CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) – Just as it were countless times during his 17-year tenure as the voice of the Panthers, Mick Mixon had a question following last season’s tough loss to the Falcons, but this time, his question wasn’t directed at any of Carolina’s coaches. It was in fact to his wife.

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“They lost honey,” Mixon recalls saying. “What do you want to do for dinner?”

My how times change.

Once directly tied to the highs and lows of life in the NFL, Mixon is now a season removed from the booth and fully entrenched in living his best life in the countryside, and just so that we’re clear, the 65-year-old is enjoying every minute of it.

“I recommend retirement,” he explains. “So long as you’re not getting away from something. If you’re retiring to get to something, you’ll have no second thoughts at all.”

That something was spending more time with grandchildren. Not to mention all the work that needed to be done around the farm he and his wife bought four years ago.

Then there’s the band the two perform in from time to time.  He’s the star drummer. She’s the lead singer.

These days, Mixon has many passions but you can be absolutely sure the Panthers remain one of them. 

I mean the guy is still fired up about the 2015 season.

“That team went to the Super Bowl and played a team that they probably should have beaten maybe seven out of 10 times on a neutral site,” he says of the loss to the Broncos.

While it would seem like Carolina is lightyears away from experiencing that level of success again, Mixon insists they’re closer than most realize.

Of course, he might be a little biased.

“There are too many talented people, too many people that are decorated football administrators that know how to coach, that know how to play, that know how to organize a game plan, for this thing not to get good.”

Whenever that day comes, Mixon will be riding along. He’s no longer the voice of the team, but he will always be a fan.