CHARLOTTE, NC - Sunday was a joyous occasion for Panthers fans, as the long wait for the new season finally came to an end. People throughout Charlotte had waited for this day ever since the Panthers lost their playoff game last season to Seattle.
"I'm so excited," said Marika Vela-Gude, Panthers fan. "I'm like a diehard fan. I've been waiting all year. It's been on my calendar for so long, I'm just beyond excited."
Vela-Gude was hardly alone in her excitement, and many other fans throughout the city have lofty expectations for the team this year.
"I think they win the NFC South," said Patric King. "I don't belive there's anybody in the NFC South that's better than they are."
"The city is excited," said Antonio Johnson. "We're ready to see our Panthers go on the top this year. We're ready to see the Panthers in the Super Bowl. Yes."
After starting the season with a road victory, that optimism is sure to carry over into week two.