Bye Week Roadtrips 2017: Pt IV – Carolina Panthers



An unapologetic, even if often manic-depressive (it’s a requirement given his choices of sports teams), fan of NC State University, the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Orioles.When not parked in front of the computer and/or TV, can often be found on the golf course shouting obscenities to no one in particular.

[Interior, Night, Somewhere in Baltimore]

JJ Fozz and tWBS sit at a bar drinking.  Heavily.  As they feast on steamed crabs…

…and down beer after beer, the news comes on the TeeVee box over the bar….

…In what’s being called an intervention from God, we’re learning now that Joe Flacco has been found.  He is safe and will be back with family very soon.  We now go live to the press briefing, where today’s hero…

…is about to say a few words.

Ray Lewis:  Joe has had a pretty tough day.  Scary stuff.  So we’re not going to be taking questions.  But I just wanted to tell everyone how amazing it feels to be so in touch with the Man upstairs that he guided me to where Joe was being held.  By the time I arrived, the kidnappers had obviously already gotten spooked and fled, and Joe says he never saw their faces.  Right Joe?

Joe Flacco (eating Vanilla ice cream):  Yup.  Never saw a thing.  (takes another big bite then grabs his forehead) …  Owwwwww, brain freeeeeeze!!!!!

Ray Lewis:  That’s right buddy, you enjoy that.  You’ve earned it.

Reporter:  Just one question please, Ray?

Ray Lewis:  Sure, go ahead.

Reporter:  How does it feel to be a hero.

Ray Lewis:  Oh you know, same as every other time…

…But like I said, the real hero here was God.  Without Him in my life….

tWBS (to bartender):  Hey, could you change that channel please?

JJ Fozz:  Wow, that was close, huh?  You really almost got us into some hot water there.

tWBS (slightly annoyed but doesn’t stop eating crab):  Ummmmm…. Who did what now?

JJ Fozz:  I’m just saying.  This morning I was at home minding my own business.  Then you call and I have to traipse all over Virginia to find you then bring you back here.  Only to almost end up in prison for kidnapping.  It’s a really good thing that Ray Lewis just happened to show up when he did, huh?


tWBS’ phone begins to ring.  He looks at the caller ID and sighs.

tWBS (muttering to himself sarcastically):  Here we go…I guess.  This oughta be fun.  (taps phone to answer and immediately starts speaking) …  Hey guys, I know you’re mad.  But we got it all taken care of and there won’t be any….

DTZM:  Mad?  We’re not mad.

RTD:  Not mad at all, babe.

DTZM:  This is some of the most insane stuff we’ve ever been able to get.

RTD:  Sooooo insane.

tWBS:  Really?  But…

DTZM:  No buts.  Our ratings are thru the roof.  You’re my guy.

RTDOUR  guy.

DTZM:  Sorry….our  guy.  But can you get to Charlotte in time for the Panthers’ deadline?

tWBS:  Welllllll….OK.  I’ve kinda got an “in” with Cam Newton after last year’s Panthers Preview.  Turns out he thought it was hilarious and since then we’ve kinda become friends.  Unfortunately, I’m kinda stuck in Baltimore without transportation.  I’m also getting kinda drunk.  One drinks a shitload of beer while eating crabs.

RTD:  No problem, babe.  Just tell us where you are and we’ll take care of it.

tWBS:  We’re in Fells Point.

DTZM:  WTF is a Fells Point?

tWBS:  It’s a neighborhood in Baltimore.  It’s right on the harbor and…

RTD:  Doesn’t matter.  We just need the address.

tWBS (looking at back of menu):  Ummmmm…..Oooookay.  You got a pen?

DTZM:  Yep, shoot.

tWBS:  OK, it’s….

Max’s Taphouse

737 S. Broadway

Baltimore, MD  21231

RTD:  Sounds good.  Sit tight and someone should be along in an hour or so.

tWBS:  Cool.  But I plan to be drunk as hell by then just so you know.

DTZM:  No worries.  You won’t be driving.

tWBS:  Oooooh.  Nice.  I’ll drink even more then.  And again guys, I just want to thank you for…


JJ Fozz:  You don’t really know Cam Newton, do you?

tWBS:  Yes.  But he hates me.  But they don’t need to know that just yet.

JJ Fozz:  Niiiiiice!!!!!!

