"Hey Bro, We Won't Leave Town On You!"

Michael LanganContributor IMay 29, 2009

14 Aug 1998:  Head coach Dom Capers of the Carolina Panthers looks on during a pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills at the Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The Panthers defeated the Bills 12-7. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport

Can you really have two favorite NFL Teams? Really, isn't that like having two Wives? (Apologies to the effected Religious Groups.) Until 1995, my answer would be an unequivocal No! Fates and Modell transpired in that year to give myself permission for an *.

I grew up in North East Ohio, where the Cleveland Browns have ruled the roost since 1946. I became aware of them circa 1969, when Leroy Kelly and Paul Warfield were the Toast of the Town, until they traded Warfield for Mike Phipps, but lets skip that. I remember watching an NFL Pregame show in 1995 where a talking head said the Browns may be re-locating. I scoffed, and switched channels.

Fast Forward to November of 95, and this alarming rumor became truth. I went through the cavalcade of emotions you may expect, and then set my mind to deal with a world with-out the Browns. Rooting for the Crows, er, Ravens was out, that would be like rooting for the guys that robbed your home. I needed only to look 90 miles South of my new home in Greensboro, NC to find the answer.

Not only were the Panthers a Brand New Team, they were also coached by a Frat Brother, Dom Capers. Coach Capers is a Mount Union College Alum as am I, but he was also in the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity as was I. Coach was 10 Years Older, but hey!

This is how I became a Panthers Fan. Not the best reason perhaps, but just as good as watching Joe Namath hitting on Your Aunt.  (Post Script- I am back to the Browns now, the Panthers are like an old girlfriend without Coach Capers.)


Mike Langan