FORT MILL, S.C. -- Signs at a local business point out the good, bad and ugly about the Carolina Panthers weekly opponents.
Short football-related quips at A Lock-It Self Storage in Pineville and Fort Mill are written by the owners, customers and strangers who drive by wanting to chime in.
This week, the Panthers play the Minnesota Vikings. The sign out front says “Nothing to Ponder, Panthers win number 3.” It’s a reference to Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder.
Storage places aren’t exactly filled with excitement. They are usually filled with stuff people don't want, aren't using or can't fit in a garage.
At A Lock-It Self Storage, wit is one thing not under lock and key. Perhaps the best feature of A Lock-It is "you write it."
Last week, the sign read “One is a lonely number.”
"We only had one win and Cam Newton's number is number one,” said A Lock-It owner Mitch Clark.
When the Panthers played New Orleans, the sign said “They might come marching in but they will limp back.”
When the Panthers played the Arizona Cardinals, the sign read “This Sunday it’s ok to kill the state bird.” It was a play on the Cardinal being the North Carolina state bird as well as the Panthers opponent.
Clark’s favorite quip came from a caller to his business when the Panthers played Green Bay on Monday Night Football.
The caller’s submission was “Is that a Cheesehead I smell or did you Favre?”
It ended up on the sign.
"That was the best one,” Clark said.
Clark says a mom and son pulled over just to thank him.
"We hate Brett Favre. Thank you for the sign,” he said, recalling the conversation.
Clark says he and his father Joe started coming up with the signs about 13 years ago out of boredom.
The sign out front used to say “We have boxes.” Not exactly thrilling, Clark said.
Most signs draw praise. A few draw scorn. Once, the sign said the Panthers will ‘Vick’-timize the Falcons (referring to quarterback Michael Vick, who went to prison for dog fighting).
“Victimizing, you can use that anywhere,” Clark said
Another sign focused on former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb’s broken ribs, in conjunction with a McRib promotion from McDonalds. The sign said, “Panthers McSack McNabb’s McRibs.”
"I had one guy call and say “Hey, don't you think that's a little rough," Clark said.
Clark says it's all meant to be good natured fun. He also says A Lock-It gets an occasional call from people wanting to rent space simply from the signs.
"I'm passing two other storage places to come rent from you because I don't think you like Brett Favre,” Clark said, recalling what the caller told him.
“I was like, no, I don't like Brett Favre, but I got me a customer,” he said.