The Panthers have enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in franchise history, and with a 17-1 record and superstar players the team has attracted new fans. With the team set to take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 Sunday, here are 50 things the casual fan should know about this team ahead of the big game.
50. Rushing Success: The Panthers have recorded 27 consecutive regular season games with at least 100 rushing yards, the longest active streak in the NFL. Since drafting running back Jonathan Stewart in 2008, the Panthers have led the NFL with 17,621 rushing yards.
49. Sweet Caroline: After every home win at Bank of America Stadium, the Carolina Panthers play Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" over the stadium speakers. Players and fans join in and sing the chorus. The song has become synonymous with a Panthers victory.
48. Lucky Lunch: Every Friday during the 2015 season, Bojangles' 'Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits' catered lunch for the team. Representatives from the Charlotte-based chain also drove across the country to make sure the team would keep the Friday tradition before the Super Bowl.
47. Spanish Radio Team: Jamie and Luis Moreno Jr. have served as the Spanish radio broadcast team for six seasons, but their popularity exploded this year after their exciting and enthusiastic touchdown calls went viral on social media.
46. Fozzy's Unique Name: Nicknamed Fozzy, the running back's real name is Foswhitt Jer'ald Whittaker. His first name is a mix of his father's first name, Foster, and last name, Whittaker.
45. Home Field Advantage: The Panthers 49-15 victory in the NFC Championship vs. Arizona was the team's 13th consecutive win at Bank of America Stadium, including the playoffs. The 13-game home winning streak is the longest active streak in the NFL and more than twice that of the next-best team.
44. Winning Without Benjamin: Primed for a breakout season, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin suffered a torn ACL in training camp and many experts wrote the Panthers off. The offense is out to prove the world wrong and have played with something to prove all season, especially the wide receivers.
43. Buckeye Brothers:The Panthers roster has more Ohio State alumni than any other school: wide receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Philly Brown, plus guard Andrew Norwell and safety Kurt Coleman are all former Buckeyes.
42. Josh and Delta: Cornerback Josh Norman has a horse named Delta, who also has her own twitter account. Josh spends time with her to take a break from football. His introduction and interception celebration also pay tribute to Delta.
41. Jonathan Stewart's Other Talent: Running back Jonathan Stewart began playing the piano in grade school and is a talented and accomplished musician who produces his own "hip-pop" style of music.
40. Late Season Success: During Ron Rivera's tenure as head coach, the Panthers have had success as the regular season has concluded. Rivera's regular season record in December and January is 19-5, which is tied for the best mark since 2011.
39. O-Line Alliance: Ryan Kalil, leader of the Panthers offensive line, rented out an entire movie theatre in Charlotte for his teammates to watch Star Wars Episode IV. Laster that week, he worked with local artist Joey Ellis to develop a "Purrbaca" shirt that was used to raise money for Greg Olsen's foundation.
38. Clemson Connection: Home games during Carolina's inaugural season in 1995 were played at Clemson's Memorial Stadium. The Panthers finished that season with a 5-3 record at home.
37. Thieves Ave: The defense likes to pick off the quarterback and force turnovers. Carolina has a postseason-best 8 in turnover differential and led the NFL in turnover differential during the regular season at a 20 clip. The defense led the NFL in interceptions with 24, which earned them the nickname"Theives Ave" and a corresponding sign near the defensive back's section of the locker room. 36. Roaring Riot: The unofficial fan group has one goal: to grow and unite the largest community of Carolina Panthers fans across the world who like gathering as a group to enjoy great events and show support for the team. The Roaring Riothas been a big part of the team's success this season, bringing a home field advantage on the road.
35. Ted Ginn Jr. is the Fastest Player in the NFL: Wide receivher Ted Ginn was clocked at 22.44 mph during his 74-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter the Panthers Week 14 victory over Atlanta. According to the NFL Network's "Next Gen Stats," that is the fastest foot speed achieved on an offensive play all season. Additionally, eight of Ginn's 15 touchdown catches in two seasons with Carolina have gone for 25 or more yards, including five of 40 or more yards.
34. Undrafted Offense: Four starters on the Panthers' offense were not selected in the NFL Draft: left guard Andrew Norwell, right tackle Mike Remmers, wide receiver Philly Brown and fullback Mike Tolbert. Coincidentally, Remmers was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Broncos in 2012.
33. Creedbombing: Linebacker Ben Jacobs started the locker room trend of surprising a teammate with lyrics from a Creed song.
