Legacy of a West Coast Panthers Fan: the Jose Elvis Ruvalcaba II Story

Greetings Panthers Nation. I would like to introduce myself and share how I came to love the Carolina Panthers. My name is Jose Elvis Ruvalcaba II. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA (a.k.a South Central). Like many kids today, I was raised in a broken home and I looked for solace with a family member, my Uncle William. It was my Uncle Will who raised me. He took me under his wing and taught me about life. Even though we were only 2 years apart, he was wiser and more mature than me. I used to live for the weekends because I always wanted to go to Will's pad. The first memory I have of watching football was with him. I woke up to the TV blasting and him rooting "GO PANTHERS! It was at that moment I determined "that's my team." I had no clue, no idea what I was watching, but because he was rooting for them, I was forever branded a Panthers fan.

Fast forward some years and after high school I joined the U.S Army  (Ho-Ah!) for 2 specific reasons: 1. I am a Patriot at heart and this is one great nation we live in and I felt a sense of duty/service to keep it that way. 2. for my Uncle Will, just to make him proud. I remember in boot camp we would get 10 minutes per week on a Saturday to call home. I would always ask how Will was doing or what he was up to because I never got a chance to call him. I would always phone home and with tears of joy running down my cheeks just happy to hear the voices of my family.

Having completed boot camp I went to A.I.T (Advance Individual Training, for those who are not familiar with the military, after boot camp you're sent to school to learn your military job).  My Uncle Will was killed the week  I got to A.I.T, no one bothered to tell me because they were afraid I was going to do something stupid. To this day I am still bitter that I wasn't allowed to say good-bye and thank you for everything. I remember coming home from boot camp and A.I.T. and the first thing I asked was "Where's Will?" and they told me he was working and couldn't make it. It was not until the next day that they told me the truth.

I'm a Panthers Fan and I feel as if I’m carrying on Will’s legacy through my love for the Cardiac Cats. I have been following the team since 99, but it was in the mid 2000's I started to connect more with the team and now I am fully engrossed. I am from the West Coast, but I always rep the Panthers. Los Angeles is a bandwagon and trendy city, a lot of people wear things for the colors or logos, but that’s not my style. I always rep the Panthers and only the Panthers. Whether it be a hat, lanyard, sweater, shirt or even Panthers colored shoes, it's who I am and that's MY team.

Cat Chronicles wants to hear your story.  Send us an email at carolinacatchronicles.com to share why you are a +Carolina Panthers Fans, and always #KeepPounding!