,” he says, “or at least say ‘hey’ to him.”

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