CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - The Carolina Panthers have released their annual holiday video and it continues this season's running joke that Luke Kuechly is a closet cookie baker.
It also throws in a lot of really ugly Christmas sweaters. In the 95-second video, Kuechly goes to the team's locker room and finds someone has knitted each player a flamboyant Christmas sweater. Kuechly hugs his baggy sweater rapturously and quickly pulls it on.
He then tracks down the knitter in one of the stadium's backrooms, and finds team mascot Sir Purr still hard at work on more sweaters.
Kuechly surprises the mascot with a gift of his own: A big box of cookies baked in the shape of holiday sweaters and Sir Purr's face.
Panthers fans will quickly get the reference to Kuechly's popular CPI Security commercial, in which he nearly sets his kitchen on fire baking cookies. That commercial concludes with him presenting a box of cookies to Panthers newcomer Christian McCaffrey. All the cookies in the CPI Security commercial are baked in the shape of Kuechly. (Fans have started calling them "Kuechly cookies.")
In a Nov. 27 interview with NBC Charlotte's Kelsey Riggs, Kuechly was asked if it's true that he bakes cookies in his spare time.
"Of course," he said, before clarifying; "Every once and awhile."
He went on to explain that he has baked the homemade kind – from scratch – and not just the frozen-dough type found in grocery stores.