Training camp is one of the best deals in sports. I watched the fans at Carolina
It feels like a high school football game. Yet there was one of the sport’s top receivers, Steve Smith, stopping the ball with his left hand and commanding it to remain in the air until he can wrap his right hand around it.
The fans, who get in free, loved it. They loved the runs DeAngelo Williams made, finding room on the left side and seizing it and then, on the next play, changing directions and losing about 10 defenders.
They loved the catch Muhsin Muhammad made along the left sideline and the moves of rookie Jonathan Stewart and the Jason Baker punt that has yet to land. This crowd came to cheer. Two kids screamed their support every time Ryne Robinson caught one of Baker’s punts.
Sunday afternoon was a celebration of football. It was an opportunity to get so close to the Panthers the fans felt as if they knew them.
No matter where they sit in Bank of America Stadium, they won’t get as close all season.