The Carolina Panthers' season ended with a playoff loss over the weekend in Seattle, but thanks to the kindness of their owner the team gained a new fan.
A sixth-grader from suburban Oklahoma City had a big decision to make: He needed a new NFL team to root for. Cade Pope had supported the St. Louis Rams because former Oklahoma Sooners star Sam Bradford is the team's quarterback. But with Bradford's future unclear after he sat out the 2014 season because of knee surgery, Cade is on the hunt for a new squad.
As a means of selecting a team, 12-year-old Cade wrote a letter to all 32 NFL owners asking why he should be a fan of their team. The lone response he got was from Carolina owner Jerry Richardson, who sent Cade a package with a replica Panthers helmet and a note that read:
"Cade we would be honored if our Carolina Panthers became your team. We would make you proud by the classy way we would represent you."
Here's Cade's story, from Oklahoma's News on 6:
The Panthers sent this tweet welcoming Cade to their fan base:
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 12, 2015
Cade's first experience rooting for the Panthers didn't go so well, as the team got trounced, 31-17, by the Seahawks in the NFC's divisional round. But with star linebacker Luke Kuechly and quarterback Cam Newton both under 26, the Panthers figure to have a bright future.