Friday, May 09, 2008

This NFL owner gets it

I was at lunch Uptown with a coworker the other day and in walked Carolina Panthers majority owner Jerry Richardson. He’s not only easy to recognize (foxy grey hair and a former football player’s build), but he’s also a well-known figure in this town. In fact, he couldn’t eat his lunch without people interrupting him.

I’ve been a sports journalist for many years and seeing athletes and personalities up close is not really a big deal, but the more I thought about it, the more impressed I became that this multi-millionaire was out at a hole-in-the-wall type of restaurant. Sure, he’s gotta eat, like we all do, but he could also exclusively stay to the more upper-crust type of restaurants and never mingle among the commoners, if you will.

It immediately made me think about relationships, and how I’d like to believe Mr. Richardson deems it important to be seen as part of the fabric of this community. It builds on that trust factor that when an NFL owner says he or she cares about the fans, then there’s some tangible proof his word holds true. Relationships are nothing without trust, no matter if it’s between a man and a woman, a dog and his owner or a public figure and the city.

Oh, and how many times have you seen Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson eating out at a local BBQ joint?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here we go again... scrambling for something to talk about. Bob Johnson has every right to eat where he wants to.

Anonymous said...

I saw Bob Johnson at a local restuarant recently. He was telling my that his soup was cold and it was all because of the lack of support from local business owners.

pornstudent said...

You think Richardson chooses to eat at a restaurant because he wants to be seen as caring about the fans. Is his wanting to be seen as caring supposed to make me believe he does care? Is his fake caring supposed to make me trust him? I'd rather think he chooses a restaurant for its food, service and convenience.

Anonymous said...

Porn.....Having met Jerry Richardson several times, both at games and out in the general public, He seems to be a genuine and decent person. I don't run in the same social circles as Mr. Richardson, but he, his wife and sons continue to show respect and consideration for the fans. Too bad so many others owners tend to be aloof and cold to those who want to just SEE that person. I didn't realize that Mr. Richardson was as tall as he was the first time I saw him standing off the football field. He's very tall and a genuine Southern Gentleman.....with a lovely and sweet wife!

Anonymous said...

I distinctly remember eating at Bubba's BBQ when Bob Johnson and Michael Jordan walked in looking for a table... Yeah Right! if anyone reports seeing either of these two even being in Charlotte they are lying!!

Anonymous said...

What would be nice would be if he would back off of the "family friendly" atmosphere he wants to portray at the stadium and let the stadium be.. A FOOTBALL STADIUM! I mean, I'm not asking for an Eagles environment where they throw snowballs at Santa but at least let the fans have fun. I don't want to go to a football game and get a wine festival. I want a football game. Maybe it'll change the aloof atmosphere some of these "fans" have.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Richardson has been to a couple of our tailgates, and ended up staying past his alloted time on gameday, hanging out with the fans, posing for pictures and signing autographs.

Fans of other teams I tell this to are incredulous that our owner does these things. We don't know how lucky we are to have a good guy like Jerry in charge of our football team.