By: Allan Erickson
Hello again everyone. I took a short hiatus, but I’m back, this time to talk what sports teams can mean to people in the community. I’m a diehard Carolina Panther fan, and the motto of “Keep Pounding” has been around for 15 years, now. It’s something that Panther fans say, and this past year has taught me that it means a lot more than that.
My father, and both my grandmothers have passed away within the past year from cancer. My father, also a Panther fan, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. On the same day, his mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. Within 5 months, they both passed away. Then my other grandmother was diagnosed with leukemia, and has since passed away. Each of their stories different, but one thing touched them all- Sam Mills’ “Keep Pounding” speech.
The motto came about when Sam Mills’ cancer got the best of him, and he had to take a step away from football. He gave the speech to the Panthers who went to the Super Bowl that year. It was passionate, it was intense, it was heartfelt, and it was about much more than football. He stressed that no matter what obstacles stood in your way, no matter what the odds against you were, you have to put your head down, drive through every negative facet of your life, and grind to the finish line with everything you’ve got. The way my father, and both grandmother’s did. They ultimately lost their battles to cancer, but they gave everything they had from diagnosis to chemo to their last days on earth.
There are a lot of Carolina Panther haters out there, and that’s fine. But please, stop using #KeepPouting as a slouch against this team. Because, Keep Pounding is not just a Carolina Panther phrase. It’s something that can be said to anyone who’s dealing with something you couldn’t even imagine. It’s a motto of living like it’s your last day. It’s a way of life. It’s helped numerous people, including my father, and both of my grandma’s who didn’t know a single thing about football. Each time we talked before their deaths I told them to Keep Pounding, and they said “you know I will,” or even answered with “I’ll Keep Pounding, Allan.” So, think before you put down a motto that’s so inspiring to so many people in this world dealing with health issues. Keep Pounding is more than football, it’s more than the Panthers fan base, it’s a way of life.
Something to think about. Until next time, y’all Keep Pounding.