CHARLOTTE – Stop him now with the feeling that only sad tears of the NFL are flowing over Jerry Richardson selling the Carolina Panthers after this season. In some circles of the NFL, this news is being fulfilled with joy. Sure, the man has his NFL friends, but several owners and executives of the NFL have told me over the years that they find Jerry Richardson a pompous, arrogant, scornful fool who they ignore.
Over the weekend, sexual and racial harassment charges of misconduct against Richardson were revealed. That led to Richardson's announcement of a Panthers sale on Sunday.
He has been the owner of the team since its founding in 1993.
But suddenly he has decided that it is time to abandon him.
Your franchise conducted its own internal investigation. The league decided to jump and take control of that. How ugly will it be? Who knows, but Richardson's quick and dramatic kick indicates that he realizes he's in a real-life coffin corner.
Jerry Richardson, 81, did not want the spotlight, the heat, but he found it and changed the Panthers forever. 19659007] After Carolina defeated the Packers, 31-24, they danced around questions about Richardson's behavior. They manipulated him as best they could. It was not until later, after all the Panthers had left the stadium, that the surprising news emerged that Richardson was selling.
The Panthers are used to dealing with questions about their superiority in the field. What they are facing is much, much bigger.
This is what the game meant:
The Panthers entered this game enraged by the attention Rodgers received in his first game of a broken collarbone suffered in Week 6. He was Panthers safety Mike Adams who said after the Panthers Rodgers intercepted three times that they all "wanted to do it with Aaron Rodgers, but what about us?" He just came back "We've been here."
Receiver Devin Funchess went one step further.
"Totally agree with Mike," said Funchess. "Here nobody cares about Aaron Rodgers, we'll do what we do every week, nobody is afraid of anyone in this league, that's how we're going to keep up the pace."
Veteran security panther Kurt Coleman told Adams & # 39; and the thoughts of Funchess and surmised: "At some point people will realize that the Carolina Panthers are real."
They're 10-4, tied with the New Orleans Saints at the top of the NFC South with the Saints tied. – Breaker due to his sweep of the Panthers season.
But by beating brave Minnesota last week and deftly handling this return of Rodgers, the Panthers are reinforcing their profile.
Rodgers threw three touchdown passes along with those three interceptions. The game started a bit, a bit rusty, a high touch in some shots and too flat and short in others. As the game was built, his game was consolidated. When 1:55 were missing, he put the ball in the Panthers' territory, went down for a touchdown, and threw a pass to receiver Geronimo Allison. Allison lost the ball at Carolina 28 with a fringe tackle from Panthers cornerback James Bradberry.
That ruined Rodgers' fairy tale.
"While I was lying on the surgery bed eight weeks ago thinking about this moment, I obviously saw that I was going differently," Rodgers said.
At 7-7 now, the Packers' playoff hopes are minuscule.
Allison is called "G-Mo". Packers coach Mike McCarthy patted his breath as he walked toward the band. Rodgers gave Bradberry credit for his creative game instead of blaming Allison. Packers quarterback Brett Hundley said it was a move that "G-Mo will make 99 of 100 times."
Packers guard Jahri Evans, a 12-year-old professional, explained: "It's hard to imitate in practice the exact situations of the game Aaron faced, and as the game progressed, they started creating different stunts in the game. line to keep it in your pocket, but Aaron is one of the greats, he will be in the Hall of Fame, there will always be a lot of talk about great players in this league, it has always been that way, I do not know why that would have bothered the Panthers That's the NFL. "
So, what did the Panthers sing?  Newton threw four touchdown passes and played the game in a relaxed and controlled manner. He was dominant as pitcher and runner. Running back Christian McCaffrey contributed 63 yards on the ground and received 73 yards. The Panthers defense fired Rodgers three times.
Now bigger obstacles are coming.
The depth of the second feeling of the Panthers was evident after the game. Newton spoke about "another of our chips" in reference to playing for a man like Richardson, and how difficult it has been to force people to recognize Carolina's success.
"We control the narrative, as our coach always says," Newton said.
Not at all.
The Panthers' narrative will now be tainted by its beleaguered owner, Jerry Richardson. The Panthers insist that their excellence has been enveloped. That seems like a quaint problem now. None of that compares to the clouds and shadows that lurk.