By definition a moral victory occurs when a person, team, army or other group loses a confrontation, and yet achieves some other moral gain. This gain might be unrelated to the confrontation in question, and the gain is often considerably less than what would have been accomplished if an actual victory had been achieved.
Many Carolina Panther fans and members of the media called the teams opening week 28-21 loss at Arizona a moral victory. After a week of hype and build up, the Panthers (who were 2-14 last season) came home to host the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.
I used my large WFNZ.com salary I get for writing this blog every week to purchase two club level seats for my wife and I (that’s a lie, I was given the tickets by a friend of mine). I went to the game with an open mind about this team and cheered hard when the Panthers entered the field just before kickoff.
For almost the entire first quarter the Panthers kept the Packers offense off of the field and led 10-0 when it ended. Cam Newton and the Carolina offense looked well and I started to think there was a chance the team could keep it close.
The second quarter saw the Panthers good fortune continue as they took a 13-0 lead. I began to fall into the trap they had set for me when I actually thought they could win this game. Having to settle for two field goals instead of two more touchdowns proved to be a big difference as Aaron Rodgers started to pick apart the Panthers defense with 23 straight points. Throw in a few interceptions, a costly Steve Smith fumble, and we had our beloved 2010 Panthers back.
Opportunity passed again when the Panthers had to settle for another field goal in the last quarter. A late touchdown by Carolina wouldn’t matter as they lost 30-23.
Compared to 2010, this year’s Carolina Panthers are far improved. Cam Newton is a very exciting player to watch and the coaching staff is more aggressive. However I don’t believe it’s always sunny in Charlotte because a loss is still a loss and the team is now 0-2. As far as I’m concerned week 1 was not a moral victory and neither was this game. It is just a continuation of the team’s futility.
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