Thursday, May 9, 2013

Panther Hall of Honor more like crawlspace

With John Kasay's official retirement as a Panther this week, I've gotten a number of fans asking me about the Panthers' "Hall of Honor" policies.

Kasay, the Panthers' all-time leading scorer by more than 1,000 points and as classy a guy as you will ever find in an NFL locker room, should definitely get into it. Right now, the Panthers' "Hall of Honor" is more like a crawlspace. Mike McCormack, the team's first president and a man instrumental in securing the franchise in the first place, was inducted in 1997. The late Sam Mills was inducted in 1998, only about nine months after he retired (and well before he was diagnosed with cancer).

And that's it.

Fifteen years, no individual inductions. Amazing, isn't it? What kind of hall is that exactly? The team did induct its permanent-seat license holders as a group in 2004.

So when I went to Kasay's "one-day contract" retirement party on Tuesday, I wouldn't have been surprised if owner Jerry Richardson had said "John will be our third individual member of the Hall of Honor."

Instead, a Panther spokesman told me that day something I had never heard before -- that the team has a five-year, post-retirement waiting period for players before they are considered.

Now it's quite possible I have just never asked the question before, because this issue rarely comes up. But certainly Mills only waited nine months -- this five-year policy wasn't in force then. The spokesman said it had been enacted at some point in the mid-2000s to "let the dust settle" before such a decision is made.

And who makes the decision? It is basically the 76-year-old Richardson, although he does have input from others. Richardson, incidentally, should be inducted into the hall himself, of course. But I would imagine that induction will be posthumous, because who would want to vote yourself into a hall you control? That will likely be left to the next team owner to do, so that induction hopefully is many years away.

I don't have a problem with the five-year rule. Many sports hall of fames have similar criteria. I do wonder why such a rule is not included in the Panthers' official statement about the hall of honor in their media guide. It should be.

Kasay, for his part, said he had never thought about the hall, didn't play for those kind of honors, didn't know whether he would want a statue of himself outside the stadium and had never had a discussion about it with Richardson one way or the other. According to the rule, Kasay wouldn't be eligible until 2018, since he didn't officially "retire" until this week even though he did not play last year.

So there's your answer, fans. If Kasay goes in, unless the Panthers change their five-year rule (and of course, they could -- it only takes one man to change it) it won't be until about the time the Panthers and the city are again doing that weird mating dance about another "tether" that will keep the team permanently in Charlotte.

Other players could be (and likely have been) considered right now -- Mike Minter, Wesley Walls and Mike Rucker for instance -- while Jake Delhomme and Muhsin Muhammad are still technically ineligible for consideration. Steve Smith should be a shoo-in once he retires but, again, his actual induction will be way down the road. Julius Peppers would be another possibility, but given his acrimonious departure for Chicago would seem less likely.

25 comments:

Erik said...

Give me a freaking break. This article just goes to show how pathetic this franchise is. Look around at some of the other franchises and who they've inducted into their rings of honor and compare to some of the names Scott just named off. Mike Minter, Jake Delhomme, John Kasay (a kicker?). These guys aren't all-time greats, didn't win anything, and aren't recognizable to anyone who wasn't in Charlotte when they played here. I'll grant Steve Smith. As a contrast, the Packers don't put names in their ring unless someone is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Panthers have some serious growing up to do if they want to eat at the big boys table. Otherwise you are still going to be looked at as second-class.

Anonymous said...

For God's sake John it's not like we're talking about the Yankees here.

Come on!

Anonymous said...

Erik, why don't you grow up!?!? Better yet, why don't you take your pathetic rantings and go somewhere else. We don't need second class "fans" like you here!!

Anonymous said...

If the PSL owners were inducted. The Mecklenburg county taxpayers should be next for their 87M "contribution" to the team.

Anonymous said...

The Panthers are a joke. i dont live in NC, but love to see the panthers on my teams schedule! Look at the great organizations in the NFL...NE, Pack, Pitt, Indy...they all have a tremendous front office and vision for a winning culture. This article pretty much sums it up. a kicker? step out of the trees to see what a joke that is.

Ghoul said...

Who would want to vote themselves into a hall of fame they control? The France family, of course.

Sean Wirt said...

We aren't talking about the Pro Football Hall of Fame here folks. We're talking about the Panthers' Hall of Honor. It doesn't matter if Kasay is known outside of the Carolinas. It doesn't matter that he was a kicker. It's about what he meant to the team. It's about what he meant to the community. Kasay was a tremendous asset to this team and community, not to mention the team's all-time leading scorer. How can you NOT include him?

Anonymous said...

Kasay deserves to be in the ring of honor. He is an original Panther the longest Panther player ever and holds the team record in points. There aren't many kickers in the NFL that have had as long and successful careers and have been so important to one individual team throughout their career. Bandwagon fans on here can laugh and support their team that wins champions. I will always support the local team though good or bad and always look down upon these bandwagoners that live here and cheer for teams in places they've never been.