A little over two hours later, the crabs have all been eaten and JJ Fozz has exited the premises and headed home so as to avoid sleeping on the couch for the next month.  The beer is still flowing foar tWBS, however.  Thus when a young man enters the bar…

Young Man:  Is there a “tee – dubya – bee – ess” here anywhere???

tWBS (almost falling off barstool as he turns around):  Yesh!!!  Overrrr…herrrrree!!!

Young Man (faking cheerfulness):  Hi!  My name’s Bobby!

tWBS:  Of coursshe it isssszzzss…  How old arrre you….Bobbbbbeeeeee?

Bobby (ignoring drunk tWBS’ question):  I’m supposed to get you to the terminal, Sir.  (handing tWBS an envelope) …  Here.  Your tickets are inside.

tWBS (finishing his last beer):  Welllllll….oooookay then….Bobbbbeeeeee.  Let’shh hit it.  Ish it OK if I shhhleep it off in the car a little until we get to BWI?

Bobby (giggling):  BWI?  Yeah, sure.  OK.

30 minutes later.

Bobby:  OK, up and at ’em.  We’re here.

tWBS (getting out of the car but still half drunk and half asleep):  Oh thank god.  I’m ready to get this trip done and….

… Hey, this isn’t BWI.  WTF, Bobby?

Bobby (peeling out and laughing):  Byyyyyeeeeee!!!!!!

tWBS (opening envelope):  Oh FFS.  Imma kill those guys.

Six hours later, tWBS’ bus has just entered Virginia and makes yet another scheduled stop on some backwater two lane highway.

tWBS (to driver):  FFS man!!  What’s wrong with the interstate?  And do we have  to stop in every  podunk town or can we skip a few now and again?

Driver:  Gimme a break, man.  I already told you, I have to take the route they tell me and I have to stop where they tell me.

tWBS (sighing):  Fiiiine.  But what time are we supposed to get into Charlotte?

Driver:  Around midnight.

tWBS:  It’s already past midnight.

Driver:  No.  Midnight….. TOMORROW .


Driver:  Sorry man.  But you might as well make the best of it at this point.  We’ll be here for about 15 minutes.  They’ve got food inside.

tWBS (exiting the bus in search of moar alcohol):  Fiiiiiiine.

Fourteen minutes and 33 seconds later, tWBS exits the store.  He’s eaten three corndogs and has four beers left of the six pack he bought.  As he attempts to board the bus…

Driver:  You can’t bring beer on my bus.

tWBS:  Watch me.

Driver:  Seriously Dude.  I can’t let you bring beer on the bus.  Either get rid of it, or you won’t be riding on this  bus.

Just then, a familiar sound comes tearing up the road and into the parking lot.


tWBS:  You goddamned man-whore!!!!!  It’s about fucking time!!!!

Driver:  What’d you say to me????

tWBS:  Oh relax, I wasn’t talking to you.  Enjoy your 24 hour drive to Charlotte.  I’ve got alternate transportation now.

tWBS half walks/half staggers over to Dave.

tWBS:  We gotta get to Cam’s house by morning.  (listens) …  I KNOW THAT!!!  It doesn’t matter.  I’ve painted myself into a corner here.  (listens) …. Fine, you can wait up the street once we get there.  Let’s just get going.  (climbing into Dave’s backseat and lying down)  ….  I need a coupla hours of sleep too, so for now you’re on your own.  Oh, and we’re gonna eventually have to talk about you disappearing with Amber for the past four days.  Not cool, man.  (listens) …  I KNOW SHE WAS HOT, THAT’S MY WHOLE POINT!!!!!!  And put on something soothing for me to sleep to, would ya?


tWBS:  Very fucking funny, asshole.

[Exterior, Morning, A Charlotte Suburb]

It’s just before 10am and tWBS sits on the stoop of a well-appointed upscale home.  He holds a nearly empty mug of coffee and regrets having finished it so quickly.  Also, he has to pee.  Just then a large SUV comes rolling up the road.  When the driver sees tWBS on his front stoop, he gets so distracted that he forgets to hit the brakes and rolls past his own driveway and hits the mailbox of his neighbor, two houses down.  He exits the vehicle, fuming.

Cam Newton (running toward his own house):  Goddammit tWBS.  I thought I told you never to come back here.  After last time you’ve got a lotta balls to show your face here again.

tWBS:  I know, I know.  I’m sorry.  I realize I wore out my welcome and….

