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Only The Diehards Remain: Is Fan Interest Down This Season?

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Just now, Bronn said:

So what do you do when the team makes poor decisions?

Have you no right to criticize?

If you believe not, then this explains a lot.

Of course you criticize and complain. I do plenty of that myself. 

What you don't do is 100% criticize and complain in every thread in an attempt to cause as much damage to the fan base as you can. 

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3 minutes ago, KSpan said:

I can say that, as a diehard since 95, my lack of interest  is tied way more to what went down last season. As soon as Rivera was retained for 2019 my interest started fading and having 2019 be more of the same, but even worse without a healthy Cam/semblance of competent quarterbacking in the second half of the season, just killed things.

There was seismic change in the offseason and yesterday showed some promise. The damage for me was long done though and it will take some time to go from academic/informational to truly passionate again.

I was pretty discouraged at how long Rivera was retained. 2016 was a colossal failure and I think he should have been fired after that season. 2018 was another massive failure and he was retained for some reason. But that's in the past. 

I believe there is a deep rooted losing culture in the Panthers franchise, that even transcendent HOF level talents like Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly had to scratch and claw against to even win the games that they did. I'm still really disappointed the Panthers could not manage to win a Superbowl with those high level talents leading their team.

But I also think a lot of good changes were made this offseason and there's more hope than there was during the end of the Rivera era so there's that!

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League wide, interest is way down, minimum of 15%.  Has nothing to do with Cam Newton.

Steve Smith, Cam Newton, etc, etc.  That is common from team to team when players come and go.

Pandemic and political stuff is driving the numbers down, not football stuff

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6 minutes ago, kungfoodude said:

You see this a lot more with NBA teams. So many of the fans are "player fans" rather than team fans.

That really happened with the proliferation of fantasy football where players root for their own team which is a combination of players across the league rather than one team. Folks care about players doing well more than how the teams actually except for the ones you have on defense.

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Just now, panthers55 said:

That really happened with the proliferation of fantasy football where players root for their own team which is a combination of players across the league rather than one team. Folks care about players doing well more than how the teams actually except for the ones you have on defense.

Good point. Hadn't considered fantasy football but you are right. 

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Just now, Jeremy Igo said:

Of course you criticize and complain. I do plenty of that myself. 

What you don't do is 100% criticize and complain in every thread in an attempt to cause as much damage to the fan base as you can. 

I really don't think that being critical is what is harming the fan base.
 

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Just now, Bronn said:

I really don't think that being critical is what is harming the fan base.
 

There is a difference between being critical and poo'ing all over the place relentlessly. I want one here. I don't want the other here. That is how its going to be. 

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1 minute ago, Icege said:

What OP is describing is basically what it's like to be a Panthers fan in the Lowcountry.

Y'all think I would actually waste time lurking here and dealing with all of the garbage that comes with it if Panthers fans actually existed in Charleston? Smart fans preferred; I don't need to go to the bar and hear about how DA should've been our starter.

Most of SC is that way. I went to multiple sports bars in Columbia, SC in 2014 and got the stink eye when I came in wearing a Panthers jersey. This while they showed up in droves to watch Connor fuging Shaw play for the Browns. Or being in Rock Hill, SC for the first game of 2016 and having the 5-6 other people in the bar openly root against the Panthers. 

That was when I realized that the Panthers were really North Carolina's team. Almost no one in SC gives a poo about the Panthers.

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2 minutes ago, stirs said:

League wide, interest is way down, minimum of 15%.  Has nothing to do with Cam Newton.

Steve Smith, Cam Newton, etc, etc.  That is common from team to team when players come and go.

Pandemic and political stuff is driving the numbers down, not football stuff

I don't think it's an either or thing. I think it's a combination of all of it. You can't tell me there wouldn't be more interest in the Panthers if we were predicted to be a contender. League wide interest is definitely down, but I'm sure it's down even more than average for teams predicted to be bad.

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1 minute ago, kungfoodude said:

Most of SC is that way. I went to multiple sports bars in Columbia, SC in 2014 and got the stink eye when I came in wearing a Panthers jersey. This while they showed up in droves to watch Connor fuging Shaw play for the Browns. Or being in Rock Hill, SC for the first game of 2016 and having the 5-6 other people in the bar openly root against the Panthers. 

That was when I realized that the Panthers were really North Carolina's team. Almost no one in SC gives a poo about the Panthers.

To be fair, the only thing that SC cares about is making terrible decisions that make us look stupid to the rest of the country.

Think of SC as the, "tEddY cAn't thrOw dEEp And Is A mEdIOcrE qb" posters: clueless, dedicated to bad takes, and a little bigoted.

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2 minutes ago, panthers55 said:

That really happened with the proliferation of fantasy football where players root for their own team which is a combination of players across the league rather than one team. Folks care about players doing well more than how the teams actually except for the ones you have on defense.

Fantasy football is a huge part of it, I am sure. I don't have a team for the first time in decades.

However, football is bigger than individual players and individual teams.

It is a social and societal platform. The people that want you to forget that typically have agendas.

