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Super Bowl 50

Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Nike yanks geographically incorrect 'NC' Panthers shirt

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

The Carolina Panthers play football in Charlotte, N.C. Many people know this. Most people know this. Apparently, Nike didn't (or at least temporarily forgot) when they created a T-shirt that featured the Panthers logo, the letters "NC" and an image of the state of South Carolina.

Charlotte Observer columnist Scott Fowler was tipped off to the shirt by a reader, and the folks at Fox 8 in Charlotte snagged a screenshot, which you can see below:

So, what do we make of this? Well, two things.

One, it's not as big a deal as one might think; it's a screwup, a flub, and an embarrassing mistake. It's not some slap in the face to Panthers fans or North Carolinians. Please don't assume that.

Two, the Panthers are very much a North Carolina team but their appeal is wide-ranging in the Carolinas. Folks in South Carolina root for the Panthers as much as their northern neighbors (the Panthers did play in Clemson, S.C., during their inaugural 1995 season). My guess here, based on the Nike store having shirts that read "Property of Carolina" and "Carolina Knows," is that the retailer wants to appeal to a broad base of fans. They're not the "North Carolina Panthers," after all. Jerry Richardson was too savvy for that.

So, yeah, an embarrassing flub that's probably ruffled more than a feather or two in Charlotte but not something worth bringing out the pitchforks over.

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