The NFL season kicks off this week, and one Panthers fan couldn’t be happier.
When she’s not at Bank of America Stadium, Karen Hunter’s “Panthers Den” has become the place to be on game day.
She spent years decorating the space that would give many “man caves” a run for their money.
It’s filled with memorabilia signed by players, mementos from games, including Super Bowl 50, and decorative items.
The space is divided into three sections.
Family and friends know Hunter as a loyal fan, but there’s a fascinating story behind how she got there.
There was a time she knew nothing about the game.
“My son is 29 years old now, but when he played football in high school I went because that's what a mother is supposed to do,” she said.
Watching the Panthers play is how Hunter taught herself football.
Eventually, it wasn’t enough watch Panthers games on TV, she wanted to feel the action.
A friend went with her to her first game.
“I was like a child in a candy store, eyes all big, could not believe it. From that moment on, I got Panther fever,” she said.
Hunter is now a PSL (Premium Seat License) Owner of five seats.
Last year, she went to all the home and away games – traveling with her mother and Panthers fan groups.
Along with developing friendships, she has memories of her interactions with players, including getting a picture with quarterback Cam Newton.
Hunter has been to three Super Bowls (48, 50, and 51) and has high hopes for this season.
“From my lips to y'all ears, this is our year. We’re going to the Super Bowl,” she said.
Hunter, who is a registered nurse, says her love for football has become another way to connect with her patients.