Thongs, proposals, hot chips star in Carolina Panthers 2017 social media highlights

Thongs, proposals, hot chips star in Carolina Panthers 2017 social media highlights

CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - It's been a really good season for weird tweets about the Carolina Panthers.

Luke Kuechly's bedroom. The "thong" Matt Kalil supposedly wears when he plays. Cam Newton's hats. Graham Gano's self high five after he got ignored trying to shake someone's hand.

All got their share of attention on social media this season. And there were also plenty of strange fan tweets, including an ongoing fan obsession with the woman in the stands who has a sign that says: "Luke Kuechly, you're my free pass."

By far, the most popular tweets of the year involved the on-field antics of players, particularly Cam Newton's dancing after touch downs. Here are some of the funniest:

Kicker Graham Gano emerged as one of the team's most popular social media stars. A soccer trick he performed with a football during a nationally televised game got thousands of views on Twitter and made national news.

He also found the humor in a meme one fan created of him "high-fiving himself" when his attempt at shaking someone's hand and was ignored. Gano retweeted the clip, noting: "I can't believe someone caught this on camera. This happens all of the time."

Humor was also big for the team on Twitter, whether it was poking fun at Cam Newton's hats or making fun of a rumor that Matt Kalil wore a thong when he played.

Kalil's brother, Ryan Kalil, tried driving a course while blind folded with NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson, as part of the Ride of Your Life series, sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina. He set a record, driving the course in 50 seconds.

The Kalil brothers also won hearts when they acted together in a Bojangles commercial that mined their competitive relationship for laughs. Then Greg Olsen tried the "world's hottest chip" and cried on YouTube.

Here are some of the highlights:

Luke Kuechly remains the hottest topic on social media for the team, which is ironic, given he does little tweeting of his own.

Kuechly's tweeting fans generally fall into two categories: the ones who want to marry him and the ones who admire his skill and are in awe of his ability to transform from Mr. Nice Guy into "a monster" when he's on the field. Some women proposed via Twitter. Some just wanted a date.

This season, Kuechly gave fans a rare glimpse into his personal life by tweeting out a "thank you" to a company that gave him a free mattress and box springs. Fans ignored the mattress and marveled at how sparse Kuechly's bedroom appeared to be decorated.

There is also an ongoing debate over the female fan who has a sign about Kuechly being her free pass. (For those who don't understand, a "free pass" is permission to cheat on a spouse or boyfriend.)

Then, there's the heartwarming stuff.

Kuechly sent a surprise to a 7-year-old in Ohio who had a Christmas tree in his honor.

A YouTube video shows three Panthers players serenading a widow as she toured the stadium.

Better still is the video of young girl who breaks down in tears on Christmas, after learning someone has given up their seat at an upcoming Panthers game so she can see Cam Newton play.

Cam Newton's 2-year-old son also warmed the hearts of parents everywhere on Christmas day, when he broke out into a dance at Bank of America Stadium and got millions of views on social media.

Here are some of those emotional moments.