Carolina Panthers fans plan to roll into Georgia Dome on Sunday

lruebens@charlotteobserver.comDecember 27, 2013 

Here’s more of what we heard from Panthers fans who are going to the game against the Falcons on Sunday.

Savor victory on I-85

It didn’t take fan Jason Kenna, 31, of Charlotte, and his crew of seven very long to make plans for heading south.

“After the game on Sunday (against the Saints), we were all sitting on the tailgate, soaking wet, saying, ‘You know what? We’re going to Atlanta.’ 

Kenna said he’s optimistic about the outcome. “I think we’ll be riding up 85 North coming back NFC South champions.”

Broken ankle can’t stop superfan

Another fan, Michelle Porter, will go to Atlanta with her boyfriend to cheer on the Panthers. They’ll attend with friends who just moved there.

Porter recently broke her ankle and has a Carolina Panthers-blue cast, along with her typical blue tutu and wig that fades from black to blue. She and her crew will probably also don their capes, which have the Panthers logo where the Superman “S” usually goes.

She said she refused to let the cast and crutches slow her down. “It wasn’t negotiable. I’m going,” she said. “That’s what’s happening.”

Best Christmas ever

Fan Robert Jones is home in Charlotte from school at UNC Chapel Hill, and he said his Atlanta-native girlfriend got him two tickets for Christmas.

“This is definitely one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten,” said Jones, 22. (He said she’s converted to being a Panthers fan and will be wearing his Cam Newton jersey Sunday.)

Joys of lifelong fandom

Kevin Chandler, 25, lives in Rock Hill and says he’s been a Panthers fan since the franchise started when he was 7. Like many other fans, he said he’s pumped for the rivalry game.

“These are the types of seasons that make it all worth getting through the tough seasons,” he said.

Showing up big

Making thrilling family memories at last week’s Saints game compelled Susan Sherrill, 62, and her husband, daughter and son-in-law to pack their bags for the Georgia Dome.

“I’m just so proud of them,” she said of the players. “They really seem to be a team.” Sherrill said the family will look for people who can paint their faces, and they’ll be waving a banner in the stands.

“We have to show up big for them. They’ve really worked hard, and I just love it.”

Ruebens: 704-358-5294; Twitter: @lruebens

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