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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
A member of the Carolina Panthers is making a bold prediction - a Super Bowl win.
Panthers Center, Ryan Kalil, took out a full page ad in the Charlotte Observer on Wednesday entitled "Why the Carolina Panthers will win Super Bowl XLVII."
"For eighteen years we've wanted, hoped and tried... but no more," the ad states.
Kalil says that the team is at a moment where "dreams become beliefs."
He pointed out that 40,000 soon-to-be Panthers fans bought into the team on July 1, 1993 during the construction of the now Bank of America Stadium.
The Panthers, which became the NFL's 29th franchise later that year, have been playing for nearly decades in the Carolinas. The inaugural season, 1995, was played in Clemson's "Death Valley" and the Panthers moved to Charlotte permanently in 1996.
It was that same year that the Panthers made their first appearance in the NFC Championship, losing to the Green Bay Packers.
The Panthers made their first, and only, run at the Super Bowl in 2003, falling to the New England Patriots 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
"Now look closer," Kalil's ad stated. "At the daunting, unpaved path ahead, lined with detours, naysayers, and walls which seem insurmountable. But not for you. You'll ignore what you hear and break through ANYTHING that stands in your way. Because you see what's at the end of this... Victory."
The full-page newspaper ad was one that his coach, Ron Rivera, said speaks volumes.
"If we dont have 53 guys with that same attitude walking into that building, then we need to find 53 guys that do," Rivera said after Wednesday morning practice. "What he did was he put what he feels out there and I think that's great."
On Wednesday morning, the Carolina Panthers tweeted a picture of Kalil's ad and said that he "is the hero that Charlotte deserves."
"Based on how he feels and what he believes, I'm right behind him," Rivera said. "In fact, I'm stepping out in front and saying the same thing. This is a group of men that if they understand and work hard, put it on themselves, who knows? The sky can be the limit."
Rivera says Kalil put his thoughts and beliefs out there.
"He wants his teammates to know he put it out there. And the great thing is some of the reaction that I've gotten from some of his teammates. When all those guys say "hey okay, let's go" - that's important."
"Well said my brother!" teammate Jon Beason tweeted Wednesday morning. "Belief is the [first] step to reality. #2013 Champions!"
Does Rivera believe the team will now be a target from the other teams in the League?
"No, because everybody thinks the same thing. He just said it."
Fans took to twitter in response to Kalil's ad - both for and against it.
"Keep dreaming" and "was he drunk?" were some of the responses to his prediction. Other fans took a more optimistic approach, saying Kalil "got me hyped up this morning" and was "impressive. Confident, not brash. Made us fans feel a part of it."
Kalil ends his full-page ad with "CAROLINA PANTHERS - SUPER BOWL XLVII CHAMPIONS!"