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Cam Newton energizes Charlotte crowd, even as Panthers fall to Washington

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton runs with the football on Nov. 21, 2021, at Bank of America Stadium.

There was new life in Bank of America Stadium on Sunday when quarterback Cam Newton played his first home game since returning to the Carolina Panthers. But even with “Superman” back, the Panthers fell to the Washington Football Team — and former Carolina coach Ron Rivera — in a close game.

“Cam was very, very emotional (Sunday),” The Charlotte Observer’s Langston Wertz Jr. told WFAE “All Things Considered” host Gwendolyn Glenn on this week’s installment of Time Out for Sports. “I wondered if he was going to have enough gas to finish the game. He really seems to relish the opportunity he’s been given, and I think he understands his football mortality is kind of at stake at this point. He’s being given a real shot here to succeed, and I thought he played well.”

The final score was 21-27.

“The Panthers — second in the NFL in total yards allowed — gave up a whole lot of yards to a Washington team that wasn’t thought to be very good offensively,” Wertz said.

Also on the pro scene, the Hornets have had some high-profile wins and a loss lately. Charlotte beat the Washington Wizards on Wednesday and Indiana Pacers on Friday but lost to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. The Hornets were set for another match against the Wizards on Monday night.

Oh, and speaking of pro sports in the Queen City, we got a big update this past week on Charlotte FC, the city’s new MLS team.

“We found out when they start playing,” Wertz said. “They get their first MLS game Feb. 26 against D.C. United… The home opener for the (FC) is March 5 agains the L.A. Galaxy, and the team is predicting a sellout with 74,000 fans filling up Bank of America Stadium.”

You can listen to the full Time Out for Sports conversation above. Here’s a quick look at some other things Glenn and Wertz covered.

  • The Carolina Hurricanes are having a great season on the ice and were 14-2-0 going into a game against San Jose on Monday night
  • Wake Forest’s football team lost to the Clemson Tigers 48-27 on Saturday, the Demon Deacons’ second loss of the season. 
  • Charlotte’s Providence Day won the Division I N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association high school football championship.

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