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The Roaring Riot brought the Panthers fan experience to San Francisco

In the first half of the Super Bowl, I saw a guy dab so hard his sunglasses fell off. I saw a woman (keep) pounding her fists so fiercely on a napkin dispenser that it cracked open. I saw a Doberman so overwhelmed by the screams of Panthers fans he was trembling.

I was sitting at the Panthers watch party hosted by BREWPUBLIK and the Roaring Riot at The Yard at Mission Rock in San Francisco. I’d say there were well over 100 people in attendance. Including: Bay area fans, a bunch of people from Charlotte, Hickory, South Carolina, Colorado and even Hawaii.

“They’ve been super excited, super rowdy,” said Jill Koskosky, chief marketing officer for BREWPUBLIK, when I arrived right after kickoff.

That’s an understatement. I’ve never heard so much screaming in my life. They screamed when Cam Newton interlaced his hands as if in prayer after a commercial break. They screamed when Jerricho Cotchery caught a pass. They screamed during the replay of the pass. They (obviously) screamed when the Panthers scored a touchdown.

The Panthers cheer song played and Koskosky turned to me and said, “It’s like a battle cry.”

Bonus: The Roaring Riot’s DJ got his hands on all of the game-day sound recordings that the Panthers play during games. Which means that any time Luke Kuechly made a tackle, the Panthers growl ripped through the party tent.

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And the crowd screamed.

They screamed chants from “Keep pounding!” to “Defense!” to “Let’s go, Panthers!” They screamed when the Panthers paused for a huddle. They screamed when Beyoncé came on the screen during halftime. But only after they got their own halftime show started first.

Some of it might have had to do with the beer flowing from the taps of Anchor Brewing. But I think most of it had to do with the fact that these people are really, unbelievably good at creating the riotous atmosphere they want to wrap themselves up in during a game.

That was the intention for this watch party, after all. BREWPUBLIK secured the location, which bloomed with a giant white tent, a food stand, signs boasting the words “Roaring Riot” and “Dab On ‘Em,” Panthers flags and strings of white lights, multiple big screens and one huge screen with a projector by the DJ.

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“We really want to create the same experience you would have at a Panthers tailgate,” Koskowsky said. “… We want the community, we want the camaraderie, we want the Panthers chaos.”

There was plenty of that. And some nail-biting. And some downcast looks. And tears when the Panthers didn’t pull through.

But, last, there was clapping. “It’s good sportsmanship to stay ’til the end,” said Lou Acresti, lead developer at BREWPUBLIK.

I call it class.

Photos: Katie Toussaint

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