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Suggestions For Future Celebrity Coronations at Charlotte FC Matches

Everywhere you go in Major League Soccer, no matter which club or clubs you support, there’s a constant among each of the association’s 29 teams: They’ll have a unique pregame tradition designed to whip the crowd into a frenzy before the team takes the pitch. One of MLS’ newest sides has succeeded in making the matchday experience a celebratory and lively one.

Charlotte FC Suffer Setback on Opening Night

This past Saturday night, Bank of America Stadium, the home ballpark of the NFL"s Carolina Panthers, opened up its doors to soccer fans once again as Charlotte FC began its sophomore campaign in a match against the New England Revolution. It was the third all-time contest between the sides in MLS regular season play.

Charlotte and New England appeared to be splitting the points in the standings with the match scoreless deep into the second half. The Revs, however, took all of the spoils on opening night with an 89th-minute tally from center back Henry Kessler to send 69,000-plus fans home unhappy.

A Special Coronation in Charlotte Ahead of Last Week"s Match

Prior to the match, as is tradition, Charlotte FC held a pregame coronation where a guest of honor sits on a throne in the supporter"s section. Under normal circumstances, a local in the Carolinas would have been coronated, but last Saturday"s pregame ceremony was used to memorialize a fallen comrade.

The Feb. 25 match was the first regular season contest for Charlotte FC since defender Anton Walkes passed away on Jan. 19 from a boating accident. In lieu of a traditional coronation over the weekend, David and Nicole Tepper, owners of the MLS club, honored Walkes with a crown on the throne.

Subsequent to the memorial coronation, supporters broke out into a minute of sustained applause in the fifth minute of the first half, symbolic of the late Walkes" No. 5 jersey on last year"s roster. One would suspect that the minute"s applause in the fifth minute of the match will continue throughout the rest of Charlotte"s home games this season.

Who Should Take The Throne Next?

With Charlotte FC"s second season now underway, Bank of America Stadium will be assuredly rocking and rolling throughout the spring, summer, and into the fall. Given the improvements made to the club during this past offseason, fans are hopeful that the celebration bleeds into the December holiday season and the stadium hosts MLS Cup on Dec. 9.

A question among the supporters is one of which celebrity or celebrities get coronated at the Bank during the 2023 MLS season. The possibilities that are available to the club are seemingly endless.

Michael Jordan Is A Great Candidate

You can"t discuss sports history in the Carolinas, more specifically basketball history, without discussing the career of one guard. This man would be a brilliant choice for a future coronation by Charlotte FC. Time to channel longtime Chicago Bulls public address announcer Ray Clay:

“FROM NORTH! CAROLINA! AT GUARD! 6"6"! MICHAEL JORDAN!" Side Note: When Jordan retired in 2003 as a member of the Washington Wizards, Clay was flown out to Philadelphia for Washington"s last game of the regular season against the 76ers specifically to announce No. 23.

Jordan, who just recently celebrated his 60th birthday on Feb. 17, has been the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets franchise since 2010. Undoubtedly, Jordan is the best basketball player to ever walk the face of the Earth.

The King of The Court Deserves a Seat on The Throne

In two stints with the Bulls, Michael Jordan won six championships in two three-peats without failing in any of his championship bids. Whether he was wearing Chicago"s home white jersey with red trim or as a visitor in his later years as a Wizard, a rousing ovation would routinely accompany the announcement of his name.

Even now, 20 years removed from his playing days, the roar of the crowd would probably still follow his name. The first line of his official NBA legends bio says everything you need to know: “By acclimation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time."

Nothing more needs to be said than this: Charlotte FC, give the man his time on the throne!

Eric Krakauer Brought Charlotte FC to Life on TV Last Year

A year ago at this time, Charlotte FC was about one day removed from its first-ever regular season match on the road at Audi Field against DC United. For every game not selected for national broadcast on ESPN and/or FOX Sports, play-by-play commentator Eric Krakauer was front and center on the microphone.

Upon Apple TV becoming exclusive worldwide rightsholder for all MLS matches ahead of the new season, Krakauer was listed as one of the English language play-by-play announcers. He was reunited with Lloyd Sam, keeping the best commentary duo in MLS from last season together.

Even though the play-by-play man took his talents global, Charlotte FC kept him on as its club ambassador. His excitement for the sport is palpable with each game he calls.

Krakauer is Energetic

Even though he was the hometown play-by-play man in Charlotte last year, Krakauer maintained his neutrality on both home and away goals. When a Charlotte FC player put the biscuit in the basket, he loudly informed the viewers, giving the same delivery for an opposing player, something not done by many announcers.

He"s a fan favorite among Charlotte FC supporters and MLS fans the league over, including myself. It"s time for Eric Krakauer to take a seat on the throne.

Coach K is Carolina Royalty

Returning to the basketball parlance, there"s one other name that Carolina natives think of when talking about all-time greats in the sport. A year ago, Duke University"s men"s basketball program bid a season-long farewell to Coach K, also known as Mike Krzyzewski.

Quite simply the best basketball coach, league or level notwithstanding, Coach K is a legend in the Carolinas and throughout the world. If thought about, this would be a natural move by Charlotte.

Dawn Staley Coronated Last Season by Charlotte FC

Ahead of the April 10, 2022 win against Atlanta United, Charlotte FC gave South Carolina women"s basketball head coach Dawn Staley the honor of a coronation. The coronation happened one week to the day after Staley"s Gamecocks bested UConn in the NCAA Division I Women"s Basketball National Championship, and eight days after Krzyzewski"s last game as head coach at Duke.

At the risk of alienating half of Charlotte FC"s fans, Coach K"s loyalty to the Duke men"s basketball program is admirable. Love Coach K or hate him, he deserves to be coronated by Charlotte FC.

Final Thoughts

The tradition of the pregame coronation by Charlotte FC sets the club apart from other sides in the league. One question remains as we bid you good night:

Who do you think should be coronated by Charlotte FC in the future? Drop us a line in the comments to let us know your opinion.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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