I'm curious as to what sort of reaction Julius Peppers will get in Bank of America Stadium Sunday when his Chicago Bears play the Panthers.
So is Peppers. When asked what sort of reception he expected from the fans who cheered for him for eight seasons in a Panther uniform, Peppers said Wednesday on a conference call: "I have absolutely no idea about that. I know I have a large fan base down there and I also know I have people who don’t necessarily care for me too much either. So which crowd shows up, I don’t know."
Peppers had a lot more to say on that 19-minute conference call, including a couple of digs at the Panthers for the way they handled his situation when the two sides were parting earlier this year.
Peppers is right about having a fan base here -- you only had to look at the hundreds of No.90 jerseys in the stadium for each home game to know that. But he became a controversial figure the past few years in Carolina, when he and the Panthers could not agree to terms for a new contract and Peppers admittedly wanted out.
If you saw the Washington at Philadelphia game last Sunday, you probably saw former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb get a warm standing ovation before the game from a Philly crowd that is often one of the most vicious in the game.
"I was a little overwhelmed by the standing ovation, the reception that I got,” McNabb said later. "You spend 11 years here and you know it’s coming. Obviously, I wouldn’t expect them to cheer me the whole game; that just wouldn’t be right. I was just happy about the way they gave me the standing ovation early, and then I buckled up the chin strap and the boos started coming."
For Peppers, I doubt the reception will be that kind. He is one of the Bears' captains, and as such he may well be on the field for the coin toss before the game. I would expect him to get a mixed bag of boos and cheers.
So my question to you would be this: If you're going to be at the stadium Sunday, will you cheer or boo Peppers? Even if you don't have tickets, what would be your reaction to No.90 in a Bears uniform if you were going to go?