It was a rousing introduction to Super Bowl week for the NFC Champions departing for San Jose on Sunday.
The fans produced an incredible send-off for the Panthers, who were greeted by more fanfare when they arrived at the airport.
A group of fire trucks and police vehicles were waiting for the team on the tarmac. Fans got as close as they could to the fences to watch the scene unfold.
Tillman jokingly apologized to those behind him for taking so long to reach the top, but really, there was no rush.
This was a moment, like so many to come this week, for the players to savor. They posed for group pictures and captured as much of the scene as they could. Linebacker
"Hey, just send me that video," defensive end
When the wheels started turning and the plane headed for the runway, the fire trucks performed a water cannon salute – a final tribute from a city that’s shown so much passionate support for the Panthers all season.
Then, just before takeoff, a flight attendant spoke on the intercom to offer a playful reminder about fastening seatbelts.
"I hear Superman is on board," she said, referencing quarterback
Fasten those seatbelts. The Super Bowl ride has just begun.