Jason Clower was 10 when he attended his first Carolina Panthers game, a 30-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints during 2011.
Despite missing his front teeth, he donned a big smile as he wore his blue No.17 Jake Delhomme jersey, a Panthers hat and a foam paw.
“He looked like Sir Purr,” his mother, Amy, said.
An image from that trip to Bank of America Stadium has won Jason the third prize in the Observer’s Panther-craziness fan photo contest.
“Everybody loved that picture,” Amy said.
One more winner of a $50 gift card to the Panthers’ team store will be chosen next week.
Although Jason has grown up in a house with split NFL allegiances, where Panthers and Saints flags are flown except when the teams play each other, the 12-year-old always has been a Panthers fan. Jason and his Saints-fan dad, Todd, have to debate each year about which flag will fly during rivalry week.
“Sometimes it’s a fight,” Amy said.
Both Panthers games Jason has attended have been against NFC South foe New Orleans. Todd has worn his white-and-gold Saints jersey to both.
“They just have their rival,” Amy said.
Jason’s favorite Panthers player is quarterback Cam Newton, although he holds a soft spot for New Orleans’ Drew Brees. The Piedmont Middle Schoool seventh-grader, a soccer player, also follows Carolina’s kickers closely.
Tovar: 704-358-5941; Twitter: @sergiotovar
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