Back in 1986, my career took me to High Point, NC, and for the next 14 years I would remain a resident of the Tar Heel state. During that time, the Carolina Panthers (and the Charlotte Hornets, for that matter) came into existence, launching a tug of war for my pro football soul.
A lifelong fan of what was then the Washington Redskins, the newbie in town was hard to ignore. The stadium was only an hour down the road, the area was flooded with Panther merchandise, and they were decent out of the gate, going 7-9 in that first season playing down at Clemson.
When they finished the new stadium in Charlotte (I was at the very first game, an exhibition contest with San Francisco) they were even better, going 12-4, getting good at just the time the Redskins were getting worse.
To say the least, I was torn.
Turns out in looking at today’s news, I didn’t really have to pick one or the other, because it sure is looking like the Washington Football team is becoming the Washington Panthers.
First it was head coach Ron Rivera, who then brought along some players and coaches from Carolina. Today, there are reports he’s chosen former Panthers' GM Marty Hurney as the team’s new general manager, and one of the first things he’ll have to do is decide what to do with the quarterback position.
Anyone want to take a guess where Cam Newton ends up in the offseason?