Reporting Taylor Zarzour
Filed underCarolina Panthers, Carolina Panthers, NFL, NFL Kickoff, Radio.com - Sports, Syndicated Sports, Taylor's Blog, The Drive
I wasn’t here to witness the loudest crowd in the NBA. The buzz for the Hornets in the late 80′s and early 90′s was evidently the most passionate this town has ever been about sports. Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, and Muggsy Bogues helped in putting this town on the national map. In fact, you could argue they helped convince Jerry Richardson and Paul Tagliabue that the NFL could work in the Queen City.
But with all due respect I have a hard time believing the “buzz” was higher for them than it is for Cam Newton today. Cam has quickly become one of the 10 biggest names in football. Don’t believe me? Then you weren’t at Fan Fest this past Saturday. That event’s largest crowd in 16 years showed up, and almost all of them stayed in hopes of getting Newton’s autograph afterwards. To his credit, he circled the field more than a dozen times trying to answer each request. The screams in the stadium sounded like a rockstar was in front of them. Then again, maybe their was.
We should never lose sight of what LJ, Zo, and Muggsy did for the city of Charlotte. Again, they helped in rebranding this twon’s national image. But the Queen City was half of the size it is today, and NBA stars don’t carry the same attraction as an NFL star. That’s why I believe what we are witnessing with Cam Mania is bigger than anything sports related in the city’s history. And this is only the beginning…