EDIT 2: This illness has turned me into a pile of snot sludge and I’ve spent the last 3 days basically lying around unable to do much of anything. I might be on the uptick now, but I’m still a mess, so unless I have a miracle turnaround by Tuesday don’t expect a comic till Friday at the earliest

FRIDAY EDIT: I am sick as hell and everything aches too much to finish a comic for today. It’s partly done so it’ll be up soon enough but I need to sleep and drink nyquill like there’s no tomorrow

Wow that came out of nowhere yesterday! I’m lucky I’m stuck with a terrible sinus infection and didn’t get anything done on Monday so I could just quickly pump this one out. I MADE A COMIC WHEN THE SUBJECT WAS STILL TOPICAL! BOOYAH! People don’t say booyah anymore and I’m sad about it.

Farewell, Riverboat Ron. I eagerly look forward to what team picks you up this offseason. Maybe the Giants will do it! I’d rather have the gambler than Jason Garrett at least. (The Giants are going to hire Mike McCarthy and I’m gonna hate myself).

Ron was one of my favorite coaches. Not because he was the best by any means, but I just kinda liked him. I like that the Panthers stuck by him, and I liked that when he was first at risk of firing he seemed to loosen up and take risks and have some fun. It made him better, it made the team better, and it reminded me of when Tom Coughlin let loose and took the Giants to the Super Bowl in 2007. I have respect for coaches who actually appear to listen to critique and not get stuck up their own ass. Rivera seemed like a real one.

I was surprised to see this happen so early though. Obviously the Panthers are underperforming even with the excuse that Cam is out. Rivera was starting to reach that “overstaying his welcome” level that sometimes hits coaches who have been successful but not won it all, and now the team is starting to degrade. I think Rivera’s fate was going to be tied to Cam’s and Cam appears to be dead now after two broken seasons so maybe moving on is the right move. I think they should have let him play out the season though. I feel like he earned that. That 2015 run, despite the ending, was one for the ages.

So is Riverboat Ron the best coach in Panthers history? He might be! Let’s look at the list:
-Dom Capers: Reached an NFC Championship in the second year of the franchise, never got to the playoffs again. 4 years, one good playoff run.
-George Seifert: Never reached the playoffs, went 1-15 in 2001.
-John Fox: 8 years! One Super Bowl appearance where they had a great chance and blew it. They only reached the playoffs three times under Fox, however. The last time was the famous “Jake Delhomme breaks completely” game against the Cardinals. 3 playoff runs in 8 years.
-Ron Rivera: 9 Years! Well almost 9 years. I didn’t realize he was tenured longer than Fox. The Panthers reached the playoffs 4 times under Rivera, including 3 years in a row and that one Super Bowl run. Things haven’t worked out lately but looking back on it, it feels right to say Rivera is the best Panthers coach ever. Out of 4 dudes that’s not spectacular but it’s something.