Right before this NFL season started veteran offensive lineman Ryan Khalil took out a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer entitled “Why the Carolina Panthers Will Win Super Bowl XLVII.”
Well, that was 5 months ago, and now as the season is coming to an end the Carolina Panthers have a disappointing 5-9 record, and will miss the post season for the fourth consecutive season.
Monday, a full-page ad of another nature was taken out in the Charlotte Observer by the “Perturbed Panther PSL Owners Federation.”
The detailed letter, entitled “The Panthers Pyramid Scheme,” called out the one person who usually doesn’t take the blame for a poor team…(unless you’re a fan of a certain team in Dallas that shall remain nameless for the purposes of this article) the owner, Jerry Richardson.
“We are a group of local business folks and long-time Panthers Permanent Seat License owners writing to call a regrettable personal foul on the most tenured and venerable member of the Carolina Panthers organization – You!” the open letter began.
“Your unabashed admissions of “bottom-line worship” might explain why, for the past 10 years, you allowed the team’s rosters and coaching staffs to be constructed by a now former General Manager who had spent most of his prior career as a sports beat reporter for an out-of-state newspaper, then scouting and compliance administrator with a west coast NFL team. It took a decade of missteps and fan misery – while Panthers profits and franchise value kept soaring – for you to admit that this critical management gamble had failed. We wonder if you will offer enough money and control to a new G.M. who can really get the job done. Perhaps more importantly, we worry whether anyone with superior credentials will agree to come work for such a troubled NFL front office.”
The perturbed fans also went in on head coach Ron Rivera.
“His reported salary is 40-50 percent below the salaries of the top ten highest paid NFL head coaches who, not surprisingly, also happen to have the best winning records in the league. Now, after a few inconsequential, late season wins, you are hinting that you might keep Rivera around for at least another year. Of course, that would avoid millions of dollars of severance cost for you and your partners. It would also perpetuate the legacy of Panthers’ management, player personnel and coaching inadequacies that is revealed on the playing field most Sundays.”
Rivera’s sideline demeanor is one of detachment and sometimes bewilderment, and, “His clock management would be a mystery even to the Swiss,”
They also questioned why Richardson would:
“put the fate of the team and its exceptionally talented but still adolescent quarterback in the hands of highly speculative NFL managers and coaches.”
This letter was VERY lengthy, detailed, and took someone A LOT of time to compose (you can read a full copy here.)
I commend these clearly passionate fans for holding owner Jerry Richardson accountable for the product he ultimately puts on the field. We as fans tend to rush to judge players and coaches when the owners should be held accountable as well.