CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS4) – If you feel there’s been non-stop talk about the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning — you’re not alone. Carolina Panthers fans are complaining they’re underrated. CBS4’s Stan Bush traveled to enemy territory in Charlotte, North Carolina, and says fans there say their team deserves more respect.
Maybe they’re just complaining for motivation. You’d think after a 15-1 season and a trip to the Super Bowl the Panthers and their fans would feel pretty happy. But instead, they’re saying they just can’t get any respect.
Panthers fans say the Broncos are catching a team with a major chip on their shoulder.
“Next year I think they’ll be a lot more respected, but everyone kind of looks at them now as the kids on the block,” a Panthers fans told Bush.
Perhaps no team in history has been as overlooked. If the New England Patriots, or even the Broncos, had been 15-1 this year, Panthers fans say they already would have been given the Lombardi Trophy.
“This is the real deal, without any cheating or anything … they’re mad,” another Panthers fan said.
It’s well known that the South loves the college game, but now the Panthers’ menacing rule is there to stay. Charlotte is bathed in Panther blue all day, and night.
“It’s a reminder of just how emotionally invested a region can get in professional sports,” said Charlotte Chamber of Commerce President Bob Morgan.
Morgan says the Panthers have united a region and expects it will only get better in the Carolinas.
“The Panthers are in the Super Bowl, and anybody who knows anything about football knows that this team is scary good,” Morgan said.
Many argue a lot of Panthers fans just found the right time to jump on the bandwagon. One didn’t even bother to take a Miami Dolphins plate of his SUV. But there are a lot of them, and they’re passionate.