Charlie & Debbie

Weekdays 3:00PM - 7:00PM

Sam Mills was a fantastic, over-achiever in the game of football.  He was undersized.  He came from a REALLY small college.  He was beyond a longshot to make it in the National Football League.  He did more than that.  Along with the likes of Ricky Jackson he was a standout linebacker for the New Orleans Saints’ legendary “Dome Patrol.”  He then brought his intensity and fighting spirit here to the Carolina Panthers.  All that being said, I didn’t think he was a dominant enough player to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but that’s precisely where he’ll take his place this Saturday.  Of course, he’s been immortalized for years outside Bank of America Stadium with a statue of him in his No. 51 jersey.  Mills finished his career here in Charlotte and then went into coaching with the Panthers.  It was while doing this that he was diagnosed with intestinal cancer before the 2003 season.  He then then, that he gave the team the now famous, “Keep Pounding” speech that’s become a team and town motto.

The speech was delivered on the eve of the Super Bowl between the Panthers and the Patriots.  “When I found out I had cancer, there were two things I could do: quit or keep pounding,” Mills said then. “I’m a fighter. I kept pounding. You’re fighters, too. Keep pounding!”  Mills was just 45 when he passed away in April 2005.  However, “Keep Pounding” has become his legacy to the team and its fans.  And this weekend, his legacy will be cemented with the immortals of the game in Canton, Ohio.  Congrats to Sam and his family.