Earlier this year I took exception to Michael Silver saying in an article that the Panthers didn't 'deserve Andrew Luck' for the way Jerry Richardson tanked the 2010 season in order to maintain solvency during the lockout. I saw it as a punch after the bell, one that went after an owner he praised early in the season when he rated Richardson as the 3rd best owner in the NFL for the way he manages his small market team, and his leadership on behalf of the owners during a lockout.
Today a Twitter user brought it to my attention that Silver was writing about JR again in a preview piece. On this occasion I took issue with Silver quoting Richardson when he said tongue-in-cheek:
"Does anybody feel just a little bad about calling me cheap last year? Just a smidgen?"
Silver called this:
"gloating about the money he spent post-lockout in a belated and ridiculous effort to make people forget how cheap he'd been for the previous two years."
Rather than coming to CSR and ranting again I opened a dialog with Michael Silver, and after the jump you can see our conversation.
This all occurred over Twitter, I have formatted to make it look like a conversation, but this is why layout and punctuation is questionable.
(redacted): @MikeSilver Sure does twist his quotes around. I hope he doesn't call himself a journalist. #panthers
Michael Silver: ah, the hyper-sensitive panthers fans are out in force
James Dator: Not hyper sensitive Michael, just wondering if you could point me to a quote where Jerry has been 'gloating'. Also important to note that CAR attempted to make Peppers the highest paid defensive player in the league, he just wanted out.
Michael Silver: it's in the column. jerry tanked a season. My larger beef.
James Dator: That's a bit of a reach... it was said very tongue in cheek. He's an easy man to misconstrue.
Michael Silver: haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ok
James Dator: Lots of history behind it... needs larger context. Financials terribly mismanaged by his sons during his transplant. JR returned and the books were in a mess. Needed to account for them somehow. Fact is, he's an old hawk whose PR skills leave a lot to be desired.
* * *
James Dator: One last question: What changed so much from 9/3/10 when you ranked Jerry 3rd best owner in NFL? Veteran purge happened before. Surely the writing was on the wall for a 'tanked season' at that point, so why did you not call him on it then? Why such a high rank? The two don't seem to fit. If the 'beef' is that he tanked, why not mention it when writing on the wall?
Michael Silver: I did!
James Dator: You talked about 'resisting the urge' to fire Fox, but personnel, lack of FAs was far bigger reason for 2-14.
Michael Silver: in retrospect I was a little slow
James Dator: That's the problem Panthers fans have. They see it as a 'Johnny-come-lately' when you praised him right before the season. For the record, I really respect you acknowledging that
Michael Silver: appreciate it. U read the column last december saying he didn't deserve luck 4 tanking, correct? I copped to it then, kinda
James Dator: To a degree, yes. As fans it's hard to differentiate between an owner not deserving Luck, and a fan base. Admittedly I was upset we had just endured an awful 2-14 season, and even having an understanding it was better in the long run it sucks to get told you don't deserve your silver lining. Small market team was over extended, ended up being a necessary evil. I would like to point out he never fired or furloughed team employees. Not quite as money grubbing as some characterize him.
Michael Silver: true. He did fire his sons and longtime assistant
James Dator: All really needed to go Michael. Very little football IQ between them. Fear was they would run team into the ground.
Michael Silver: fan base deserved luck plus calvin johnson!
James Dator: Right now we're happy enough with Cam Newton, but fanbase will appreciate the sentiment
While I still disagree with Silver's take on the situation, I respect that he took the time to maturely discuss these issues with me. It's not often you have any national writer stand accountable for their errors, let alone acknowledge an occasion they should have done something differently.