April 26, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; A fan with a rat on her hat shows her spirit prior to game seven of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals between the Florida Panthers and the New Jersey Devils at BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

What Florida Panther Fans May Have Missed In 1996.

As we hit the dog days of summer, many of us are faced with the daunting task of trying to survive till October.  Or as one of my friends put it last night, September for training camp.  With a little more than a month and a half till then, our sports minds will be occupied with things such as the Olympics, baseball, and pro football training camps.  If that’s not enough, which I’m sure it isn’t, you can take a look at some suggestions that Rat Trick staff writer Gabby Kiger gave yesterday.

Because of a special project I’m working on, I started thinking about the year the Florida Panthers went to the Stanley Cup Final.  What a season that was.  The Florida Panthers took the entire NHL by storm, and made it to the finals against the Colorado Avalanche.  Even though the Panthers were swept in four games, I am sure that all of us were swept up in watching nothing but hockey.  Obviously we missed a few things, and thinking about what they were, here’s a list of just a few events of 1996:

* In January Fox TV introduced Fox Trax.  The glowing puck for those who found hockey hard to follow on TV was introduced at the NHL All-Star game.

* January 9th the show Third Rock From the Sun made its debut.

* March 9th comedian George Burns dies at age 1oo.

* The movie Fargo starring Frances McDormand opened.

* However sadly, The English Patient won the Oscar for Best picture.

* The Macarena by Los Del Mar made it’s infamous debut. Sorry, no video was provided for this post.

* Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrissette won a Grammy for album of the year, which was supported by her Grammy Award winning song, You Outta Know.

* Song of the year was Kiss By A Rose by Seal.

* Nine Inch Nails won a Grammy for Happiness In Slavery. Hmmmm.

* Bruce Springsteen released an EP titled Blood Brothers.

* The Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle Supersonics for the NBA Championship.  Michael Jordan was named the MVP.

* Kentucky was the NCAA champion beating Syracuse.

* The Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 in the Super Bowl.

* Pete Samprass defeated Michael Chang in the US Open Tennis Championship.

* The “Wink” episode appeared on Seinfeld.

* Finally I’ll close with this baseball moment that left me full of angst:

The Damn New York Yankees won the World Series beating the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees received some help in the playoffs by having 12 year old Jeffrey Maier catch what would be called a homerun by Bernie Williams, that should have been a ground rule double.    As you saw Baltimore Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco was set to catch the ball until little Jeffie interfered and made the catch.  Not many plays in sports have ever infuriated me in my lifetime as much as that one did. And you want to know why I hate the Yankees?  To make matters worse, Rich Garcia the umpire who made the original call, later admitted it was fan interference.

This was fun.  Want me to do it again?  Never know.  With summer going the way it is, we may need to take another trip down memory lane.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

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Tags: 1996 Nhl Season Alain Morrissette Fargo Florida Panthers The English Patient You Outta Know

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