There’s just nothing like the feeling of being in a good sports bar. The camaraderie, cheering, and decor combine to make an experience greater than just watching a game. For many, the gameday tradition of visiting their favorite bar, or even just inviting friends over to crowd around the television, is as integral a part of the sport as the actual game. With the preseason ending and Football season quickly approaching, everyone is looking for the best place to watch the games. For Cindy and Bill Buchanan, they never have to look very far. Their garage is possibly the largest collection of Carolina Panthers memorabilia in the world, and they get seventy-five of their friends together to watch the Panther’s away games in it every year.
Their garage, which the couple refers to as “Garage Mahal” is a perfect place to gather their friends for some Panther’s viewing. The memorabilia has been collecting in their garage for decades, but at Cindy’s insistence, it stays in the garage. They attend every single home game, but when the Panther’s travel too far away from them to follow, they stay in and watch the game on one of the five televisions set up in their garage.
The couple has gathered their souvenirs and collectables from many places. Among their most notable collectables are laminated ticket stubs from pivotal games, autographs of all sorts, the first NFC flag to fly over Bank of America Stadium, the shoe that linebacker Kevin Greene was wearing when he punched assistant coach Kevin Steele, a three-of-a-kind bobblehead, carpet from the Panther’s locker room which covers the floor, and the spotter board used in the first game in Panther’s history, which the two separately heard about on a radio show and ended up bidding against each other for.
The two are equally passionate about the Panthers, but Cindy is the one of the pair with more knowledge about the sport. The Buchanan’s are happy with their Garage Mahal, and don’t regret transforming their garage into this shrine-meets-sports bars extravaganza. They are among the most dedicated Panther’s fans, but at their heart they’re still just normal people. Cindy explains their garage by saying that everyone has to have a hobby – theirs just happens to be football.