As the Panthers’ season came to a close, Panthers fans are now eager to see who the next majority owner will be.
Jerry Richardson, the current owner of the Panthers, grew up playing football in North Carolina, then continued his career at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In 1987, after the NBA brought an expansion team to Charlotte, Richardson met with supporters to discuss bringing an NFL team to both North and South Carolina. Politicians from both Carolinas lobbied to the other owners to support their expansion. Richardson financed the construction of the stadium, in Charlotte, that would seat 70,000 fans.
In 1992, the NFL announced the Carolinas would have an extension team. The following season the NFL owners voted, and it was decided that the 29th NFL team would be in Charlotte. Richardson was the majority owner for 23 seasons. Just before the Panthers kicked off against the Green Bay Packers on December 17, Sports Illustrated released an article reporting that Richardson would go from office to office asking female co-workers to show him their rear ends. Richardson later announced that he would sell the team at the conclusion of the season. So now the burning question is: Who will the new owner be?
Whoever the owner will be, all of Panther Nation should keep in mind the following wishes for the next ownership.
1: Replace The NFL Shield Logo.
There are only two stadiums in the NFL that do not sport their team logo in between the 45 yard lines. The first of which is Metlife Stadium, which hosts two NFL teams, so it’s easier to have the NFL’s shield at midfield than to change it week to week. The second is the Carolina Panthers, who have no reason why besides the fact that Richardson thought that’s how it should be.
2: Value winning over the “team image.”
Prior to the Panthers drafting Cam Newton, Richardson asked Cam Newton if he had and tattoos or piercings. Newton answered “no” and Richardson responded, “Let’s keep it that way.” He was also told former tight end Jeremy Shockey that he liked his attitude, but that he’d be better without all of his tattoos. The next owner should keep their views away from the team, and allow the team’s image to take a backseat to winning football games.
3: Value Winning over Personal Relationships.
In 2010, the Carolina Panthers went 1-15, after which Richardson “cleaned house”, meaning he fired everyone. However, this did not include Marty Hurney, the general manager—known to be a good friend of Richardson. Hurney was fired after the team lost five out of the first six games in favor of Dave Gettleman. Gettleman had his own problems as the General Manager, but he assembled a 15-1 roster, as well as fixed the horrendous financial issues that Hurney put the team in.
The following season was disappointing, and because of it Richardson fired Gettleman, and named none other than his good friend Marty Hurney back to his old office position.
Now that Richardson will be out as the owner, the Panthers can move forward to be perennial Super Bowl contenders. The team will be relieved of the pressures that Richardson placed on the coaching staff and players to look and act a certain way. This allows a wider range of players to be targeted which will lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl win that they deserve.