They came. They saw. They dabbed.
Main Street in Fort Mill was packed with black- and blue-clad Carolina Panthers fans Saturday, from jerseys and hats to signs and pom-poms and even miniature jerseys for the four-legged fans. Blue flags with the Panthers logo on them lined the street on the unseasonably warm January afternoon.
“Dab On Main” was put together as a “community-wide photo opportunity” for residents of Fort Mill and beyond to show their support for the Panthers, who face the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl next Sunday.
With photographers perched high above downtown in a fire truck bucket lift, the crowd of about 250 performed the dance move popularized by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Mayor Guynn Savage instructed the crowd on proper “dabbing” technique.
“Use your right arm for the cross-arm, like you’re sneezing,” she said before a couple of practice dabs. “Put the left arm up so everybody’s going in the same direction. Cam would be proud of us.”
The crowd dabbed for several rounds of photos and video, punctuated by chants of “Keep Pounding” and the singing of “Sweet Caroline.”
Sir Purr, the Panthers’ mascot, visited and the event and was part of a larger “Carolina Panthers Day,” for which Guynn signed a proclamation that called the Panthers “the hometown team” for North Carolina and South Carolina.
“It was just an idea of how nice it would look to see the Panthers flags flying down Main Street. It took root, and everybody at the town pitched in and – almost on no budget – we just pulled it off,” Savage said. “One of the best things about Fort Mill is its sense of community. Everybody here (will) lock arms and do whatever is needed.”
Carol Marks and her husband Steve have been season ticket holders since the Panthers came to Charlotte.
“When they first came to Charlotte, my husband said, ‘I’m going to buy season tickets, although we probably can’t afford it, because one day I’m taking my grandson to see the Panthers,’” she said Saturday. Marks’ husband, son and grandson were all at last Sunday’s NFC Championship game.
“I think they have brought fun back to the NFL, and that’s something we probably needed,” Marks said of this Panthers team. “From Cam and his exuberance and childlike fun, all the way to the dab and bringing people together all over the country.”