Don't know if i have ever seen more Carolina Panther fans at a road game than I did in Baltimore. Many were on the same non-stop flight from Charlotte to BWI that I was, a bargain for $90.
If you are a fan of the Panthers or of the NFL, and have a few bucks to escape, you ought to take in a road game. Panthers jerseys and caps were common all weekend in the restaurants and bars around the Inner Harbor.
I know the area is touristy, but it's also beautiful and alive, and if you stray a few blocks, you can find a place that caters to the locals, and stay longer than you intend, much longer if a friend I'll call Stan shows up.
The Panthers presence at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday was evident. Although it wasn't exactly Clemson at Wake Forest, you could look into most sections and see, and often hear, folks cheering for Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith and Julius Peppers.
The loudest cheer I heard from Panther fans all weekend came at the ESPN Zone Sunday night. As highlights from Sunday's games were shown on the big screen -- that screen is bigger than Carolina's defensive tackles -- the 72-yard touchdown pass from Delhomme to Smith flashed up.
When Smith grabbed the ball, a group of Panther fans we'll call middle-aged began to urge him to the end zone. They were screaming. And this was in Baltimore at the Inner Harbor. What could Baltimore fans say? They are civilized up there.
Smith obviously listened to the Charlotte fans and darn if he didn't score again.