It's been awhile since I've written an article on here and after Tuesday's loss in game six sending the series back home for game seven on Thursday I have a lot of thoughts going through my head I wanted to share. I, like many of you have gotten through this season with the hope of finally ending our playoff drought. Through the good and bad we've all stuck by the Panthers screaming their names at games or at our TVs at home. Traveling to practices and events the team has hosted to pass times on off days, arriving early to games to tailgate and to watch pregame warmups. I've followed the Panthers since 1993 and until this year I was never able to make it to a training camp, preseason game or even a practice. However this year I made the time because I believed in them just as the team believed in themselves.
This year has been magical and on top of believing in themselves the team helped to make the fans believe as well. Whether it be new fans or returning fans who had previously given up on them, South Florida truly is "Believing Red". Toward the end of the season it had become "Win it for Weiss" and after ten long years it finally happened. On top of that this group managed to win it's first division title in franchise history, far beyond anyone's expectations possibly even the most die-hard fans. The resurgence of the rat also happened this year thanks in part (mostly) to "VanMurph," a true superfan of the team. Memories of games in the old Miami Arena come streaming back and as the season and playoffs move further along more and more rats emerge. After Florida won game two and hundreds of rats rained down from the seats I will admit I got choked up at the sight, it really is a great way to "thank" our boys after great games.
So as Thursday approaches we have to remember, win or lose, that this team has touched us all in some way. Game seven will be a hard fought game between both teams who are equally hungry for the win, hopefully some questionable calls don't factor into it for either team and they give us one to talk about 15 years from now. The future is bright beyond this series, round two of the playoffs or however far the panthers make it and I look forward to being a part of it.
Go Cats Go!