The Carolina Panthers may have been bounced from the NFL playoffs on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the classiest gentlemen in the executive suite, starting with the owner himself.
As noted by ABC News and other outlets, Cade Pope, a 12-year-old from Yukon, Okla., was bored while stuck home sick during the week before Christmas, so he got a bright idea: He would write to each NFL team and ask them why he should back their franchise. More than two weeks after the letters were all in the mail, Pope has received just one response.
Yet, as it turns out, that response was a particularly convincing one. Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sent Pope a handwritten letter advocating for the Panthers’ to be his team. He then threw in a signed helmet for good measure.
Here’s the strongest heartstring tug in the letter:
“‘We would be honored if our Carolina Panthers became your team. We would make you proud by the classy way we would represent you.'”
Richardson hasn’t always been the biggest feel-good owner story. He came under criticism for not immediately releasing star defensive end Greg Hardy when he was convicted on domestic violence charges. He’s also been cited as one of the most difficult owners for the NFL Players Association to negotiate with during strikes and the like.
Of course, neither of those two concerns mean he isn’t a great owner. In fact, this letter sure seems to prove it. Now that he has young Pope on board, perhaps they can come up with a plan to get Cam Newton some more offensive help.