LANDOVER, Md. -- Watching through a crowd of teammates who were standing along the sideline in front of his seat on the bench, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy saw all he needed to see. His offense, he thought, was giving the game away.
Hardy lifted his helmet, slammed it to the ground, shouted an expletive, and started down the sideline, so that more could hear him expressing his emotions. All while his team was beating the Washington Redskins by eight points. All with less than two minutes to play Sunday.
"I got a little emotional and said some things I'm not sure if I meant or not, but I wanted everybody to know," Hardy told NFL.com after the Panthers' 21-13 win. "I wanted everybody to attack, even with a lead.
"You've got to be on your toes, not on your heels. I got a little emotional about that."
Emotional enough for Hardy -- who, when the Panthers were just 1:15 from their first victory since Sept. 16, had to be restrained by wide receiver Steve Smith -- to apologize to coach Ron Rivera in the locker room after the game.
Rivera's response, however, was interesting: No need to apologize, he told Hardy. None at all. The Redskins never should have had the late tying opportunity that sparked Hardy's outburst, and a little fire was apparently in order. If only it had come on the field instead.
"That's outstanding," Rivera later explained in a corner of the locker room. "We have to play with that type of emotion. This is an emotional game, and when you play with emotion, you give yourself an opportunity to win. Be in attack mode. Be aggressive."
Have to get over that feeling that we are going somehow lose at the end of these games. Good on the Kraken for showing the fire though.