In 1987, Jerry Richardson submitted his interest in obtaining an NFL expansion team. The NFL had announced that the league would expand to two more teams and Richardson wanted to be at the front of the line. A stadium site was then selected, and in 1989, Richardson unveiled plans for a privately funded venue in uptown Charlotte.
In 1992, the NFL cut their expansion list from 11 prospective cities to seven. In May, the list was reduced to five cities: Memphis, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Charlotte and St. Louis. Finally, on October 26, 1993, the NFL awarded Charlotte the first of two expansion teams.
In only the fourth season, the team won their division. In 2003, the Panthers won the NFC crown and subsequently lost to the Patriots 32–29 in a tightly played Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Richardson’s son Mark is responsible for the selection of the team name "Panthers." Mark felt that there should be some “synergy” between the name and the team colors and also suggested the team colors of black, blue and silver.
Original Owner: Jerry Richardson
Original Colors: Black, blue, silver & white
First Stadium: Memorial Stadium, seating 80,301
The Carolina Panthers support a variety of non-profits in North and South Carolina through the Carolina Panthers Charities. Four annual scholarships are awarded to student athletes through the Carolina Panthers Graduate Scholarship and the Carolina Panthers Players Sam Mills Memorial Scholarship programs. Carolina Panthers Charities also offers grants to non-profits that support education, athletics, and human services in the community. The Panthers and Fisher Athletic have provided six equipment grants to high school football teams in the Carolinas each year since 2010. Carolina Panthers Charities raises funds at three annual benefits: the Countdown to Kickoff Luncheon, the team's first public event each season; Football 101, an educational workshop for fans; and the Weekend Warrior Flag Football Tournament, a two-day non-contact flag football tournament. Another annual benefit is Taste of the Panthers, a gourmet food tasting which raises funds for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.
The Panthers have developed heated rivalries with the three fellow members of the NFC South (the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints). The team's fiercest rivals are the Falcons and Buccaneers.
The Falcons are a natural geographic rival for the Panthers, as Atlanta is only 230 miles south on I-85. The two teams have played each other twice a year since the Panthers' inception, and games between the two teams feature large contingents of Panthers fans at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium and large contingents of Falcons fans at Bank of America Stadium.
The Panthers' rivalry with Tampa Bay has been described as the most intense in the NFC South. The rivalry originated in 2002 with the formation of the NFC South, but became particularly heated before the 2003 season with verbal bouts between players on the two teams. It escalated further when the Panthers went to Tampa Bay and beat them in what ESPN.com writer Pat Yasinskas described as "one of the most physical contests in recent memory". The rivalry has resulted in a number of severe injuries for players on both teams, some of which were caused by foul play. One of these plays, an illegal hit on Tampa Bay punt returner Clifton Smith, sparked a brief melee between the teams in 2009.
The Panthers mascot....
Just because we have our weeknight routines, well, that doesn't mean they have to be boring. Sure, there are a lot of delicious shrimp fried rice recipes out there, but the secret that makes ours stand apart is chilling the rice before we cook it. It makes the fried rice lighter, and it won't get mushy later on. Our Weeknight Shrimp Fried Rice is anything but routine, and it's absolutely irresistible.
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups cooked long grain rice, chilled
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled and tails removed
- 3 scallions, sliced