It was after a 33-14 victory over Dallas on Thanksgiving Day in 2015 that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton came up with the perfect nickname for Luke Kuechly.
Kuechly, in his fourth season as the Panthers' middle linebacker, intercepted two straight passes by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, returning the first 32 yards for a touchdown. The win improved the Panthers' record to 11-0 on the way to the team's second Super Bowl appearance.
"In my eyes, he will always be Captain America because he makes every play," Newton said that day. "He shows up. He prepares extremely well."
Along with Newton, Kuechly — now 28 and an eight-year NFL veteran — is the face of the Panthers. And the five-time All-Pro and NFL defensive player of the year in 2013 has the commercial endorsement portfolio to match.
With Kuechly in Charleston on Thursday night as the featured speaker at The Post and Courier's second annual CHARLEYS awards show, here are Captain America's top five commercials:
5. The Luke-ness Monster
In this Pepsi commercial, friends try to come up with a nickname for Kuechly that is as cool as that of Panthers coach "Riverboat Ron" Rivera.
4. Brussels sprouts
Kuechly comes to the aid of a little girl who doesn't want to eat her Brussels sprouts in this ad for CPI Security.
3. 3 a.m. feeding
Kuechly, in full Panthers uniform, helps out the sleepy parents of twins during a 3 a.m. feeding in a commercial for Campbell's Soup.
2. Landscaper Luke
Two housewives daydream about Kuechly being their landscaper in another CPI ad.
1. Kuechly gnome
Kuechly teamed up with CPI back in 2014, and according to the company's YouTube channel has done 13 commercials for the company. This one, featuring Kuechly intercepting a garden gnome launched at a window by a bad guy, caused widespread demand for "Kuechly gnomes," one of which sold at auction for $16,000.