This past weekend marked the first Sunday of the 2021 NFL season, and while it was full of exciting highlights, one may have towered over them all: the Carolina Panthers’ viral video of a giant virtual panther leaping around Bank of America Stadium.

The video is ridiculous. A big virtual cat jumps into the stadium, paces around the field, shreds a New York Jets flag (the Panthers’ Sunday opponents), and hops away with a menacing roar. It’s proved to be hugely popular, with 5.6 million views on Twitter.

Check out our new mixed-reality panther that debuted today

— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 12, 2021

While the Panthers’ tweet calls the mascot a “mixed-reality panther,” it actually seems…

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