Anonymous said...

I know one play does not make or break a career but one kick off out of bounds that cost us a superbowl keeps him out of the ring of honor in my book.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous at 9:28am, your point about how the Panthers should seek to emulate the better teams in the league like the Patriots and the Packers is an interesting one. Mostly because you say they should follow the lead of those teams and then rip them for potentially inducting a kicker into their hall of honor.

I say interesting since both the Patriots and the Packers have inducted kickers into their respective halls of honor so the Panthers actually ARE following their lead.

So thanks for playing, now run along.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, i think we all understand this isnt the Pro Football HOF. The point is the HOH for the Panthers is basically empty, and soon to have a kicker added...thats the pathetic part. the franchise is weak, and a doormat. just trying to call a spade, a spade here.

Anonymous said...

All of us are sick and tired of our sick and tired owner/Emperor, Mr. Richardson. So let's put our money where our mouths are. They're our heroes not Richardson's, and we don't need his permission to honor them as long as we are willing to pay the bills.

Start with four statues on the same corner in uptown Charlotte. They would then live with us forever, even when the stadium is torn down and the team moved to LA. The people who do it best are the Queen's Table ladies. They're civic minded and artistic and serve the public well. Have them start the fund, and when we have donated enough money to cover the costs, they can choose the first four and have the statues commissioned.

Anonymous said...

If he didnt kick the ball out of bounce in the super bowl maybe. When it came down to it he chocked.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 11:18...
You Got Me! The Panters are in the same league as the quality franchises in the NFL becuase they all have a kicker in their HOF. Thats some good judgement there.

trying to make the comparison that the Panthers are like the Packers becuase they have kickers in thier HOF's is silly.

thanks for playing, i'm going to run along now!

Sportsdon said...

Yeah the lack of defense had nothing to do with the loss to NE. Lets pretend that Brady wouldn't have made up the 20 yards anyway.

RDKLXPRS said...

The Panthers did little or nothing all game long to stop the Patriots and once they got the ball at the 40 it was same/same. Kasay did not cost us the Super Bowl. I was there and thought he did at the time, but in retrospect, we didn't deserve to win that game. As much as it pains me to say, the best team won that day.

Anonymous said...

Give the fans something to celebrate. After all - you still see a lot of Kasay jersies at the games because he is one of the few people we can stand behind and be proud of over the long run.

charlottean said...

Delhomme didn't win anything? might want to check his w/l record against other "all time greats". dude gets no credit because it ended poorly. He was incredible for several years.

luckydawg79 said...

You can talk all the smack you want about this articule. But when it comes down to it, John Kasay is what being a Panther is all about! True to his team mates, his team and most importantly his family! One mess up at the SB does not make a man! He got us there to begin with, with his game winning goals less we forget? Trolls take a fragin Hike down the road!!!

Richard Wall said...

You cannot even "out of bounds" or "choked" therefore your comment is irrelevant like your lack of intelligence.

John Kasay, a stand-up professional. He finished 8th on the NFL All-time Points Scored Leaders with 1,970. In 1996 set the NFL record for most FG's MADE in one season, with 37.Which was later broken. That same season, he led the league in scoring with 145 points.

I'm not crying for Pro Football Hall of Fame by any means. But I think he is the most deserving individual to ever wear the Black, Silver, and Blue to be inducted into the PANTHERS Hall Ring of Honor.

Anonymous said...

Erik - you took the words right out of my mouth! Well said. Imagine if the packers or the bears inducted every nice guy who was an above average player into their hall of honors. That would be stupid! We shouldnt even bother having this conversation until Steve Smith retires. It seems Scott is in a hurry for the Panthers to become a storied franchise so he can feel better about covering a relevent team.

Kurt Stanley said...

How do you keep Brad Hoover out of this Hall of Honor?? He was everything good about the Panthers, we had the Ray Carruth travesty, the Fred Lane murder, and Hoover was that guy that brought no drama, came to work hard everyday, switched positions when John Fox came in, never, ever complained except when they released him, his complaint was, he wanted to end his career as a Panther, I think he had 1 year left...I hated Hurney for that move.

TheCatman said...

The PSL Owners should have at least gotten a Dinner and a Placard to show the Ring Of Honor! The designation inside the stadium doesn't show who is in, so I have to take somebody to my name outside on the Big Panther; give me a Placard! Muhsin Muhammad should get a statue before Kasay. Kasay never led the league like Muhammad did in Receptions one year. What will happen if the team is sold, to the statue's outside the stadium, will they be moved to LA also?

MP ASU 2003 said...

I love Cam Newton! Put him in the Hall of Fame NOW! Kick Armani off the team!

ASU 2003
MP

Velva said...

This is cool!