A guy who I really think writes some of the best sports columns on the net has ranked the NFL owners. Michael Silver at Yahoo Sports usually has something clever and funny to say. Now, he’s showing some love to Jerry Richardson.
4. Carolina Panthers – Jerry Richardson (Mark Richardson): A former player who brought pro football to Charlotte in the mid-90s, Richardson has become a caretaker of the game. He is, as one owner describes it, a consigliere to Goodell. “Whenever there are ugly, messy disputes behind-the-scenes, Jerry’s one of the guys Roger uses to go settle it,” the owner says. “He doesn’t shoot his mouth off, he treats people with respect and everyone likes him.” Richardson’s status is illustrated by his recent appointment (along with Broncos owner Bowlen) as co-chair of the “CEC” (the NFL Management Council Executive Committee), meaning he’ll play a huge role in the upcoming labor talks. Meanwhile, team president Mark Richardson, Jerry’s second-eldest son, excels in running the Panthers’ day-to-day operations and, as a member of the NFL Network committee, is also highly regarded in league circles. The best thing about the Richardsons? Unlike some of their peers who constantly whine about their market size, they simply work hard and aim high.
Well, go figure! I’ve heard a number of fans bellyaching about the team and the owners. Shoot, I’ve even jumped on the bellyaching bandwagon with them from time to time.
Silver didn’t mention Jerry’s fine chashmere scarf. (I’m assuming it’s cashmere since he’s got lots of money and I know he wouldn’t be caught dead in a Wal-Mart special in front of the Belk’s and bankers crowd.) I think the scarf alone is worth a couple of rungs up the owner’s ladder.
It was difficult seeing another Jerry, namely Jones in Dallas, listed ahead of Richardson since I have a contempt for him that would cost millions in therapy to remedy. It also doesn’t help me with Jones that he owns the freakin’ Cowboys.
Even worse, he listed the head of the Evil Empire number one! For that, Michael Silver, I considered trashing you. I changed my mind when I saw Jerry “The Scarf” at number four.