 

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7 minutes ago, hepcat said:

I was pretty discouraged at how long Rivera was retained. 2016 was a colossal failure and I think he should have been fired after that season. 2018 was another massive failure and he was retained for some reason. But that's in the past. 

I believe there is a deep rooted losing culture in the Panthers franchise, that even transcendent HOF level talents like Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly had to scratch and claw against to even win the games that they did. I'm still really disappointed the Panthers could not manage to win a Superbowl with those high level talents leading their team.

But I also think a lot of good changes were made this offseason and there's more hope than there was during the end of the Rivera era so there's that!

All reasonable. 2016 was disappointing but not unexpected and it appeared that things were back on the upswing in 2017, but retaining him after 2018 was just baffling. That decision unfortunately caused some degree of damage to the fanbase even if only a small portion of us.

What will bring me back around the quickest isn't even winning. It's seeing that the glaring weaknesses of the past nearly 2 decades is accountability among the coaching staff, an ability to adapt in-game, and just a more modern approach to the game on the field. Yesterday was a positive first showing.

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16 minutes ago, kungfoodude said:

Most of SC is that way. I went to multiple sports bars in Columbia, SC in 2014 and got the stink eye when I came in wearing a Panthers jersey. This while they showed up in droves to watch Connor fuging Shaw play for the Browns. Or being in Rock Hill, SC for the first game of 2016 and having the 5-6 other people in the bar openly root against the Panthers. 

That was when I realized that the Panthers were really North Carolina's team. Almost no one in SC gives a poo about the Panthers.

Not entirely true, but the intrest for the Panthers does go down the further you get from Charlotte.  I moved from Charlotte to greenville 3 years ago. I see panther gear often, see fans in bars, etc.  Also in Charlotte, if the Panthers are playing the Patriots, Washington, Steelers or Dallas, you will see more fans of the other teams in most bars.

Edited by jfra78
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2 minutes ago, KSpan said:

All reasonable. 2016 was disappointing but not unexpected and it appeared that things were back on the upswing in 2017, but retaining him after 2018 was just baffling. That decision unfortunately caused some degree of damage to the fanbase even if only a small portion of us.

What will bring me back around the quickest isn't even winning. It's seeing that the glaring weaknesses of the past nearly 2 decades is accountability among the coaching staff, an ability to adapt in-game, and just a more modern approach to the game on the field. Yesterday was a positive first showing.

2017 in retrospect was a dead cat bounce. They "got the band back together" bringing old dudes Peppers and Munnerlyn back, and bringing in another old guy like Mike Adams. That really old team that got even older in 2018. The defense in particular being so old is the main reason for that frustrating losing streak down the stretch in 2018.

I agree that there were definitely some super big positive things that happened yesterday. Derrick Brown looked good. So did Jeremy Chinn. Bridgewater to me performed as advertised. And of course, CMC showed out as he always will.

But there was still a lot of negatives too. Seems like all the holdovers from the Rivera era, outside of CMC, were not playing up to their potential. I can't really be too upset at a young defense making mistakes (Troy Pride getting beat for a long TD when he was in good position is acceptable), but seeing "veterans" like Tahir Whitehead getting called for critical penalties, when Raiders fans were roasting him all week for losing them games during his tenure on their team, made me really disappointed. He should probably be a veteran voice from the bench at this point. Tre Boston played like absolute ass, which is pretty much par for the course for him. I'm mystified why he was kept. Curtis Samuel continues to struggle catching the football. DJ Moore had an up and down game.

Old habits die hard I guess. Might need to completely overhaul the roster and that includes getting rid of ANYONE who played for Rivera, outside of CMC.

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Anecdotally, I can say I feel a huge dip in enthusiasm between games. But I was surprised to find, when the game was on, I was as engaged as I've ever been. But the lead up to the game and after the game, right back to the same sort of general numbness that constitutes the rest of my life in these times. So what was missing? The games are the same and the experience of watching is the same (at a bar or on my home TV), but we're all missing that social element.

What I'm personally discovering is that sports and fandom is much more social than I ever appreciated. And while I'm still far outside the Panthers market, we're in general much more disconnected with other people and strangers in particular than we've ever been.

I've had one conversation about football with someone who wasn't a close friend this year. A guy in the fitness center in my apartment saw my Panthers gym shorts  and asked if Teddy was gonna ball out this year. We talked for 5 minutes. That's all I've talked football this entire offseason. And that made me realize, in past years, I would have had twenty or thirty conversations with randos on the street because I saw them wearing Panthers gear, or just generally talking football because we were waiting for the elevator, or on a bus, or getting our morning Starbucks, or just generally were trying to fill the silence. Cumulatively it's hours of fandom.

What's my fandom right now? Wearing Panthers pajama socks while I'm working, and talking to you suckers online.

It's like you watched a movie you're super hyped about...but no one else has seen it, so you've got no one to talk to about it. Ultimately, you're not going to be very enthusiastic about that movie.

There's just no comparison. Humans are social creatures. Sports are social. And right now, we have to do this very social activity entirely independently. And that leads to a lack of enthusiasm.

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