Why this matters: The Carolina Panthers reaching Super Bowl 50 shines the national and international spotlight on Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
By Bernie Petit
Everyone in Charlotte-Mecklenburg is rooting on the Carolina Panthers as they head to Super Bowl 50, including those in the cultural community.
From Charlotte Symphony musicians encouraging the Panthers to “Keep Pounding” to Charlotte Ballet dancers getting “turnt up” for the Panthers and the cute Purrmoji of the Firebird in a Panthers jersey, the cultural community has stood and cheered for the Panthers.
It got us to thinking – if some of the Panthers players and personnel were local cultural organizations, which ones would they be?
So we took into consideration the playing styles and personalities of some of the Panthers’ most familiar faces and came up with what we think are perfect fits.
Thomas Davis – He’s come back from three ACL tears and plans to play in the Super Bowl with a broken wing. That sounds like Carolina Raptor Center to us.
Graham Gano – Perhaps no football position is more capable of moving fans to either tears of agony or tears of joy than the kicker. It’s the kind of emotion Opera Carolina can elicit from its audiences.
Ryan Kalil – Four years ago, the all-pro center took out a full-page ad in The Charlotte Observer saying the Panthers reach the Super Bowl. Someone so far ahead of his time must appreciate science, so he’s perfect for Discovery Place.
Luke Kuechly – Whenever he makes a big play, the Panthers crowd cheers “Luuuuke” in unison. It’s a beautiful sound, which is what the Charlotte Symphony excels at making.
Cam Newton – Every time the charismatic quarterback scores, he delights a young child by giving him or her a football. Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is equally skilled in putting smiles on children’s faces.
Josh Norman – Brash and bold, the defensive back always has something to say – just like Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte.
Michael Oher – The movie “The Blind Side” showed how Oher, with guidance and love, grew to accomplish great things. It’s what Community School of the Arts has been providing its students since it was founded in 1969.
Greg Olsen – The tight end is usually money when Cam targets him in passing plays, so it makes sense that he would be The Mint Museum. Its Randolph Road location, which opened in 1936, is housed in what was the original branch of the United States Mint.
Jerry Richardson – Mr. Richardson brought the NFL to Charlotte and Theatre Charlotte, celebrating its 89th year, brought the performing arts to our community.
Ron Rivera – The head coach is already featured in the “¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South” exhibition at Levine Museum of the New South. Plus he played for one of the greatest teams in NFL history (the ’85 Chicago Bears).
Kawann Short – The stout defensive lineman has made quite an impact for the Panthers in a short amount of time. Likewise, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art at Levine Center for the Arts has become a fixture in the cultural community in only six years.
Jonathan Stewart – His running style is a unique combination of power and grace. He’d fit right in at Charlotte Ballet.
From ASC on behalf of the entire cultural community, let’s go Panthers and keep pounding!