Some people are fans of the Carolina Panthers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Carolina Panthers. This 2009 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
1. They guaranteed Jake Delhomme $20 million. Even worse, Delhomme's massive contract extension all but ensures he'll remain with the team for three more years at the minimum. That's a terrifying prospect given just how truly, spectacularly awful he was against Arizona in the playoffs in January. Everyone has bad games, true. But this was more than that. Delhomme's performance that night was a flaming shitwreck so profound in its ineptness that a mere nine-month break will do little to wash away its searing memory. It was a defining masterpiece of shittiness. From now until the day he hangs up his cleats, every football fan watching Jake Delhomme play quarterback will do so with the same measure of trepidation a mafia witness has while turning a car key. Oh sure, maybe he'll have the occasional 300 yard game this season, and maybe the Panthers will win 11 games again and win the division. But that will do little to ease the skepticism, to dull the anticipation most fans of have seeing Delhomme inevitably crumble once more. It's like waiting for Britney to get fat again. It's a fait accompli. Everything between now and that moment is just window dressing, for when the real Delhomme comes back out, throwing passes to areas where there are no teammates, and giving us the unforgettable gifs we crave so very much.
2. John Fox used to be a good coach. Let's revisit that Arizona disaster one more time. On the game's first drive, the Panthers scored a touchdown. The drive encompassed 50 yards, 41 of which were compiled on the ground, on three carries. After this drive ended and the Panthers had a 7-0 lead, they ran the ball three consecutive times with DeAngelo Williams on their next possession and were forced to punt. After these two first drives, the Panthers had a rushing average of 8.2 yards a carry, which is pretty fucking solid. They would go on to run the ball a grand total of nine more times the entire game. Nine times?
Which brings me to my next point…
3. They fucked DeAngelo Williams, and they fucked you. DeAngelo Williams, who was unstoppable by the end of the regular season last year, ran the ball 12 times against Arizona that night. It fits a pattern where the Panthers have steadfastly refused to use Williams properly in key moments, most notably the entire years of 2006 and 2007. The number of fantasy football owners dicked over by the Panthers in that time is gargantuan. Everyone knew he had potential, yet there he was, stuck behind DeShaun Foster. What kinda blowjob does DeShaun Foster give? It got to the point where most fantasy owners gave up on Williams, which means that the people who benefited from Williams' astonishing season in 2008 were lucky fucksticks who happened to take a flyer on him. LOOKING AT YOU, DAN STEINBERG. Speaking of Jews…
4. They cut Goldberg! It's true. Former WCW superstar Bill Goldberg was the first player ever cut by the Panthers. How dare you, Carolina. This man started his wrestling career 108-0. The fact that the entire streak was scripted only makes it MORE impressive, you pricks! NEW BABYFACES NEVER GET THAT KIND OF MAJOR PUSH!
5. The least they could do is find another decent receiver to complement Steve Smith. We don't want that fella punching any more babies.
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