(WGHP) — DeeJay Howell’s love of the Panthers has never been a question. Look around his home and you can see all his Carolina swag.
One is a sign full of autographs. “It’s signed by the whole 2015 Super Bowl team straight up,” he said. “Every single player. David Gettleman, Ron Rivera, Mick Mickson, Sir Purr.”
If you still doubt his level of fandom, you can look at his son – who may remind you of a former Carolina quarterback and linebacker duo.
“I named my son Cameron Luuuke after Cameron [Newton] and Luke [Kuechly] obviously,” he said.
If that’s not enough to convince you – you can look at his Roaring Riot patch collection – where he’s working to get a patch from every chapter.
“It’s like being in a biker gang or a Boy Scout,” he said. “You’re adding a patch to your vest or something. It symbolizes something like that.”
Howell’s love of the Panthers runs in the family – specifically coming from his late mother.
“She was die-hard from day one,” he said. “She had gotten sick and everything with lung cancer.”
Through her battle with cancer, it was what the Panthers stand for that helped raise the family’s spirits.
“The keep pounding mantra is more than just a saying,” he said. “It’s more than just a chant to get you hyped up in the crowd. Keep pounding – that’s what you live by every day. To keep you motivated to keep pushing forward no matter what happens in your life.”
About 10 years ago, Howell decided he didn’t just want to wear Panthers merch. He wanted to create it.
“I love what I do,” he said. “It’s my passion to be able to create a work of art that nobody’s ever seen before.”
Signs, necklaces, swag – you name it, he’ll bring it to life.
“The more I keep doing it, the more you have the mindset of, I wonder what else I can do,” he said.
He’s created work for everyone – including players.
“I made one for Fozzy Whitaker that had his high school, college, professional football pictures collaged on there,” he said.
And he’s surprised strangers with his work – including one Raiders fan who spent time in the ICU battling COVID.
“I wanted to give him hope to spread that Keep Pounding love,” he said. “Keep pushing through what you’re going through.”
He spends hours creating every piece by hand – for any logo or team.
Well, almost any.
“If you’re a Duke fan I’m charging you extra – I promise you,” he said. “I’m Carolina baby. Tar Heels!”
To see more of Howell’s work or order a custom item – you can click here.