A headline in Monday’s New Orleans Times-Picayune is being credited with rubbing salt in the wounds of Carolina Panthers fans after Sunday’s loss in the playoffs.
“The Carolina Panthers already have a new owner: The New Orleans Saints” says the front page, referencing Jerry Richardson’s decision to sell his controlling interest in the team.
“Way to kick a Panther when it’s down,” noted writer Dan O’Shea in a Monday story posted on the global sports site 12.Up.com. “The win might be so sweet because it was the first playoff victory since 2013, or because it was over a hated division rival. … After looking at the front page of The Times-Picayune, it’s safe to say it’s the latter.”
The Sporting News accused New Orleans media of “trolling” the Panthers after the loss.
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“If getting kicked out of the playoffs wasn’t bad enough for the Panthers … the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune newspaper decided to pour a ton of salt into the wound with its front-page headline treatment,” wrote The Sporting News.
USA Today weighed in, too, writing “New Orleans newspaper burns Panthers with savage headline.”
“As if Panthers fans hadn’t already been burnt enough...they had to wake up to this brutal headline,” wrote USA Today’s Steven Ruiz.
Social media seemed unanimous in calling out the headline as “cold blooded” and “petty,” with Panthers fans striking back.
“I guess when you cover a team with a classless coach, classless players, classless fan base, you might as well be classless too,” tweeted Tommy from North Carolina.
“Hapless?” posted Migo Brady. “They (the Panthers) came within 5 points and 40 yards of winning, though. Lol. Not like it was a blowout.”
O’Shea concluded his 12.Up.com story with an observation that New Orleans may have set itself up for some bad karma in an upcoming playoff game.
“Let’s hope New Orleans comes out with the same firepower against the Vikings, who steamrolled them back in Week 2. Otherwise, we could see a very similar headline in Minnesota,” he wrote.