32. 2015 Was The Best Season in Franchise History: With the Week 17 win vs. Tampa Bay, the Panthers finished the regular season with a franchise record 15 wins, surpassing the previous record of 12, achieved three times: in 1996, 2008 and 2013. Carolina became the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to start a season 14-0, joining the 1972 Miami Dolphins, 2007 New New England Patriots and 2009 Indianapolis Colts. The Panthers also went 392 days between regular season losses. 31. LUUUUKE:Fans and players alike chant middle linebacker Luke Kuechly's first name after he makes a big play. When Cam Newton first heard this cheer at a home game, he thought fans were booing the defensive captain.
30. Second Super Bowl: Sunday will mark the Panthers' second appearance in the Super Bowl. The team fell to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII during the 2003 season.
29. Wofford College: The training camp home of the Panthers is located in Spartanburg, S.C., where the team has prepared for the upcoming season each year since its inaugural campaign in 1995. The Panthers are hosted in the college's 60,000-square-foot Richardson Physical Activities Building. Panthers Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson played football for Wofford College prior to being drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 1958 NFL Draft.
28. G2X: A mark worn by the defensive line during warmups, G2X stands for "get to the spot," but that spot can represent a number of things. From sacking the quarterback, making a play or just finishing practice, G2X is doing everything you can to reach your goal. Developed by defensive line coach Eric Washington, the Panthers' front seven have used the mantra to stay focused on finishing the job.
27. The 2014 Draft Class Was Special: Over the course of three days during the 2014 NFL Draft, general manager Dave Gettleman added seven key pieces to the Panthers roster: Kelvin Benjamin, Kony Ealy, Trai Turner, Tre Boston and Bene Benwikere, plus undrafted free agents Philly Brown and Andrew Norwell. Each of those players made an immediate impact and contributed to Carolina's youth movement.
26. Panther Blue: The official and technical name for the Carolina Panthers' signature color is Process Blue C. The Panthers unveiled a blue alternate jersey in 2002 and incorporated blue pants as part of the NFL's Color Rush program in 2015.
25. Oldest and Youngest:The oldest player on the roster is defensive end and active sacks leader Jared Allen at 33 years old. The youngest player is rookie wide receicver Devin Funchess. The average age of the 2015 squad is 26.6 years old.
24. Famous Fans: The Panthers have picked up a solid group of celebrity fans, including the NBA's reigning MVP Stephen Curry, pro tennis player John Isner, model and actress Brooklyn Decker, actress Marg Helgenberger, pro wrestler Brad Maddox and NBA star Anthony Morrow.
23. Playoff Beards and Luke's Hair:Several players, including tight end Greg Olsen, center Ryan Kalil, linebacker Ben Jacobs and right tackle Mike Remmers have all been growing playoff beards over the past few months. Linebacker Luke Kuechly opted to grow his hair out during Panthers' Super Bowl run and won't get a haircut until the season is over.
22. Carolina Connection:Five players attended college in the region: Josh Norman, Mike Tolbert (Coastal Carolina); Jerricho Cotchery (NC State); Tre Boston (UNC); and Brenton Bersin (Wofford).
21. Record number of Pro Bowlers:A franchise record 10 Panthers were selected to the Pro Bowl this year. Here's the complete list.
20. TD is Tough: During the Panthers Week 6 game vs. Seattle, linebacker Thomas Davis dislocated his finger, popped it back in mid-play and made a big tackle on running back Marshawn Lunch. This was not the first time it happened.
19. Super Bowl Experience:Nineteen coaches and players on the Panthers will enter Super Bowl 50 with previous Super Bowl experience, combining to participate in 29 games. Here's the full list.
18. The Turning Point:Perhaps the most important play of the 2015 regular season was Greg Olsen's touchdown catch in Week 6 at Seattle. It was at that moment the world - and the Panthers - realized they were capable of beating any team. Fans were asked to share their opinions on the season's defining moment, and we compiled a list.
17. Saluting the Fallen Heroes: The Carolina Panthers take great pride in honoring and supporting the military. This season, each player wore the initials of a fallen hero on their helmet during the team's Week 9 victory over Green Bay.
16. Riverboat Ron:In 2013, when Carolina went 12-4 and won the division for the first time in five years, Rivera became known as "Riverboat Ron" after he decided to go for it on several key fourth-and-short plays. The decision to roll the dice came down to trust. Rivera showed faith in his players to execute, and they delivered.
15. Short Record: Purdue product Kawann Short set a franchise record among defensive tackles after recording 11 quarterback sacks this season.
14. Next Man Up: It's not just a saying in Carolina.
13. Chip On Our Shoulder:No one believed this group could make it this far. Most thought they wouldn't make the playoffs. It's a tight-knit family that plays with a point to prove every time they take the field.
12. Coach Beam:One secret to the Panthers success this season? A six-year-old honorary coach that is battling cancer and served as an inspiration to the Panthers organization.
11.The Offense was Historically Good: In 2015, the Panthers set a team-record with 500 points, leading the NFL with 31.3 points per game. The team also led the NFL with a team-record 59 touchdowns this season, breaking previous record of 50 set in 1999.
10. CAMVP: Quarterback Cam Newton is the first player in NFL history with at least 30 passing touchdowns (he had 35) and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season. Newton's 45 total touchdowns led the NFL and he finished the year with a 99.4 passer rating. Newton was also the fourth-ranked fourth quarter passer in the NFL, posting a 106.3 passer rating.
9. Indomitable Spirit: Six iconic bronze Panther statues flank the entrances of Bank of America Stadium. Unveiled in the summer of 1996, these statues are the largest sculptures ever commissioned in the United States.
8. Carolina powerful on defense:Carolina's defense is among the best in the NFL this season, ranking sixth in total defense, fourth in rushing defense, 11th in passing defense and sixth in scoring defense. Carolina joins Seattle as the only two teams to field a top-10 defense in each of the last four seasons. The Panthers defense also ranked second in yards per play, first in total takeaways, first in interceptions, sixth in sacks and first in opponent passer rating.
7. Luke Kuechly is very, very good: Despite missing three games in 2015, linebacker Luke Kuechly finished 12th in the NFL with 118 tackles according to press box stats and led the NFL in tackles in 2012 and 2014. Since entering the NFL in 2012, Luke Kuechly has tallied 11 interceptions, the most among NFL linebackers during that time.
6. Cam Newton set the tone: Cam Newton has emerged as the leader of the Carolina Panthers. His swagger and confidence have permeated through the entire offense and he's been at his best in big moments.
5. Thomas Davis is the heart of this team:Pro Bowl linebacker Thomas Davis, the longest tenured Panther and the first known NFL player to return and play a full season after having three ACL surgeries on the same knee, is the heart and soul of the Panthers. He embodies "Keep Pounding." His words and his play have a powerful effect on teammates and coaches. On the field, Davis finished second on the team with 123 tackles and a career-high 5.5 sacks and four interceptions.
4. The Keep Pounding Drum: Immediately following the coin toss before every home game, an honorary drummer rallies the entire stadium by hitting the massive six-foot Keep Pounding Drum four times to signify four quarters. Keep Pounding Drummers come from a variety of backgrounds and occupations, but all have overcome a great trial or adversity that has not only made them strong but also pushes them to make others around them stronger. The tradition is young but it's had a big impact on the culture of the organization. As assistant defensive line coach Sam Mills III says, "the drum has come to signify the starting bell of a heavyweight fight. Every Sunday, we're in a heavyweight fight, and when someone hits that drum, it's time to go. We're locked in."
3. The Hall of Honor: The Carolina Panthers Hall of Honor was established in 1997 to honor individuals for their outstanding contributions to the organization: Former General Manager and President Mike McCormack, former linebacker and coach Sam Mills and the PSL Owners. Honorees are recognized with life-size, bronze statues, which stand next to Bank of America Stadium's entrance. The names of the PSL Owners are featured on the base of the Indomitable Spirit statues.
2. The Fan is the Most Valuable Member of Our Team: Panthers Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson once said these words, and that phrase - in his handwriting - can be found all over Bank of America Stadium. The philosophy holds true for every employee, as our ultimate goal is to make our fans feel valued and part of the Panthers' family.
1. Keep Pounding:As every player will tell you, it's more than two words embroidered on the collar of the jerseys. It's become the team mantra in honor of the late Sam Mills, a former Panthers player and coach who died of cancer. Mills first used the phrase "Keep Pounding" as a coach in an emotional speech to the team prior to the Panthers' playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys in 2004. He spoke about commitment, dedication to teammates, team effort and never giving up. The phrase is now synonymous with the franchise and has become a way of life for the players, staff and fans.