You paying attention Panthers fans? I'm in. I'm rooting for your team to win the Super Bowl.
Before the season started I thought Carolina would make it to the Big Game. Now I'm actively cheering for your team to get to Super Bowl XL.
I'm not about to make an ass out of myself when the Panthers score a touchdown (I'm still saving that honor for the Bucs), but let's face it Tampa Bay would be lucky to finish the season 8-8. The Bucs can't even smell the playoffs right now.
Somebody's got to make it past the NFC Championship game and it might as well be the best team in the conference that doesn't have a quarterback who whines about the media criticizing his arm or a quarterback who doesn't throws tantrums about being drafted by San Diego (oh wait, Ron Mexico and Eli both did that).
Even before the game last weekend I liked this Panthers team. No-name quarterback making good. No-name defense playing tough. Hell, the biggest name on this team is Kemp Rasmussen.
But the Bucs-Panthers game is what convinced me. I was on the fence going into the fourth quarter of the game, but Steve Smith's touchdown dance converted me. Any team with that much style is destined for the Super Bowl.
And the great thing about this bandwagon is that nobody else is on it yet. With the T.O. saga, the Colts win, and the huge pair of balls exhibited by Dick Vermeil, the Panthers have been getting very little press lately. That will change in a couple of weeks, but until then I am going to enjoy this ride while it lasts.