The Yahoo! Sports website has compiled a list of the “Five worst moments in Carolina Panthers History” and it’s definitely rubbing salt in some old wounds.
Included in this hall of shame are some lesser remembered moments, like the killing of former Panther Fred Lane, and some names we’re not being allowed to forget, like Rae Carruth.
And yes, the ongoing scandal involving team owner Jerry Richardson’s work-place conduct is ranked.
Here’s their list, which apparently runs from the bad to the worst of the worst:
5. Fred Lane killed by his wife: Lane rushed for more than 2,000 yards in three seasons with the Carolina Panthers before being traded to the Indianapolis Colts in April 2000. Three months later, he was dead at age 24, shot twice with a 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun outside his south Charlotte home. His estranged wife Deidra Lane pulled the trigger. She later pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. The two had a daughter that was 7 days old at the time of the shooting.
4. Jerry Richardson accused of workplace misconduct: We all know this story by now, but it’s Richardson’s decision to sell his majority interest in the team that is the worst part for Charlotteans. We’re still waiting to see who wins the bidding war, including the possibility it could include celebrity rapper Diddy and unemployed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
3. Panthers Super Bowl 50 performance: Carolina had a great season, Cam Newton won league MVP and the team reached Super Bowl 50. Then everything went wrong in a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos. Says Yahoo! Sports: “Newton struggled mightily...18-of-41 passing for 265 yards with no TDs...plus he did not jump on his own fumble late in the game.” Then, Newton “acted like a pouting child” during a press conference after the game, says Yahoo! Sports.
2. John Kasay’s kickoff in Super Bowl XXXVIII: Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction won the headlines, but sports fanatics know it as the game where kicker John Kasay screwed up at a critical moment against (ouch!) the New England Patriots. With the score tied 29-29 and just over a minute left in the game, Kasay kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving New England the ball on their own 40-yard line. The rest is...well, one of the worst moments in Panthers history.
1. Rae Carruth conspires to kill his girlfriend: The name of Carolina Panthers first-round draft pick Rae Carruth is one Charlotteans have not been allowed to forget. In 2001, a Charlotte jury sentenced him to at least 18 years and 11 months in prison for conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend. The trigger man, Van Brett Watkins, was sentenced to at least 40 years in prison. Cherica Adams died, but not before delivering his son, Chancellor. Rae Carruth gets out of prison in October and “the Panthers’ franchise will be dragged back into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons,” says Yahoo! Sports.