CN:  Wore out your welcome?  I reached out to let you know how much I enjoyed that stupid shit you wrote, then I couldn’t get rid of you.  Plus, it took weeks to clean up that….whatever the hell it was.

tWBS:  I know, I know.  And I wouldn’t have just showed up if I wasn’t desperate.  I need just a few minutes.  Please.  I’ve got a Panthers bye week piece due today, and…

CN:  No.  No way.  You think I didn’t see what you did in Miami?  And Jameis is really fucking pissed at you in case you didn’t know.

tWBS:  Oh, fuck that guy.

CN:  Fair enough.  But still, no.  I can’t chance it.

tWBS (to himself):  Keep it up and you’ll find out what happened to Flacco yesterday…up close and personal.

CN:  What was that?

tWBS:  Nothing!!!!  Please man, just a few minutes.  I promise I won’t screw you over.

CN:  Won’t screw me over…. again  you mean?

tWBS:  Yes, yes.  Whatever.  And if this goes well, I might be out in Hollywood soon anyway.  For good.  And you’ll never see me again.

CN:  Well…. that  does sound good.  Fine.  Ten minutes.  But I swear, if you freak Kia out again…

tWBS:  Freak her out?  Who do you think gave me the coffee?  Oh, here’s your mug back, btw.

CN:  I swear to God, if you touched her….

tWBS:  Don’t you mean “…if I touched her again ?”


tWBS:  Sorry, sorry.

CN:  Not funny, man.  Read the room and quit while you’re ahead.  You’ve got ten minutes.  And if you fuck up my house again, I’m calling the cops.

Carolina Panthers at the Bye

Well would ya lookit that?  Maybe these guys don’t suck so much after all.

A three game win streak leading up to their bye week has the Cats sitting at 7-3, only a game behind SuperBrees and the ‘Aints in the NFC South.  And one game ahead of the Falcons, Seahawks and Lions in the wildcard race.  If nothing else, Mr. Newton has regained some confidence, not only in himself but in his team, and is having fun again.  That’s bad news for opponents.  A loose, confident and happy Cam is a dangerous Cam.

Cam Newton has a special feeling about 2017: ‘We can’t do no wrong’ (

tWBS:  Ummmm, Cam?  Can’t do no wrong?

CN:  Shut up, they misquoted me.

tWBS:  Yeah, OK.

Newton believes the Panthers are peaking at the right time. He senses this could be one of those seasons like 2015, when Carolina made it to the Super Bowl, even though this season has been filled with road bumps.


Newton is not alone in feeling something special is on the horizon. Three of the team’s top players — tight end Greg Olsen, outside linebacker Thomas Davis and middle linebacker Luke Kuechly — also feel it.

“Really, coming into the season I sensed something special,’’ the 34-year-old Davis said. “When we were able to go out and draft the guys that we drafted, and bring in the guys in free agency that we brought in, just to add to the core we already had, I felt we had the chance to be something special.’’


Here’s why Cam Newton is starting to get a special feeling about this Panthers season (

Newton has led the Panthers in rushing in four consecutive games – the first time that’s happened since he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2011. He’s had at least nine carries in each of those four games, something only Michael Vick and Tim Tebow have done over the past 15 years.

Meanwhile, his passing numbers are down.

Newton threw for 154 and 137 yards in the wins vs. Tampa Bay and Atlanta – the lowest, two-game passing total of his career. And Newton could not care less.

“You give me 50 yards rushing, 0 yards passing and Carolina Panthers win, it’s an unbelievable day,” Newton said. “You give me 300, 400 yards passing and even 100 yards rushing and we lose, I’m miserable.”


Said differently, it’s about the team.  Again, an unselfish Cam is a dangerous Cam.  And if he keeps beating people with his legs, eventually the passing game will open back up.  Yes, even without Kelvin Benjamin or Curtis Samuel.

Greg Olsen returns this week (and possibly also Ryan Kalil).  Devin Funchess has become a reliable target, as has rookie Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield.  Other talented wideouts, though largely young and unproven, are waiting in the wings to round things out.  Newton will not be without weapons.

Defensively, there are no big worries unless the injury bug begins biting again.  Plus, these guys are hungry…

Confidence keeps building for Panthers’ top-ranked defense (

[Sunday against Atlanta] it was third-and-1 from the Carolina 35-yard line late in the second quarter when Falcons running back Tevin Coleman ran up the middle and was stuffed by defensive tackle Kawann Short for no gain.

Atlanta went for it on fourth-and-1, handing the ball to running back Devonta Freeman off the right side. But Freeman ran into a wall. Safety Kurt Coleman darted through the line to disrupt the lead-blocking fullback, and linebacker Thomas Davis collapsed down to force the turnover on downs.

