Stephen Curry, the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and the Carolina Panthers’ most notable celebrity fan, came to watch his favorite NFL team Sunday and saw them lose to the Oakland Raiders.
According to ESPN as well as a picture posted to Twitter, Curry lost a pregame bet and had to temporarily don a No. 4 Derek Carr Oakland jersey after Carolina lost, 35-32.
Of course, Curry remains a Panthers fan. One embarrassing loss won’t change that. Curry told me when we talked Saturday night that he and Cam Newton would likely each see the other play in person this week. The Panthers are staying in the San Francisco Bay area for most of the next week before flying on to Seattle for their Dec. 4 game.
“I haven’t talked to Cam personally, but I heard he was coming on Thursday,” Curry said, referring to Golden State’s Thursday home game that night against Houston.
Curry, who grew up in Charlotte, returns to Charlotte Jan. 25 for the Warriors’ first of two meetings against the Hornets. I will publish much more from my exclusive interview with Curry online and in print over the next few days.
▪ It’s not often that an NFL team scores five touchdowns and only ends up with 32 points (rather than 35), but that’s what happened to the Panthers Sunday. After Graham Gano’s second extra-point attempt was blocked, Ron Rivera called on Carolina to go for two on each of its next two third-quarter touchdowns (first trailing 24-19, then leading 25-24).
Cam Newton threw too high on the first attempt, and on the second one Greg Olsen dropped a ball right in his hands.
“The first time was to make up for the blocked kick,” Rivera said. “That puts you behind. Now you’re chasing points, which is unfortunate. In retrospect, you could say we could go with it and keep trying to kick ‘em, but as I say we were chasing points, trying to make that up.”
I agreed with the choice to go for two on both occasions, actually. But as several readers pointed out, it ended up a lot like the Panthers’ first Super Bowl (when they also missed on a couple of two-point conversions and also lost by three).
▪ Panthers radio broadcaster Eugene Robinson recalled before the game that he had played the Raiders in Oakland Coliseum several times during his own NFL career, and at one point had to try to calm down a grandmotherly lady in her 60s who was yelling at him so hard in the pregame warmups that she was hyperventilating.
▪ The Raiders pretty much like to play the entire AC/DC song catalog before and during the game. No one gets more mileage out of “Back in Black.”