CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - When the Atlanta Falcons face off the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, "they will deal with the light jeering of one of the weakest fan bases in the league." Or so said a blog post Tuesday on the sports news web site SBNation.
Writer and Atlanta Falcons fan Matthew Chambers credited – or blamed – his premise on a single paragraph posted by the online niche publication Charlotte Agenda, which listed "fair-weathered" Panthers fans among the most annoying people in Charlotte. The paragraph accused fans of losing their enthusiasm when the team suffers a series of losses. It also brought up the recent Cam Newton controversy over perceived sexist remarks during a press conference.
"The Panthers will need some help to win on Sunday, and they probably aren't about to get it from crowd noise from their weak fan base," Chambers said, before going on to lambast both the entire city.
"The city is basically a giant Bank of America branch. The darkest moment of my life was being stuck in an unending conversation about banking with someone from Charlotte. I'm 80 percent certain Charlotte added a football team just so bankers could expense another event.
That insult sounds similar to something Deadspin.com wrote in July, when it said: "There's a certain cruelty in the fact that Charlotte is both North Carolina's largest city and also, by far, the boringest town in that state... Charlotte is a bank branch someone made into a whole city, presided over by (Panthers owner) Jerry Richardson and his anodyne football team."
Charlotte is also "a little light on professional sports," Chambers goes on to say in his post, with no Major League Baseball and no major league hockey team. (The Charlotte Checkers are minor league.)
This is not the first time Panthers fans have been ridiculed from afar.
NFL great Terry Bradshaw once called Panthers fans "stupid" on national television, after someone threw something onto the field at an ejected player.
A Deadspin.com article recently featured someone calling Panthers fans "a joke," and a Phoenix New Times article last year called the Panthers "the NFL's biggest bandwagon team."
"The Panthers attracted hordes of fair-weather fans in the Carolinas and across the nation," said the article. "Look, we're willing to admit that not every fan of the team is a beer-swilling hillbilly. But the fact you can see dudes dressed as Dog the Bounty Hunter at Carolina home games, buy a "Redneck Wine Glass" made from a Mason jar that bears the Panthers logo, or catch players rubbing elbows with NASCAR drivers speaks volumes, don't it?"
There's even a web page for Carolina Panthers jokes, many of them about the the team's fans. Here's a sample: