The key is to leave by 10:30 a.m. If I leave for Bank of America Stadium at 11 on Sunday morning, I get hammered by traffic. And at Carolina’s home opener against Chicago two weeks ago, I was lucky to get a parking place in the Observer parking lot. Place was jammed with football throwing, dog eating, beverage drinking fans.
Today, I moved to the parking lot like Adrian Peterson moves behind the Minnesota offensive line. There was no traffic, not on the freeway and not on the streets. And even though I showed up 10 minutes later than I did last week, the Observer lot was almost empty.
The Bears, obviously, have a cache the Falcons do not. Their fans show up early, in Chicago jerseys, and stay late. Maybe Atlanta fans are late arriving types. Maybe Panther fans, this week, are.
Maybe – and I think I read this in Sunday’s newspaper - there is no rivalry.