At 11-0, the Panthers are the last undefeated team in the NFL. You’d think that having 11 NFL (we’re not talking about high school junior varsity here) teams fail at defeating you would garner some kind of props, or at the very least, respect from odds makers and the mainstream media, but that hasn’t been the case for the Panthers. Every week there’s another excuse why they suck. This time it’s Five Thirty Eight. The ESPN affiliate recently published an article detailing why Carolina is the worst 11-0 team in the history of the league. Many fans are growing tired of the blatant disrespect shown toward their beloved Panthers, but I for one, am encouraging the haters to keep on hating.
Self motivation is a beautiful thing. Most NFL players possess this quality – I mean to be one of the few to make it to that level you have to. Many are also highly competitive. These two things provide the basis of what you want in any athlete. If your squad has a bunch of guys with these two traits, coupled with talent and chemistry, you’re bound to win your fair share of games. The Panthers have all of the above. No matter how much people want to convince you differently, the Panthers have the right mix of self motivation, competitive edge, talent and chemistry. That’s why they’re undefeated and the other 31 teams in the league aren’t. BUT there’s one more thing I’d argue helps fuel Carolina when they take the field….HATERS.
The Panthers would like you to think that they don’t pay attention to the media, that they don’t care what doubters say about them and that their sole focus is defeating that week’s opponent. But you better believe they see every headline saying that this is the week they are exposed as the they frauds they are, every odds maker or analyst who picks a team with a losing record to beat them and every mainstream media outlet calling them the worst undefeated team in the history of the NFL.
See, at this point, the Panthers are playing for more than the game and the competition they love so much. At this point, the Panthers are playing for respect and every time a hater doubts their talent and position at the top of league, it’s a personal insult. It’s an added chip on their shoulder. Respect is a powerful motivator. Many will tell you they’d rather be respected than loved. So, mainstream media, analyst and odds makers please keep hating. Please keep picking the Panthers to lose, because I’d rather have my squad play for respect over love any day.