Reporting Chris “Mac” McClain
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Mac Attack) — Well much to my chagrin, the Perturbed Panther PSL owners won’t reveal who is in this group. Nor will they do a radio interview so we can cross examine them. But, they did provide THE FAN with this communication. It includes what they are looking to accomplish with the letter to Jerry Richardson in Monday’s Observer. And it reads as follows:
“It seems some media outlets are more interested in the names of the many dissatisfied and demoralized fans in Panther country, or the cost of the ad itself, rather than in the heart and soul of our message.
First, this is not about whining, money, different classes of fans or anything personal between the authors and Jerry Richardson or Ron Rivera. Both seem like nice gentlemen, but we don’t know them personally and that is not the point.
What this is simply about is repeated, unacceptable RESULTS and the extreme frustration felt by so many of us by the failure of Mr. Richardson, and to some respect, many of Charlotte’s media outlets, to address this perennial dilemma openly, honestly and thoroughly. We fans are happy to pay for entertainment and know there will be up and down years in any professional sports franchises history; but the Panthers’ results are borderline embarrassing and we passionately believe we fans and the Carolinas deserve a better effort instead of living with that old bromide about repeating the same thing year-after-year and expecting better results.
At the end of the day, four winning seasons (and none consecutively,) in 18 years is indisputable, and kind of says it all. This record, by definition, simply cannot be reflective of effective ownership/management of this or any professional franchise. Then we ask ourselves why a former highly competitive professional athlete and successful businessman would tolerate repeated mediocrity or embarrassment of “his team.” The only answer we can come up with is money. If personal net worth is going up tens of millions of dollars a year, human nature suggests it is awfully difficult to get too upset about the core endeavor that is generating such wealth. Put another way, if the Panthers performance on the field were generating out-of-pocket franchise losses each year, would Mr. Richardson’s sense of urgency and efforts to turn things around be as understated?
The NFL “business trade” is simple: Community gets behind wealthy owner(s) to get franchise established; Once franchise granted, owner virtually guaranteed escalating wealth by the league and parity provisions (if you can consistently win and make money in Green Bay, WI it can be done anywhere;) Community receives direct and indirect economic stimulation; Fans pay up for right to be entertained and engender pride in franchise and greater community; Team performs at level adequate to sustain the preceding benefits at highest levels.
The only element of the trade here in Charlotte that has not been delivered is the last one, which happens to be the only “pay back” for us fans. When critics of our letter say we’re a bunch of whiners who, if we don’t like how things are going, should sell our licenses and/or tickets, our response is: WE DON’T WANT TO QUIT! WE LOVE OUR TEAM AND OUR COMMUNITY! WE WANT THIS OWNERSHIP TO WAKE UP AND DELIVER ON THEIR END OF THE BARGAIN! It can be done as Robert Kraft and others have demonstrated. That is the point we are trying to deliver to the media and Mr. Richardson. Who are we? We are the heart and soul of the Panthers; their most loyal (and demoralized) fans.
We have taken the time and chipped in some money to go public with our views and open the fact-based discussion. We get criticized for speaking our mind and remaining anonymous to insulate our families and friends. Everyone knows who Mr. Richardson is but, with rare exception, he chooses to stay silent. Which do you think is worse.
You guys in the media take the torch from here. Pressure Mr. Richardson to lay-out a specific and plausible turn-around plan. We have done our part and hope you will help get this ownership to deliver on theirs.”
TRUE PANTHER FANS EVERYWHERE