Ever since we first bought our house, the basement has been a glorified storage unit. We stacked it full of holiday decorations and boxes that we still hadn’t opened three years after moving in. In my mind, this was a terrible waste of space. After years of strategizing about ways to get it, planning it out in my head, hinting at it, and outright asking for it, my dream is finally coming true: we’ve turned our basement into a man cave.
For my man cave, the theme will be simple: football and more football. While a big-screen TV and surround sound is a must, of course, I also plan to fill the space with football collectibles and decor. While doing research, I found the perfect online resource for NFL furniture and it really inspired me to go all-out. They have a lineup of college football-themed furniture, as well, but I tend to be more of an NFL guy.
(If you readers think the term “man cave” is outdated, feel free to mentally substitute it with “masculine space” or “room of every guy’s dreams” or whatever you’d like. For brevity’s sake, I’ll be sticking with “man cave.” And of course my wife will also spend time in the man cave. In fact, it should more realistically be called a “Spongebob Squarepants-free zone,” since its main purpose is to provide a space to watch sports away from the never-ending stream of cartoons that our daughter always has playing in the living room.)
During the football season, my man cave will provide a mighty place for my friends and I (and my wife, but come on – that sounds significantly less mighty) to gather and celebrate when our tribe, the beloved Carolina Panthers, conquers our enemies. I’m also installing a pool table so that during the off-season, we can hang out there, shoot pool, and discuss past victories and future armchair quarterback strategies.
I’m already an avid collector of Panthers paraphernalia, so I had plenty of decor to start with once we started redoing the space. We created shelving to proudly display my football autographed by Greg Olsen. I moved my poster signed by Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly from my home office and into my newly-retooled man cave. From plaques containing treasured cards to Panthers cutouts and decals, I’ve gathered enough Panthers-related items over the years to decorate five man caves.
That doesn’t mean there wasn’t room for a few new items. Lest there be any doubt about where my loyalties lie, guests to my kingdom will be greeted by a 5’x8’ Carolina Panthers rug embellished with the roaring mascot of my favorite team. My throne? A NFL Big Daddy Microfiber Rocker Recliner, also customized with a Panthers logo.
With football season gearing up, the man cave is finished just in time. Already, my buddies have come over to check things out, have a few beers, and make predictions. One of my friends is a hardcore fan of (brace yourselves) the Patriots. I’m giving him a hard time, telling him that the creation of my man cave is adding additional winning juju to the Panthers this year.
He thinks I’m kidding, but to tell you the truth, I think there just may be something to that.
** THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED ON 1-7-2018