NBA

Giant panther ‘invades’ NFL match as team show off incredible new mixed-reality

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NFL returned for the 2021 season this weekend and to mark the occasion the Carolina Panthers debuted a new star, but not one you'd expect to see on the American Football pitch.

Ahead of their match against the New York Jets they displayed an enormous mixed-reality panther which charged around the Bank of America stadium on the warpath.

Now we have seen some sights in the UK when it comes to mascots, including West Brom's boiler and the iconic Partick Thistle star Kingsley, but never anything quite like this.

Fans in attendance were able to watch the giant panther roam amongst them on the big screens in the ground.

The creature leapt across the stands and on top of one of the screens before tearing down a banner that was hanging beside it.

With banner in mouth the panther made his way on to the pitch where he paraded around before using one of the goal posts as a springboard to escape the stadium.

He gave them camera one big stare down with glowing green eyes and a massive roar, then darted off, presumably to get a beer or two in before the match.

What's your funniest mascot story? Let us know in the comments section.

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The video of the panther was also shared on Twitter where it went down a storm with American fans who were eager to see more at upcoming games.

One said: "No lie this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

"I want one of these for every NFL and College Football Stadium," another remarked. "I want to see how weird we can get with this."

We're not saying the panther frightened the Jets players, but they were coincidentally very slow to get going in the first two quarters.

The Panthers took a 16-0 lead in the second but their opponents fought back in the third to half the deficit.

The Jets also took the last quarter but only by 6 points to 3, meaning the home side took the 19-16 victory in Week 1.

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