Loyalty: What is it Good For?

Stagnant... Disrespectful... Out of touch... Enfeebled... Racist... Old

Jerry Richardson has been called a lot of things by the national media and oftentimes without cause. There have been fairly public faux pas for the Big Cat in his dealings with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees during the CBA negotiations last Summer, and this continued in to the season with reports that were blown out of proportion of him asking Cam Newton to remain tattoo free. There have been numerous occasions and numerous fans who have pondered whether the Carolina Panthers would be better off with a younger owner, or someone with a new approach. Today I can't help but think that if a new approach is Jim Irsay's brand of running a football team then I'm proud of what we have.

If you haven't already heard Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network is reporting that the Indianapolis Colts elected to part ways with Peyton Manning 'weeks ago' in the wake of a season in ruins and a #1 pick. This report, coupled with the subsequent fallout from Colts' fans made me imagine the time just two short years ago that we parted ways with our starting QB, and I'll be discussing this and more...

After the jump

Nobody will argue that Jake Delhomme was on the same level as Peyton Manning on the field, but off it their circumstances were very much the same. Jake was the Panthers' starting QB for seven years and like the Colts needing to head in a new, younger direction the writing was on the wall with Delhomme and there was an obvious need for change. Unlike Manning though there were no cloak and dagger coaching moves, no reports of a rift and no discord.

Jake Delhomme sat in front of the media, next to Marty Hurney with tears streaming down his face trying to convince everyone these were 'tears of joy' even though we all knew different. While we all intuited he would be released there was no leak of it early, there was no nastiness. In this instance our old-school, fuddy duddy owner did a lot in keeping the proceedings classy.

The same can't be said for maverick owner Jim Irsay who chooses Twitter as his medium of choice. Sure, Irsay is the 'new breed' but in this issue with Peyton Manning he's shown that loyalty isn't a virtue he values. Peyton Manning gave the best part of his career to an organization that was unable to surround him with adequate talent, yet he re-signed... twice. Sure he won one superbowl, but in the same time span Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger won multiple rings, and next week his younger brother has the chance to get his second. Meanwhile at the first chink in the armor Irsay and the Colts were ready to ditch their hall of fame QB.

At times the stadium rules we have in place seem antiquated and maddening, and sure there are occasions where I wish there was a little more openness between the team and bloggers, but when it's all said and done I'm proud that we have an owner and an organization who understand how to treat their players. If the price of having cash giveaways on twitter and a free wheeling 'fun' owner is treating your team legends like they're disposable then I'm proud of our 'old' owner.

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