It's safe to say that I've never been a big believer in fate. Instead of "everything happens for a reason" I tend to lean more towards "you get out what you put in" or "hard work pays off". Putting that in a football frame of reference (as I do with most things) I think you would all agree the Panthers worked for the success they had last year. 15-1 wasn't given to them - they weren't a team of destiny - fate didn't have it so that they were to appear in the Super Bowl. No, they worked hard as a team and earned all of their 2015 success. I don't doubt that for one second.
Now....with all that being said, my feelings towards this subject have been called into question recently. You see, I do believe that the number 51 is a special number for the Panthers and for the obvious reasons. Sam Mills is one of the most meaningful people in the Panthers organization's history and the number 51 is also the jersey number of Mr. Richardson. Without that pair there would be no "Keep Pounding" mantra - there would be no Carolina Panthers at all. But even the importance of jersey number 51 isn't enough for anyone to really believe that we're destined to win Super Bowl 51. Or is it.....?
Over the last two months or so I've been having these strange, reoccurring events. I keep seeing the number 51 in the most random places. I'm not looking for it - I'm not seeking it out - I'm not starring at the clock waiting for the time to change to _:51. But when I least expect it, it's there.
Let me show you.....
I don't get the time to play golf too often, but I recently got out to knock some balls around (mostly into the woods). I was pulling my gear out of the car to load it up on the cart.....and would you look at that!
Went out to a concert and was heading to my seat - which happened to be in row 24 (not 51) - and this was on the ground where the row began. Why? I have no idea.
Went to visit some friends in Myrtle Beach and saw this along the way.
And of course when we needed to stop for some gas, this was the closest exit.
What does this all mean? Truthfully, probably nothing. But what the homer Panthers fan in me wants it to mean - and what my story for the rest of the season is going to be - is that this is OUR TIME. This is OUR YEAR. When you couple these signs with the fact that we have a damn good football team, then why is it not our year?
So let's have some fun with this. Don't go out looking for the number 51 or any other signs that may point to us winning the Super Bowl this season, but when you see a 51 or a sign that makes you think it's our year then post it to social media and use #51for51. Tag us in your post and we will also share it. I think it will be a ton of fun in February to check out the posts of all the signs that led to the big game after our boys are holding up the Lombardi.