by on 12 March, 2019
There are only 51 days remaining until the Carolina Panthers begin the 2018 season by welcoming the Dallas Cowboys to Bank of America Stadium. That means that I get to spend the next 600-ish words talking about my favorite human being to ever wear a Panthers uniform—Sam Mills.Most of the articles in this countdown series are a mundane exercise to pass the time. I’m sure most of you have figured that out by now. We give a quick rundown of height Da'Norris Searcy Jersey , weight, age, experience, blah blah blah about each player and then spend a few moments saying nice things about them. It’s filler content to make up for the lack of real news, honestly—I think all of us can safely admit that. But this number is different. This one means something. Almost everyone reading this has either been through or knows someone who has been through the dreaded C-word. I don’t believe I’m unique in this regard, but I do believe that watching someone close to me wither away from the terribleness of cancer has changed my perspective on life and what’s truly important. I’ve learned that a lot of trivial things simply do not matter in the grand scheme of it all, and yes—while I know this is a football site—football is trivial in and of itself. It’s just a game that people play for fun, and it only takes on meaning in how it helps build relationships—whether that is with fellow fans, teammates, or with family that you already know and love.Sure, Sam Mills was a football player. A damn fine one, in fact. But he was so much more than that. He was a family man Michael Palardy Jersey , a brother, a teammate. He was an inspiration to many of us. He was a member of the Carolina Panthers from 1995-2004 as a player and coach, and in those nine years he completely changed the culture of the organization and fan base. To honor his legacy, the Panthers inducted Mills into their Hall of Honor in 1998, erected a statue of him outside Bank of America Stadium, and retired his number during halftime of a preseason game in 2005. He is currently the only player to receive both honors from the organization.Mills was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2003, and continued to coach the Panthers while receiving treatment for the disease. But sadly, after an arduous two-year battle with cancer, Mills passed away on April 18, 2005.While he played 12 seasons in the NFL and was named to the NFL All-Pro team three times (1991, 1992, 1996) Cheap Shaq Thompson Jersey , Mills is most known for his ‘Keep Pounding’ speech—a motivational message he gave to the team the night before their Wild Card playoff game against the Cowboys on January 3, 2004. The Panthers would go on to win that game 29-10, and would follow that victory with two more (including the infamous ‘X-Clown’ win over the Rams) to give the team their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. The tradition of remembering Sam Mills continues today. The Panthers started the Keep Pounding Fund in 2003, where donations can be made to further cancer research. Before every home game, the Panthers honor his legacy by banging the Keep Pounding drum. In 2012, when Nike took over the manufacturing of NFL uniforms, they included a special memento of Mills’ legacy—the Panthers currently have the words ‘Keep Pounding’ embroidered on the inner collar of their jerseys as a reminder of the impact Mills had on the franchise both on and off the field.So yeah, there are only 51 days left until the Panthers kick off the 2018 season. But today, let’s think beyond that. Let’s think about ways we can help others. Let’s think about ways we can do something for the greater good. Let’s overlook the struggles we may be going through and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s make a difference in the world.Let’s keep pounding.Information from Wikipedia contributed to this storyCarolina Panthers: Efe Obada and the American dream Efe Obada was recently highlighted here at CSR so this is as good of a time as any to give some props to the NFL for its International Pathway Program. The IPP launched in 2017 and gave each of the teams in the NFC South an additional spot on the practice squad for a foreign born player. The goals of the program include expanding the NFL’s global reach while developing players from outside of the United States to help them live the American dream. Call me a sucker if you want, but I love underdog stories. Movies like The Rookie, Invincible, and Million Dollar Arm are right in my wheelhouse. So yes http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-torrey-smith-jersey , I’m rooting for Nigerian-born, London-raised Efe Obada to fulfill his NFL dream. Obada was born in Nigeria then trafficked from the Netherlands to England where he was left abandoned and homeless at age 10. His rise from homelessness to warehouse worker to the London Warriors to the Dallas Cowboys (and now the Panthers) is incredible. I’d encourage you to read Obada’s entire story here at NFLUK.com. While Obada becoming a successful NFL player is improbable, it’s not impossible. Just look at the Detroit Lions’ Ezekiel (Ziggy) Ansah. As a BYU fan I had the joy of watching Ansah develop from playing “American football” for the first time in 2010 into a first round pick in 2013. Ansah’s story in a nutshell is he was born in Ghana, arrived at BYU in 2008 as a former soccer player with basketball aspirations, but he got cut from the basketball team in both 2008 and 2009. He walked on the track team in 2009 then finally listened to friends and coaches who told him to try out for the football team. When he first showed up on the football field he didn’t know where the end zone was. He didn’t know how to put on pads. He didn’t know how to get in a defensive stance or how to tackle. Three years later Ansah was the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft, recorded 8.0 sacks in his rookie season, and was selected to the 2013 All-Rookie Team. In 2015 his 14.5 sacks where third in the NFL and made him a Pro Bowl selection. He went from clueless to dominant in five short years. Some foreign-born aspiring football players just need a chance. They need coaching, equipment, and infrastructure. Football lacks the access of soccer and basketball where kids can just gather and play with minimal cost and virtually zero adult oversight. Competitive football players can’t develop that way. They need an organized support staff assisting them almost every step of the way. Obada told the NFL UK his life “is a dream” and “feels like a movie.”Call me a sucker, but I hope this is a movie with a happy ending.
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