'Keep Pounding' drum will be at Super Bowl - | WBTV Charlotte

'Keep Pounding' drum will be at Super Bowl

The "Keep Pounding" Drum will be at the Super Bowl (Source: Panthers.com) The "Keep Pounding" Drum will be at the Super Bowl (Source: Panthers.com)

When the Carolina Panthers take on the Denver Broncos this Sunday in Super Bowl 50, there will be a familiar object on the sideline. The "Keep Pounding" drum will be in Santa Clara for the game.

According to Panthers.com, assistant defensive line coach Sam Mills III’s face lit up when he heard that drum might make it across the country for the game.

"There’s a rumor the Keep Pounding drum is heading west," a smiling Mills said to defensive line coach Eric Washington. "We’ve been joking about that, but I didn’t even think it was a possibility."

"When we first started it (in 2012), people didn’t really know how to take it," Mills said. "But now, that drum has come to signify the starting bell of a heavyweight fight. Every Sunday, we’re in a heavyweight fight, and when someone hits that drum, it’s time to go. We’re locked in."

The power behind "Keep Pounding" couldn’t be more personal to Mills, whose father was the architect of the stirring sentiment. Stricken with cancer at the outset of the 2003 season, the Panthers’ former linebacker turned assistant coach told the team to "keep pounding" in an emotional speech prior to a playoff run that resulted in Carolina’s only other Super Bowl appearance.

The addition of the drum has only added to the impact of Mills’ legacy. 

Sam Mills III is up in the coaches’ box before every home game – the main reason he hasn’t banged the drum himself – but it’s still a highlight of game day for him and the Panthers.

"I have not missed one. The organization did a great job of timing it up, and I make sure my eyes are on that drum every time it gets hit," Mills said. "I got excited when Steph Curry did it, and Mr. (Jerry) Richardson, that was awesome that he would be a part of that. But to see Ricky Proehl do it knowing that he was around during that time, and him taking the jacket off and showing his jersey, me and some other coaches in the booth had tears in our eyes."

WEB EXTRA: Click here to watch video of Proehl pounding the drum

"My brother did it, with my mom and my sister down there as well. That was really awesome, really nice. It’s 98 percent logistics (that I haven’t done it), and then two percent of it is that it would probably be difficult for me emotionally to do that and then get back into game mode."

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