Bedecked in a black-and-blue cape and a cone-shaped, electric blue wig, Greg “Catman” Good often drew autograph seekers at Carolina Panthers games — even though he was a fan like the rest of them.
Good, however, reached celebrity status with his rallying of the faithful at every game at Bank of America Stadium starting in 2000. He even made the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in 2004 as the Panthers’ “Superfan,” his son, Greg Good Jr., told The Charlotte Observer on Saturday.
The team’s most fanatical supporter died on Friday at age 62 in hospice care in his hometown of Winston-Salem, his son told the Observer.
As his dad requested, Greg Good Jr. posted the announcement of his father’s death on Facebook so the legions of fellow Panthers fans would know. Good’s funeral is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at Christ Kingdom Building Worship Center in Winston-Salem, with visitation at 2 p.m. at the church.
“The number one panthers fan in the world went on to heaven today!!” read Friday’s post. “Y’all i miss my daddy so much!! Those rides to Charlotte and going to the game will never be the same!!!”
Remembrances have poured in on social media from countless fans — and even retired Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams posted that Good was “the biggest panther fan in the world.”
How ‘Catman’ got his nickname
Good grew up on 25th Street in Winston-Salem and worked as a youth behavioral counselor in Forsythe County with the Charlotte-based Alexander Youth Network, according to his LinkedIn page.
He attended Winston-Salem State University from 1977 to 1982 and was named All-CIAA in shot and discus on the school’s track team.
He also commanded the school’s ROTC Fancy Drill Team, belonged to the Drama Guild and was an undefeated “Pop-Lock” dancer at the Student Union for five years through graduation, he said on LinkedIn.
The Panthers became a passion from the team’s start. He attended every home game from the inaugural 1995 season at Clemson University to 2017, his son said.
Good reserved a seat at one Panthers home game each year for one of the many troubled students he counseled, his son said. Instructors selected the students based on improved behavior. So many students improved because they wanted to attend a Panthers game that it became increasingly difficult for the instructors to select one, Greg Good Jr. said.
Through such actions, Greg Good Jr. said, his father “taught me how to be humble and to give back.”
Good’s nickname was coined in 1998 by a Panthers’ fan who couldn’t see the action on the field because Good stood throughout each game, Greg Good Jr. told the Observer.
“Hey, Catman, you make a better door than you do a window,” the fan blurted, prompting his dad to sit during a game for the first time.
“You hear what he called me?” an astonished Greg Good asked his son at the game. He loved the name, “and it took off from there,” Greg Good Jr. said.
Good had been thinking since 1996 about the need to energize fellow fans, his son said. That was the team’s first season in Charlotte and its second year as an NFL franchise. The Panthers played their first season at Clemson University, while the uptown stadium was completed.
1996 also was the year former wide receiver Mark Carrier happened to hand Good the football after scoring a touchdown, Greg Good Jr. said. Their seats are in the first row of Section 104 in the corner of one of the end zones.
Catman attended every Panthers home game since the team’s start to 2017, his son said. Due to illness, he was unable to attend games in 2018. He also had diabetes and other health issues, according to his son.
Not even a stay at a Winston-Salem hospital in 2014 kept him from that weekend’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, The Charlotte Observer reported at the time. Good was diagnosed with congestive heart failure during the stay.
Showing up at the stadium meant more than just attending a game, Good told the Observer that weekend. “Catman represents a lot of people,” he said. “A lot of people prayed for me, and a lot of people believe in me and what I can do.”
Greg Good Jr., who is 31, vowed to keep his father’s legacy alive, adding in his Facebook post that “The Greg Catman Good will always live forever thru the die hard Panther fans!!!”
In tribute to his father, he told the Observer on Saturday, he now will be the one in the black-and-blue cape and blue wig in Section 104, Row 1, Seat 7.
In Greg “Catman” Good’s memory
Gifts and flowers in Good’s memory may be sent to 4401 Eagles Nest Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27127.