According to a report by Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer, Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera imposed a 12:00 midnight curfew for Super Bowl Week this past February.
Looking back at his decision in retrospect, Rivera says he will be more lax next time around:
“The truth is they thought we were a little more strict than we needed to be, which was interesting,” Rivera said during the final day of the NFL annual meetings. “And as I look at it, yeah, let them relax a little bit more. Let them not feel like they have to be somewhere.”
Per the report, the Denver Broncos had no curfew for the first two nights of Super Bowl Week.
The midnight curfew caused the players to miss or cut short parties that were being held in San Francisco, about an hour away from where players were staying in San Jose.
If the players couldn’t go out and have fun, the running backs offered an environment that brought the fun to the team.
“You gotta let grown men be grown men,” Mike Tolbert said, per Conor Orr of NFL.com. “We have a good quality group of guys on this team, so nobody’s gonna go out and do anything stupid.”
“There’s no alcohol, no nothing, no women. It’s only us. We having a good time playing cards, laughing, playing video games, just enjoying life, enjoying being at the Super Bowl, enjoying having a good time.”
If the Panthers get a do-over, it sounds like Club Shiznit, as the running backs called it, won’t be necessary next time around.
In the end, adhering to curfews and timelines didn’t result in a win. Perhaps a more relaxed atmosphere might have seen the players more loose at the big game.
Coach Rivera shouldn’t beat himself up over this decision. After all, he was awarded the AP Coach of the Year after a tremendously successful 15-1 season that landed the Panthers their first Super Bowl appearance in 12 years.