One of the most talked about free-agents-to-be this year is Florida's Jay Bouwmeester. There has been a lot of speculation surrounding him and whether or not he will re-sign with the Florida Panthers. Earlier today, Bouwmeester held a press conference to address his situation.
"Thank you for coming today," Bouwmeester said while speaking in front of the Panthers' lone beat writer. "I know what fans and the press have been saying about me and today I'd like to make an announcement.
The lone writer leaned forward to the edge of his seat.
Bouwmeester paused for a moment and then continued. "Today, I have agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Panthers! If you have any questions, I'll take them at this time... Yes, Joel?"
"Joel Blanchard, Florida Times. Jay, what would you say was the biggest influence on your decision to not test the free agent market?"
"Ah, usually players will tell you that it's a combination of factors, but this time there was really only one factor. At the game on Wednesday, I saw a middle aged lady with a really clever sign. It said 'stay Jay' and at that point I knew there was only one thing to do. I couldn't leave this city or this team."
"So, it was the sign that convinced you?"
"Yes, without a doubt. It really wasn't about the money at all. You know, as the star of the team, I see a lot of signs with my name on them. But this one, there was just something about this one. It was so... So... Catchy."
BMR has identified the woman with the sign and she is a 42-year old mother of three, Jane Catcham from Coral Springs, Florida. She attended Wednesday night's game with her second husband, Joel Catcham. The couple are avid Panther fans and have been supporters of the team since 2003 because, she said, "there's nothing else to do." She went on to elaborate that she was "very excited" about Jay returning and how much her sign meant to him. Mrs. Catcham also detailed that it had taken her "13 minutes and [two or three] Sharpies" to make the clever sign.
"I'm just glad I could help out the team and bring Jay back here," she said. "It's given so much to my family, since we used to just go to Walmart four nights a week. Now we go to Walmart twice and, usually, Panther games twice."
When asked how she came up with the clever phrase 'stay Jay' she replied that "it was simple rhyming," and her "eight-year old daughter came up with the phrase." Her daughter's second grade class has been studying rhyming words for the past ten days.