Eat, Pray, Lose: One Woman's Struggle to Live as a Fan of the 2010 Carolina Panthers, the Most Talented Team Who Never Won a Game
That's what I'm going to call my new book, a memoir about how being a Panthers fan helped me learn to deal with loss and readjust my definition of happiness.
Sunday we drove down to Charlotte to visit Jen (who, if you'll recall, now lives in a fantastic building overlooking the Panthers' stadium). We were invited to a tailgate party put on by the friend of a friend of a friend, which is a euphemism for "we crashed a tailgate party." The party had been moved indoors owing to Chicago-like temperatures, a fortuitous turn of events because the new location happened to be a lovely craftsman house in one of Charlotte's older neighborhoods.
I multitasked as we gathered in the kitchen: chowing down, interjecting a few well-timed jokes so as to justify my presence, and taking in the house's drool-worthy details without openly gaping at the crown molding, the furniture-like cabinetry, the built-in dinette, and the original hardwood floors.
"Look at those door frames," I whispered to Noah from the corner of my mouth. I lingered in the hall, glancing around surreptitiously on my way back from the bedroom where the coats were being kept. What a floorplan! I thought to meself. Then I returned to the kitchen so they wouldn't think I was casing the joint.
The lady of the house's husband decided he and a friend were off to the 1 o'clock Panthers–Falcons game, although they were going to leave early, because, he said, "There's a pro game on at 4 o'clock I want to see."
Jen, Noah and I decided not to buy tickets and attend when in the opening drive the Panthers fumbled the ball and the Falcons promptly scored a touchdown. We instead headed back to her apartment and enjoyed a comfortable afternoon in a luxury highrise, occasionally hearing stadium noise when we muted the commercial breaks.