Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson turned 80 last Monday, forcing the team to confront the timeless question of what to get an old rich guy who already has everything (except a Super Bowl).
The answer: A 13-foot high statue of the man pointing a football ominously into the future and standing between two very muscular panthers.
According to the sculptor, the twin panthers represent both offense and defense as well as both North and South Carolina. They could also represent Richardson’s steadfast defense of NFL owners’ wallets during the 2011 lockout. There’s a lot of room for interpretation!
Looking at the statue it immediately conjures the socialist realism. Conceived under Stalin it rapidly became the preferred art movement of dictators everywhere. It’s a school of art aped by Vladimir Putin, flexing with tigers or riding horses without his shirt on. Its origins best identified with lifelike images of terrible men pointing at things.
There’s Uncle Joe himself.
Lenin pointing or holding up his arm in some form was a popular one, too.
But when the men who point inevitably end up falling out of favor with the masses, this happens:
This is something NFL teams should take into consideration before putting another owner in bronze. Maybe go another route, a surrealist monument to Jerry Jones outside of Cowboys Stadium, for example.