After a decisive Panther loss, I usually hear from the panicky people. You know them. You might be one of them.
Panicky people are the ones that during the brief gas shortage waited in line 45 minutes even though their tanks were more than half full. They're the ones that hear about snow in Asheville and rush to Harris-Teeter for milk and bread even though they live in southeast Charlotte and already have milk and bread. They're the ones that surrender when their team trails by 10 at the half. They're the ones that get up at 5:15 a.m. to shop for gifts the day after Thanksgiving.
I only heard from a few today. Two told me the Panthers would not win another game, finish 8-8 and fail to make the playoffs.
I don't agree. I'm not good at panic. I've never been good at it. The idea of rushing to Harris-Teeter to buy bread and milk is appalling. I'd buy wine and dog treats.
Before the season, I predicted the Panthers would go 11-5, and I'll stick with that. I thought they'd beat Atlanta, lose to Green Bay, win at home against Tampa Bay and Denver, and lose on the road to New York and New Orleans. To attain 11-5, the Panthers will have to win one more road game.
To its credit, Charlotte was calm today. Email was less frequent than usual after a loss, and almost nobody at the gym this morning complained about the Panthers or North Carolina or talked about N.C. State, Independence-Butler, South Carolina-Clemson or Appalachian State's tournament seed.
I attribute that to Thanksgiving. This is the rare week when almost everybody turns introspective. We think about Thursday and we think about family and friends. We think more about what we're doing and less about what our teams are doing.
Especially when our teams play the way they did Sunday.