Monday, December 06, 2010

Project #7: Question the Panthers

(FYI: There's a new poll over there to the right about the best movie of 2010. The list is sort of off the top of my head, and I have the memory of a sand gnat, so your favorite might not be on there... drop a comment if there's one I missed.)

This probably makes me a bad fan, but I'll admit it: I haven't watched the Panthers since Week 1. Most weeks, by the time we get home from church and maybe lunch with friends, they're already down 28-3, and I can find something better to do. But this week was the Panthers' only West Coast start -- 4:15 -- and so I checked in just before halftime. Miracle of miracles, the good guys were up 14-0. I settled in to watch.

So yeah, this was my fault.

One of the many frustrating things about the Panthers this year is that the team isn't responsive to fans. Coach John Fox's favorite answer is "It is what it is." But at least he says something. Owner Jerry Richardson hasn't said a word all year, except for a brief phone call with our Tom Sorensen.

Fans might not get any answers this year. But at least they should get a chance to ask some questions. So here's a reader project I call Question the Panthers.

Here's what I want you to do:

1. Make a sign with a question you'd like to ask about the team. It should look like one of those signs people hold up at games:

(I don't know how long ago that photo was taken... but a beat-up, 41-year-old Brett Favre might still be our best QB. Sigh.)

The idea, for these signs, is to make it in the form of a question -- something the team might legitimately answer if they ever get in the mood again. So be tough if you want, but make it something you're honestly curious about.

2. Take a photo of yourself with the sign.

3. E-mail it to me,, and ID yourself (or whoever's in the photo).

Send them in by midnight Thursday, and if we end up with a good gallery, we'll put some online Friday, and then maybe in the paper this weekend.

In the meantime, let's end on a good note. This, I think, was the Panthers' play of the year, and I don't mean that with any sarcasm:

That's the punter, on a 1-10 team, giving every bit of effort to stop a touchdown. It was worth watching another loss just to see that.


Anonymous said...

This is the absolute first time I have criticized the Charlotte Observer for wasting any disk space or bandwidth on a blog posting which is so popular to use these comment sections for.


Someone who has not watched a game this year has ZERO respect from me in bashing them and reaching out to other real fans to bash them. Go rent desperate housewives and leave the football to us.

Anonymous said...

Okay Tommy, I'm sorry, but your comment, "I haven't watched the Panthers since Week 1. . . " makes you highly unqualified to say ANYTHING. Go back and stick your head in the sand. . .

Anonymous said...


As a fan / PSL holder, all you have to do is send a coherent e-mail stating your frustration / concern and Danny Morrison will call you back personally. Not that it makes it any better, but those of us who watch the team at least get some satisfaction that someone is listening. Mr. Morrison called me and left a message with his direct line. I called him back and we had a decent conversation. I agree that Mr. Richardson should address the situation and he will at season's end.

Go back to racing or bashing UNC Charlotte's football aspirations!

Anonymous said...

I did the same and sent an email, about lack or direction or at least not hearing anything but from the MEDIA. I got a call from the Big Cat (did not know # so I did not answer) and had to call him back on his direct line. We talked for 20 minutes believe it or not. PSL holders should be getting an letter from him today or early this week. He shared some things that enlightened me and made me feel better. I did share with him frustration of having no one telling us fans anything. We always have to hear media give us their take.
He did say he does not get involved with the operation of the team on day to day basis. He does not run the side lines, or do interviews like other owners. that is for the football people he has hired. The one big mistake he said he made you can read in the letter about coaching.
Cats will be back

tommy tomlinson said...

To all the anons:

-- I've paid close attention to the Panthers all year, even if I haven't watched a game all the way through since early on. I'm a fan and a former PSL holder. Sat in the rain to watch us play Detroit. Have never once seen "Desperate Housewives."

-- I'm not looking for people to bash the Panthers. What I'm looking for is for people to ask questions you might honestly be curious about. You can bash if you want, I guess. But I'm hoping for better.

-- That's nice that some Panthers execs are responding one-on-one. But that leaves an awful lot of fans who aren't getting phone calls.

-- Thanks for the tip about the letter going to PSL holders. Soon as we get a copy, we'll run it.

Anonymous said...

Jason Baker is much quicker than I would have expected. Great effort! He and Kasey (minus last week) are a part of the team I never worry about.

Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious how delusional Panther's fans are. The team has no future. The owner is a joke. The franchise probably will be relocated to Oklahoma City in 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Josh McDaniels for offensive coordinator!

Anonymous said...

Love those Panthers, win or lose....It's awsesome to have a professional football team in Charlotte.....they will come back next season (like they always do!!), and I'll be there to watch them.......Hope "y'all" will stand behind them and support them, too!! The excitment of going to Bank of America Stadium, and hanging out in "uptown" Charlotte is soooo much fun!!

par said...

Okay Tommy. Find a new profession. Newspaper reporting is NOT your calling.

Anonymous said...

"This probably makes me a bad fan, but I'll admit it: I haven't watched the Panthers since Week 1." Tommy, I also have never said anything bad about the writers working for the Observer, but how can you make this statement and write ANYTHING about this team. This is sad. I'm sorry. Do you not have a DVR?

Ghoul said...


Can we send in photos asking questions of the Observer and McClatchy newspapers? How about one asking why McClatchy laid off 4000 people, yet your CEO pull in $4.6 million? Or how about why the Observer continues to push its far left slant, all the while its subscription base is down 60% from 10 years ago?

Or my personal favorite, did you and Franco make it down to the lobby to apologize to those workers laid off this year?

tommy tomlinson said...

par -- NOW you tell me. Where were you when I started doing this for a living 25 years ago? I could've gone on to my destiny as a projectionist at the drive-in movie theater.

Ghoul -- My offer to you last time still stands. If you want to come down to the paper, see how we do business, and have a little conversation face-to-face, just let me know. You couldn't possibly be more wrong. But I'm guessing you don't really want to know that.