The general fan base is as close to it now IMO than anytime since 2001. In talking with coworkers and a lot of my friends, a lot have already written the season off.
As bad as that is, some of them don't even seem to care at this point. A lot have resigned themselves to the fact their fantasy teams are the only team that will bring them any enjoyment this year.
That is a lot worse situation for Richardson to be in than to have than the anger the people on this forum seem to have. Anger can beget positive change, and it indicates a level of emotional involvement.
Apathy begets empty stadiums and lost fans. That should concern Richardson and the Panthers organization the most.
A roster can be rebuilt quickly in today's NFL. An apathetic fan base can take a lot longer to fix.
Look at Tampa & San Diego. Apathetic fan bases leads to blackouts, rumors of teams moving, and yes even teams moving. I feel confident the LA Rams & Cleveland Browns never thought their team would move.
You can't expect the general fan base for a team with less than 20 years of history in a high-transplant city to hang around forever when we haven't been above .500 in over 4 years.
1996, 2003, & 2005 gave this team a long leash with fans, and to be fair, this city and region has done it's part to support the team. More than its part truth be told.
I'm not a doom and gloom person and I will always support the Panthers but myself (and the people on this forum) only represent a small slice of the fanbase.
Throw in the nuts who like to call into talk radio and complain (and who will keep watching if only for that), and you're still only about 25%.
That means the vast majority of the Panthers fanbase is barely engaged at this point. That should be scary for us true fans who love the team, and want to see it not only do well, but do well and stay here in the Carolinas