Tom Talks

Symbolic of a season: Panthers DBs on crutches

tsorensen@charlotteobserver.comSeptember 15, 2013 

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Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith sits on the team bench watching a replay during the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills.

JEFF SINER — jsiner@charlotteobserver.com Buy Photo

— Carolina safety Charles Godfrey neatly folds the gray pants he wears to the game and puts on sweatpants. As he’s about to leave his locker safety Quintin Mikell walks past. Godfrey, who suffered an Achilles injury, is on crutches, his right foot in a boot. Mikell, who injured his ankle, is on crutches, his right foot in a boot. The scene is telling – Carolina defensive backs kept getting hurt and Buffalo kept taking advantage.

•  Last week, in the wake of the Michael Waltrip Racing scandal, I heard from numerous fans who said they were finished with NASCAR. Sunday I heard from numerous football fans who said they were finished with the Panthers. Maybe the fans could swap. Because football is more popular, perhaps NASCAR fans could throw in a sport to be named later.

•  Kids think the last thing that happened is the biggest thing that ever happened. I’m not a kid. But I swear the one-point loss to Buffalo is among the most devastating Panthers losses I have witnessed.

•  In the Carolina locker room players might have set a record for an absence of eye contact and for staring blankly at whatever they see in front of them. Players who usually are willing to talk after a loss decline. There’s linebacker Thomas Davis. Thomas, do you have a minute to talk? “I’d rather not,” Davis says. Others simply walk quickly past, looking at something far away.

•  There was a fight in the stands. I never saw punches but I saw security hustling down to end it. A local reporter says there are always fights at Buffalo games. A reader Tweets that the fights usually start in the end zone. This one did. Fighting at sporting events is moronic. If you need to be part of the spectacle, ask for a helmet and try out. If not, stay home.

•  The sound system at Ralph Wilson Stadium often cranks out, at high volume, a train whistle. Clearly the Panthers are on the wrong side of the tracks.

Sorensen: 704-358-5119; tsorensen@charlotteobserver.com; Twitter: @tomsorensen

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