Charlotte fans praise Panthers despite last-second loss
Posted: Monday February 2, 2004 12:37AM; Updated: Monday February 2, 2004 12:48AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Dejected fans orderly shuffled out of bars and homes following the Super Bowl with most saying they were proud of the Carolina Panthers' performance in a 32-29 loss to the New England Patriots.
Carolina's first Super Bowl appearance filled up bars and restaurants all over Charlotte as fans donned teal jerseys and T-shirts to cheer on Carolina.
They left clinging to souvenirs and praising the team's effort.
"I'm not disappointed. I am proud of them," said Rhonda Hull, 33, of Charlotte. "I hate that it ended this way. But it was a great season."
Rhonda watched the game at Coach's Sports Bar and Grill in south Charlotte with husband Chris.
"They represented us well," he said.
Shortly after the game police pulled down barricades they used to block the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets at the center of downtown.
"They're doing good; no problems," said Charlotte police Capt. Keith Dinkins.
Scott Marquess, 41 of Charlotte, wore a Panthers jersey and carried a blue pompom as he departed Coach's. He said he was disappointed, but spoke highly of the team.
"We showed the resiliency that we showed all year on the field. [Jake] Delhomme played great in the second half," he said. "Heck, we weren't even supposed to be here, then we beat St. Louis, beat Philly and we almost did it today."