Note: I asked readers of this page last week to email me with their Panthers-related superstitions. There were more than 100 responses. I used some of them in a story that was published on the front page of Sunday’s Observer. Here are some of the others that I liked the best, in readers’ own words.
A commitment to bacon
On November 25, 2012, I was speaking to our students at Bethlehem Church. I made a guarantee that whenever the Carolina Panthers won a football game we would serve bacon with our weekly pancake breakfast the following week.
Since that day, the Panthers are 36-13-1. In the 50 games before “The Bacon Guarantee,” the Panthers were 14-36. When searching for the reason for the Panthers success, no doubt we need to recognize the hard work of the players and coaches. But we here at Bethlehem Church know without a doubt that it is our commitment to bacon that has put the Panthers over the edge.
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Youth Pastor, Bethlehem Church
Petting the Panther
I moved my family here in the fall of 2013 and the in-laws followed. With them came a black panther statue a few feet tall. How fitting, we all thought. So naturally, we watch all the games.
Shortly after we moved, my father-in-law began a Sunday tradition with my son, who’s now 5 years old and a diehard Panthers and Cam Newton fan. Before every game, Grandpa and my son will head out to the back yard and pet their panther statue.
When doing this ... we are riding a 27-0 win streak dating back to the fall of 2013. When both of them aren’t there, it ends up in a loss. No joke. In 2014 my father-in-law, John, took a trip of a few months to Italy. This coincided directly with the long losing streak that year. He returned, they resumed the tradition, and bam – a four-game winning streak!
Sometimes the timing doesn’t work out, such as if he is working, or my son is sick, etc., and those times always coincide with a loss. It’s only weird if it doesn’t work, right?
Magic from Mexico
I was born in Raleigh. However I have lived in Mexico for a while now and even though I’m far away, I root strongly for the Panthers every Sunday. Every person that has come to my house knows I have my own man cave with Panthers stuff.
My maid went on a vacation to Cancun this summer, and thought it would be a great idea to bring me a Panther souvenir she found. When she gave it to me I just didn’t know what to say. IT IS AWFUL, AND WITH TERRIBLE TASTE! It’s a kind of ancient head with a Panther handcraft painted on it.
However I knew she did it with the best intentions and I just could not throw it away, so I kept it to avoid hurting her feelings. I decided to put it in my Man Cave. Well, since it’s been there the Panthers have not lost. And even though I hate it, I just can’t mess with that kind of ancient magic. You’re welcome, Panthers!! Keep pounding!
The 11-0 Sam Mills jersey
I have an autographed Sam Mills jersey that has never been washed nor will be. I am very careful when wearing it so not to funk it up but my superstition is I only wear it during “must win” games and we need the spirit of Sam to be with us.
So far this year I have worn it during the Seattle & Dallas games which is the first time I’ve used the mojo twice in a season. The need to beat Seattle had obvious reasons but to beat Dallas on Thanksgiving Day with the world watching was our chance to show who we really are, making it a “must win” game.
Over the past 10 years I have worn it 11 times, and we are 11-0 on those games. The jersey is recharging in the back of the closet. It will not see the light again this year unless we make the Super Bowl. Go Panthers!
Good luck puppy
My wife and I got a puppy in August, right before the season started. I bought it a Luke Kuechly jersey in the baby section of Target. I put it on the puppy, whose name is Barley, 30 minutes before the game. We won.
We have repeated for every game, and all my friends are convinced it’s a good luck charm. We’ve even gone as far as having family come over to put it on when we were out of town. The problem is the jersey is now way too small!! May have to try and alter it to fit pretty soon.
The Twelve and Oh ‘Fro
This one started this season when I was at the Panthers’ home game against the Saints in Week 3. After the game, I made the comment to my friend, Scott, that I haven’t cut my hair or shaved since the Panthers have been winning.
He told me not to touch my hair because that was good luck! So, the superstition was born. Each Panthers win, my hair gets longer and my facial hair grows fuller. I now have an Afro. I have nicknamed my hair, ‘The Twelve and Oh ‘Fro,’ and will hopefully change it to the ‘Thirteen and Oh Fro’ after this Sunday. Some people love it, others like my girlfriend say that I look like Chewbacca.
I have to be on Skype with my friend in California during the game (she HATES football and superstitions). If she is late to sign on, the Panthers have a bad drive or two every time.
If her sister comes over, it’s bad voodoo. Bad things happen when her sister (a Cowboys fan) comes in the room. My friend makes her leave. The sister doesn’t know of her secret power or she would use it for evil.
If the bad voodoo continues then I go sit on the bathroom toilet (just sit) and watch the game from there. That’s the ace in the hole so to speak. It breaks the bad voodoo.
Fall River, Mass.