From Carolina Panther owner, Jerry Richardson
Please note: personal comments from me are (in parenthesis, bold and italicized)
Dear Joseph and Polly,
I know how difficult this season has been for you. (um, yes) As the person ultimately responsible for putting a team on the field, I take full responsibility for our shortfalls.(as you should) It is agonizing that we have not performed at the level we had planned for and expected.
When the season began, we believed there was every opportunity for success. (even though it appeared you were readying yourself to the possibility of a Collective Bargaining walkout?) Many of the players were returning from a team that had finished last year very strong. The motivation for the approach was bother performance-based and a commitment to the future. Obviously we have fallen short (you think?), but our faith and commitment are still the same.
Going forward, our plan of attack is to build through the draft while retaining our core players.(it became painfully obvious that we were playing for 1st round draft picks) We have one of the youngest teams in the League, and a number of those younger players have shown genuine promise in this otherwise disappointing season. We won't give up on them. We also have a solid nucleus of veterans that we will seek to keep intact. (I wouldn't blame any of them if they wanted to leave)
I want you to know that we plan to look at every aspect of our organization. What we do in the future will entirely be geared toward putting the best possible team on the field. I am committed to fielding a winning team, and I'm willing to invest the resources necessary to make it happen. (Don't you EVEN dare consider to raise season ticket prices to do this, as you had the audacity to do this past season!!!)
(Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda....then come some personal excuses and such about any public commentary from the team owner being a distraction to the play on the field...Me thinks the pitiful Panthers were already pretty much distracted and distanced from playing anything resembling football)
I understand that in a season like this, words can sound hollow (you got that right!), but as PSL Owners, you have my commitment to provide you a team that will make you proud.(wishing you would have had committed to this effort last year) With three NFC championship game appearances, we have come close. I can assure you we will be aggressive in getting there again. (I guess we will have to wait and see)
I thank you for your patience and support in a very challenging time. (our support and patience has worn pretty thin, Mr. Richardson)
(I think Mr. Sister put it succinctly when he said that this was as close to an apology as we'll ever get. What a miserable, pathetic season this was! It is my personal, sincere hope that what Mr. Richardson stated in his letter comes to fruition)