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Former Panther Mike Rucker joins The Good News Is podcast to talk Super Bowl

The walls of the Carolina Panthers' entrance to the field are decorated during a tour on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, site of Super Bowl 50.
The walls of the Carolina Panthers' entrance to the field are decorated during a tour on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, site of Super Bowl 50. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Happy Super Bowl Week! Can you feel the energy around Charlotte? Car flags are flapping in the wind, strangers are dabbing to each other on the sidewalks and everybody Keeps Pounding.

To get you ready for Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, we talked to former Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker.

Rucker was on the only other Panthers team to make the Super Bowl team in 2004, so he has some insight on to what this week is like for the players. He also lives in Charlotte and does color commentary on TV for the Panthers preseason game, so he still hangs around the organization.

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Rucker is already out in California, but was nice enough to call us Tuesday to talk for a few minutes.

He talked about the atmosphere in Santa Clara, what this week is like for the players and how this year’s team and the city differs from the last time the Panthers made it to the Super Bowl.

“When I’m going down Providence Road or 485, you’re seeing Panthers flags flying in the middle of the week,” he said. “That’s the neat thing. You’re starting to see it take hold. In the stadium people are standing up, you’re hearing ‘Keep Pounding,’ you’re seeing the wave, so you’re just seeing this change in the atmosphere which is really cool.”

We also got him to make a prediction about the game, which you’re probably going to like.

But because this isn’t The Good News Is … Sports Talk (because Sarah would probably quit) we talked about some other things going on in Charlotte this week, like:

– Where to watch the Super Bowl (OK, also Panthers-related, but it was Sarah’s idea)

– The brewery boom in Charlotte. How many more breweries are coming, why, and is it sustainable?

– What you should be doing this weekend (Hint: It involves beer).

The Good News Is — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast with a similar mission to what we do here at C5: To get you CharlotteSmart, fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland.

As always, you can find our episodes on Soundcloud and iTunes. You can follow us on Twitter @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Instagram @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Facebook and you can shoot us an email to thegoodnewsisclt@gmail.com.

Photo: David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer; Charlotte Observer file

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