“It’s just a sense of pride around here,” Short said. “Those guys challenged us, and you’ve got to step up as a defense. That’s what we do. We strive to be the best in those kind of situations. We’ve got to take control and win. We want to be that dominant defense on fourth-and-one.”

On the season, Carolina’s opponents are 12-of-25 on third- and fourth-and-1 to go, which is fourth-best in the NFL.

Carolina defense full of swagger but far from satisfied (

[Linebacker Thomas] Davis and Co. definitely have that swagger. But that hasn’t kept them from honestly evaluating their shortcomings from week to week.

“We’re sitting here as the number one total defense in the league, but as we look at the film, we see and understand that we can be so much better,” Davis said. “We feel like we leave a lot of plays out there.


tWBS:  So Cam, tell me.  Sitting at 7-3 right now, and looking at this remaining schedule, where do you see you guys finishing?

CN:  13-3

tWBS:  I love the confidence, my man.  Sincerely.  But do you think that’s realistic?

CN:  Hey, I expect to win every game we play.  That’s not going to change.

tWBS:  Fair enough.  But let me offer a slightly more realistic viewpoint if I may?

CN:  Is this where you piss me off again?

tWBS:  No, that comes later.

In the preseason, I said Cam should not be allowed to continue to run the ball as the featured part of the Panthers’ ground game.

CN:  Yeah, that was stupid of you.

tWBS:  Yes, maybe it was.

And if Cam can continue doing that for now, and with the return of Olsen providing an additional reliable safety valve of sorts through the air to take pressure off of Funchess and McCaffrey (and whomever else might emerge from the “wideout by committee” situation left by Samuel going down), then they can continue to score some points.  Probably enough to go with the best defense in the league.

Having said that, they will not finish 13-3 more than likely.  With a trip to New Orleans, and a visit from Minnesota, they’ll have their work cut out for them.  Closing out in Atlanta won’t likely be a cakewalk either.

But the rest of this schedule is far from a murderer’s row…

I’m going to call them at 11-5, with a floor of 10-6 unless the wheels fall off again.

And an outside shot at 12-4 with a division crown if they can upset the ‘Aints on the road in two weeks.

Good enough, Cam?

Two hours later, tWBS is again driving.  This time east, finally headed towards home.  He dials his phone…

DTZM:  Please tell me you have something good.

RTD:  Something great would be better.

tWBS:  Well, you guys will have to be the judges of that.  Check email.

RTD (reading the doc file):  Wow, you weren’t lying for once.  Cam really came thru.

DTZM:  Came thru big time.  Very nice.

tWBS:  So, can we greenlight Goddess II early then?

DTZM:  You bet your ass we can.  And the next time you’re out here, we’ll talk about getting Goddess I into syndication finally.  We want this to happen.

RTD:  Need it to happen, especially now with our uptick in visibility.

tWBS:  Cool.  I’ll be on the first plane out tomorrow then and….

DTZM and RTD in unison:  Tomorrow?

tWBS:  Yep.  No time like the present.  Plus I’ve got a friend with me now who very well might want to tag along.  She’s been wanting to try her luck in Hollywood anyway.  But for tonight, we’re going to celebrate.

DTZM:  The stripper?

tWBS:  Yes and no.  Different stripper.

FriendFORMER  stripper.

tWBS:  Of course, Dear.  My mistake, of course.  Former stripper.


tWBS:  Also, I put something in overnight mail to you guys earlier.  It’s a gift.  Or an insurance policy, depending upon one’s point of view.  See ya soon, guys.


tWBS:  Kia honey, be a dear and turn that song up, would you?

A few hours later, Cam Newton returns home from practice.

CN:  Kia, have you been in my jewelry again?  I can find my….  Kia??  KIA????????

The next day, on the west coast, RTD is opening the mail.

RTD:  Hey, the gift from tWBS is here.

DTZM:  Ooooh, open it.  I can’t wait to see.

RTD:  Uh ohhhhh…..

DTZM:  Oh that asshole!!!!!!

Coming Soon:  Goddess II

(one way or another, lol)

An unapologetic, even if often manic-depressive (it's a requirement given his choices of sports teams), fan of NC State University, the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Orioles. When not parked in front of the computer and/or TV, can often be found on the golf course shouting obscenities to no one in particular.
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This team is going to win out and then shit the bed in the playoffs.

monty this seems strange to me

10-5-1. Don’t forget the ties.


Kia gonna get herself a car commercial out here.

Game Time Decision

this would be an awesome roadtrip


Bunchess of Funchess has finally turned into something!