In 2008 a small group of Panthers fans lead by Zack Luttrell decided to take a stand against the national perception of Panther Nation and our fans. Too many PSL owners selling away their tickets to allow Bank Of America to be taken over so easily by the local transplants.Too many times seeing seats go unoccupied by season ticket holders and too many times seeing such a small presence of Panther Nation at other teams stadiums.
In 2015 his vision is starting to be realized, as Luttrell & the fan group/club known as the Roaring Riot went global with their fan group. Opening official chapters in the Carolina’s and several other states to go along with already established chapters and attempting to start chapters overseas. With this major expansion of the Roaring Riot fan group Luttrell hopes this will help unite the Panthers fan base in a way none has seen before.
Luttrell & others spoke to Johnathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer, WFNZ Charlotte, and many other news outlets after the announcement and had these things to say about the Riot’s new expansion.
“If you’re outside of Charlotte and want to find the game, hopefully we have the network where you can find where the game is on and have a great time,” Luttrell said. “Our goal is for a Panthers fan to be anywhere in the United States and be able to look up where a Roaring Riot club is and join us.”
“Many of us rebelled from our parents’ previous NFL alliances and took in the Panthers with open arms,” wrote Derek Crumpler, a member of the Denver group. “We have grown in Denver to 175 deep and if we can do it in Denver, we can do it anywhere in the country!”
Ultimately, Luttrell says, he wants the Riot group to look like the American Outlaws, an unofficial support group of the U.S. men’s national soccer team. There are numerous chapters across the country that have chants and traditions.
“The Denver group has songs and chants and take Jell-O shots every time the Panthers score. In Atlanta they do Fireball shots,” said Luttrell, adding not all the traditions will be based around alcohol. “Each chapter will have their own unique logo that will take elements from the Panthers’ logo and elements from their city.”
Luttrell aims for there being between 50 and 100 groups nationwide within the next three years. — http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article20162124.html
In 2013 & 2014 the Riot stormed Atlanta’s Georgia Dome turning it into what some are starting to call the “Panthers” dome and making the team feel like a home away from home the last two seasons. Leading to comments from players after the games like these from former Panthers Greg Hardy, & Mike Mitchell in 2013.
“It was crazy. Did you see all that blue out there?” defensive end Greg Hardy said. “I loved it.”
“That’s why he messed the snap up. (Our fans) won us the game,” safety Mike Mitchell
The Riot also did some takeovers in at Miami & Tampa in 2013 but nothing compares to the impressive group they are gathering for 2015 though. The opening game of 2015 is in Jacksonville at Everbank Stadium. Roaring Riot has almost or more then 500 Panthers fans signed up and going on this trip but that’s not all. Everbank went under renovation and added two pools to it’s stadium along with a giant scoreboard. Luttrell and the Riot booked almost all of the Cabana’s to those two pools to make it a Panther Nation pool party for opening day.
Originally all Cabana’s were held by Roaring Riot and sold out to Panthers fans but due to it being the Jags opening game some were taken back by the Jaguars. I assume an all Panthers pool party on opening day wasn’t what they wanted TV cameras to see with their already less then stellar home reputation. On top of taking over the pools the Riot also has a whole section of Lower Level seats which currently are still available to purchase.
Not only do they have the Jags trip but they have two other away game packages set up for Panthers fans in 2015 for the Music City Takeover in Nashville, TN against the Titans and they are making a return Takeover trip to Atlanta. Also they are setting up Riot tailgates at several other away games like the game in Dallas, TX Thanksgiving week. So if your going to an away game I would suggest checking out Roaring Riot’s website for more info for the game your attending if you want to meet up with Panthers fans.
Since the announcement of going global people have started taking notice of Roaring Riot’s efforts even the players. Recently the Carolina Panthers signed Cam Newton to a $103 million dollar extension to stay with the team through 2020. During the press conference after signing his new deal Cam sent a shout out to the Roaring Riot fan group.
Not too long after Cam’s shout out to the Riot. Cam and other players were present at a Greensboro – Gate City Riot Membership event. At the event Gate City Riot members inducted Cam, Devin Funchess, Johnathan Stewart, and other players as members of the Riot.
The Riot didn’t stop there. Not too long after that Luttrell and the Riot put together a event for a young Panthers fan Braylon Beam a 6 year old from Denver, NC who was diagnosed with an optic nerve tumor to help raise money for medical costs for his family. The GoFundMe account is still accepting donations you can get to it by following the link http://www.gofundme.com/v35n2js.
Braylon was featured on the Ellen show in a story about his diagnosis and his dancing where the Panthers extended a invite to be the honorary Keep Pounding drummer before a game and not long after that they signed Braylon as a honorary coach.
During the event Luttrell surprised the Beam family by giving them a paid trip to the Jacksonville Takeover with the rest of the Roaring Riot for the season opener along with making Braylon a member of the Roaring Riot. The surprises didn’t end there though as Panthers LB Thomas Davis showed up to the event to provide Braylon with a autographed jersey.
Less than a few months after announcing the Riot was going global, Luttrell’s vision is beginning to turn into reality. He has taken on a enormous burden to try and help our fan base grow and shed any bad perceptions being cast on us. Being a relatively young franchise compared to more storied franchises in the NFL means your dealing with a younger fan base. While 20 seasons have came and gone, which has allowed a generation to grow up with the Panthers there is still much room for improvement.
Roaring Riot will provide non-local and local fans a way to find other Panthers supporters in their states and help them to form meet ups, game watches, draft parties, or trips to games. While also providing a way to find Panthers fans to get together at away games. This doesn’t count the charity events and other great things the Riot does.
Luttrell’s vision of a fan base under one banner united is a glorious one. One that could be passed on for generations & generations. I believe this is a step in the right direction for Panther Nation as a fan base. So if your a Panthers fan or a new fan to the Panthers then check out the Roaring Riot because they are the future of this fan base and how it will grow across the nation.
The Riot currently has official chapters in Charlotte, NC (Queen City Riot), Denver, CO (Mile High Cats), Atlanta, GA (Atlanta Riot), Washington, D.C. (Capital Riot), New Orleans, LA (NOLA Riot), New York City, NY (Big Apple Riot), Raleigh, NC (Oak City Riot), Greensboro, NC (Gate City Riot), and Winston-Salem, NC (Twin City). There are 3 affiliated chapters in Columbia, SC, Greenville, NC, and Charleston, SC.
They also have places that are trying to start up chapters in Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, North Jersey, St. Louis, MO, Myrtle Beach, SC, Wilmington, NC, Knoxville, TN, West Virginia, Greenville, SC, United Kingdom, Boone, NC, and Ohio. For info on these chapters click on the name of the chapter above and it will link you to their pages.
To join and become a member of the Riot today or to find out how to start a chapter in your area. Check out www.roaringriot.com or Roaring Riot on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram by clicking the name of the social media site. — #DoYouRiot