Tom Sorensen

The last great untold story about the Panthers and Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston

Carolina Panthers Mike Minter (left) and Muhsin Muhammad viewed Super Bowl XXXVIII as a business trip, and dressed appropriately.
Carolina Panthers Mike Minter (left) and Muhsin Muhammad viewed Super Bowl XXXVIII as a business trip, and dressed appropriately. Associated Press

When I think of the Carolina Panthers playing New England in Houston in Super Bowl XXXVIII, I think of a great game, which the Patriots won 32-29. But I also think of some of the things players said.

I asked defensive end Mike Rucker who was a bigger deal in Charlotte – quarterback Jake Delhomme or wrestler Ric Flair. Rucker thought for a few seconds and said Flair.

I think of star receiver Steve Smith on a toll road that he didn’t expect. He didn’t have money with him, so he had to get out of his car and find somebody who would lend him some.

And I think of a player, a journeyman, who did not have nice clothes. Safety Mike Minter took the player in and told him he needed to dress as if he was on a business trip. The player listened, and went out and spent a fortune on a suit. He told me what he paid.

I told Minter. Man, Mike, because of you he’s going to have to give all his Super Bowl money to his tailor.

Minter shook his head, went to the player and asked, “How much did you spend?”

The player told him. You could buy a car for what he paid.

Minter could not hide the disapproval on his face.

“But, Mike,” said the player. “It came with shoes.”

“OK,” Minter told him. “You got a good deal then.”

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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