Carolina Panthers' primetime disrespect is another stain on David Tepper

The Carolina Panthers were shunned from the national spotlight once again.
David Tepper
David Tepper / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Being in a small market and going through a dismal campaign in 2023 didn't exactly hold out much hope for the Carolina Panthers being on primetime much this season.

Their performances were almost unwatchable to even the most die-hard fan throughout a campaign that will go down as one of the worst in team history. It was an unmitigated disaster from start to finish and eventually resulted in handing over the No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears.

There's no point looking in the rearview mirror with any remorse anymore. All signs are pointing up for the Panthers under new head coach Dave Canales, who's turned the page quickly and is looking to establish his own culture centered on positivity, taking things one day at a time, and fundamentally sound football.

Whether this amounts to any legitimate progress remains to be seen, but the atmosphere around the franchise is night and day from Frank Reich's uninspired coaching and David Tepper's meddling ownership that enveloped the previous campaign's failings. It'll take much more than that to convince television companies they are worthy of the spotlight aside from the token gesture every team receives once a season.

Carolina Panthers handed no primetime games in 2024

Sadly, this proved to be the case once again. Carolina has just no games on the national TV schedule. It's also another stain on Tepper's ownership and how the billionaire's actions have held the Panthers back since he bought the franchise from Jerry Richardson.

This shouldn't come as a great shock to the system. Primetime games must be earned and not since arguably their Super Bowl run in 2015 has the Panthers had an electrifying football product the league can be proud of. Under Tepper, the organization has descended into complete chaos.

Of course, they will get the chance to be the only game on television with the entire NFL world watching. This is thanks to Carolina's international game against the New York Giants at the Allianz Arena in Germany, home of perennial Bundesliga winners FC Bayern Munich.

This won't be under the lights, but rather 9.30 a.m. Eastern Time for those not making the trip. That said, it's a chance for the Panthers to put on a spectacle that can make the schedule-makers think twice about overlooking Canales' men for primetime contests in 2025.

In truth, nobody should be all that concerned about the Panthers' perceptions around the league right now. Every fan knows they are seen as the laughingstock, the bottom feeder, the constant underachiever. The most important thing above all else is restoring a sense of competitiveness, pride, and belief.

After that, everything else should fall into place. Especially if Tepper goes through with his promise of staying out of football affairs from now on.