2020 was terrible on the whole, and as such finding positive things to look back on at the end of the year when we’re all in a reflective mood can be pretty tough. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on every aspect of life, pushing sports well to the periphery in terms of importance for so many.
Even when sports came back after coming to a halt in March, it wasn’t the helpful distraction from the world so many hoped it would be, as the very nature of putting on sporting events in a pandemic requires constant reminders in the form of masks, distancing, and empty arenas and stadiums. For that reason, my choice for the best sports moment of 2020 doesn’t have anything to do with something that happened during play, but the thing that has, genuinely, brought me joy over and over, every time I think about it.
Yes, I am talking about Robby Anderson of the Carolina Panthers seeing their mascot, Sir Purr, who is very clearly a panther, dancing in the stands at a game and asking his fellow receivers, “What’s that bear doin?”
Robby Anderson: What’s that bear doing?
DJ Moore: Bear????
DJ: That’s Sir Purr, Bro
Robby: Y’all call him that?
Me: 🤣😂🤣😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/rbU9mN2yns
— Carolina Blitz (@KeepBlitzin) September 16, 2020
The entire exchange is sensational. From the confusion of his teammates as to the “bear” Anderson was referring to, to Anderson’s objection to the idea that anyone would actually walk up to that mascot and say, “What’s up, Sir Purr?” The best part though is the matter-of-factness that D.J. Moore has in saying “that’s his name!”
I have recounted this exchange a ridiculous number of times since September. If I see a mascot on TV, I instinctively turn to my fiancée and say, “what’s that bear doin?” For everything that’s happened in sports this season, this is likely the thing that will stick with me more than anything that happened on a field or court. That might say more about me than this moment, but I can assure you, I’ll be saying “what’s that bear doin” for years and I want to just thank Robby Anderson for that gift.