CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — The Panthers beat the Jets at home Sunday, and while fans went home happy with a win, many couldn’t help but notice the lack of a certain tradition.
That tradition is the chant “Keep Pounding.” While it’s only two simple words, the phrase holds a huge meaning to Panthers fans.
Now, team supporters are upset the chant was left out during the drum ceremony at the beginning of Sunday’s game.
“It’s been the slogan for years now,” said Panthers Fan Tony DiGiacomo.
“I was disappointed to not see it there,” added Panthers Fan Payne Walter.
It’s more than just a slogan. The phrase holds a special meaning that dates back to 2004. Then, former Panthers player and coach Sam Mills first used it during an emotional speech to the team about commitment, dedication, team effort and never giving up. He later died after battling cancer.
“You think of it every time you go to a game,” said Panthers Fan Dylan Sinnott. “So not having it is a little bit odd.”
“I think it’s ridiculous,” DiGiacomo said. “It’s the only thing that keeps these fans engaged and ties them to the team.”
According to a spokesperson for the Carolina Panthers, fans can expect to see it at some games during the drum tradition, and not at others. The organization says it’s experimenting with when to prompt the crowd to chant and when not to. It says the “Keep Pounding” chant belongs to the fans.
“It’s your slogan,” DiGiacomo said. “You can’t pick and choose the moments you’ll chant it— you’re all in or all out.”
“A lot of the concern with David Tepper coming in was those traditions being torn away,” added Walter.
Whether you’re rooting for the Panthers this weekend or the Saints, NFL fans say “Keep Pounding” could make all the difference for the players on the field come Sunday.
“Maybe if the Saints come here and there’s not a lot of “Keep Pounding,” then I don’t know,” said Saints Fan Cory Dunn. “It may decide the outcome of the game.”
“I just couldn’t think of a reason they’d take something that’s the heart and soul away from the team,” added Walter.
The Carolina Panthers franchise does plan on bringing the chant back Sunday. Last weekend, there were new ways of celebrating the Panthers, including a virtual reality panther and hype squad.