Sunday Football Open Thread: #Broncos at the #Panthers

Panthers logoIt’s an absolutely gorgeous day here in Charlotte, a perfect fall day for some football. Looking forward to today’s game as I’m hoping we can build some momentum after last week’s surprising (to me) away game win over the Redskins. Are Panthers players starting to gel as a unit? Let’s hope so.

Today will also be a treat for another reason: John Fox is the coach of the Broncos, and as y’all know, he used to be the Panthers’ head coach for a number of years. I always liked “Foxie” and harbor no ill will towards him. But, of course, I don’t want his team to win today. Another treat: Peyton Manning in town! No matter who he plays for, I just love that guy — although a small part of me wishes it was Tebow coming to town with the Broncos. Well, because:D

Great story in the Charlotte Observer today on how the Panthers plan on honoring veterans on Veterans Day:

Shortly before kickoff in the Carolina Panthers’ 1 p.m. game Sunday against the Denver Broncos, the big video boards at opposite ends of Bank of America Stadium will tell the story of Staff Sgt. Brian Williams and his explosive-sniffing dog, Carly.

On patrol with Carly in southern Afghanistan in April, Williams was severely injured by an improvised explosive device while clearing an IED-manufacturing plant.

He lost his left leg above the knee, suffered injuries to all four limbs, had multiple soft tissue wounds and lost four teeth. Carly was unhurt.

Williams, a member of the Air Force’s 87th Security Forces Squadron, has been recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., since arriving there April 29.

He was in his sixth deployment – four in the Middle East and two in Afghanistan – when he was injured.

After the video and one minute before kickoff, Williams – a Panthers fan since 1995 and with no ties to North Carolina – will bang the Panthers’ Keep Pounding Drum five times.

He will be asked to pause and lead the stadium cheers, then hit the drum a sixth time.

Five and one make 51, a way of honoring late Panthers great Sam Mills.

On Salute to Service Sunday, the Panthers are honoring Williams and his dog for their service.

Williams has received the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Air Force Combat Action award for his sacrifice.

Sounds like a real American hero!! May God bless him and all veterans EVERY day, not just Veterans Day!

Sidenote: The Panthers will be wearing black pants today – first time in team history. More intimidating? Hmmm …

Game time is 1 pm ET and the game will be broadcast on CBS in this area.

My picks for the week:

Colts (W)
Steelers (42 total points for the game)

As I noted on Twitter last night, I got everything done yesterday that I was going to do today, so I can park my fanny on the couch all afternoon and lazily enjoy football guilt-free. ;)

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