Kim looks at other teams who share our name

As we all know, the Nottingham Panthers aren’t exactly well known for their regular trophy winning exploits. Someone once suggested to me that this is a common problem for all teams that use the moniker Panthers. Being a student with too much time on her hands, I decided to put that theory to the test. Do we use a cursed nickname? We look at the records of our most prominent namesakes.

Carolina Panthers
American Football
League: National Football League
Year Formed: 1995
Good Cat/Bad Cat?: Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, these Panthers appeared on the NFL circuit in 1995. In their fourteen seasons they’ve ended with a losing record on eight occasions and have qualified for the play offs only four times. In 2001 they won just one of their sixteen games. Their biggest success to date was to advance to the 2003 Super Bowl but here they lost 32-29 to the New England Patriots. In 2005 the Panthers made it all way to the NFC Conference Final but lost to the Seattle Seahawks. Ironically, had they won, they would have faced a team called the Steelers in the Super Bowl. Their record against the Pittsburgh Steelers is almost as good as ours against the Sheffield version!

Florida Panthers
Ice Hockey
League: National Hockey League
Year Formed: 1993
Good Cat/Bad Cat?: The team from the obvious hockey hotbed that is Miami first appeared in 1993. They actually did reasonably well by expansion franchise standards in their first season, winning 33 and losing 34. In only their third season, