Two words that resonate with Carolina Panthers fans and players alike. It's a shared spirit of determination and a rally cry that inspires Panthers Nation to believe an unrelenting will to succeed can make anything possible.
Thursday Night Football's matchup between the Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles will introduce the team's first-ever "Keep Pounding" game, which will celebrate Keep Pounding's history and traditions, while supporting the NFL's "Crucial Catch" cancer initiative.
The Keep Pounding game will provide the opportunity to retell the origins of Keep Pounding for fans that may be new to the team. Longtime fans know the story well. In a moving message prior to the team's playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys in January of 2004, late Panthers player and coach Sam Mills exhorted the team to "Keep Pounding" when they stepped onto the field. Inspired by Mills, who was waging a courageous battle against cancer, the team defeated the Cowboys on their way to claiming the 2003 NFC Championship and a berth in Super XXXVIII.
"The Keep Pounding game will be meaningful in a number of ways," said Panthers director of community relations Riley Fields. "We will celebrate Sam Mills' legacy and the important ways "Keep Pounding" is deeply woven into the fabric of the team. At the same time, we will honor those impacted by cancer and those who have conquered the disease."
For nearly a decade, the NFL and American Cancer Society have supported breast cancer research and education through the "Crucial Catch" initiative. This season, the campaign has been broadened to support early detection and risk reduction efforts for all cancers. As part of the refocused "Crucial Catch" effort, the NFL and ACS have launched a new digital tool – THE DEFENDER – that provides individuals with personalized tips to reduce their cancer risk. Fans can access this new resource at TheDefender.cancer.org.
Since 2004, the Carolina Panthers and Carolinas HealthCare Foundation have partnered to support cancer research and patient programs through the Keep Pounding Fund. Over $2.3 million has been raised to benefit cancer research at Levine Children's Hospital and Levine Cancer Institute. Fans interested in supporting the fund are encouraged to log onto www.keeppounding.org.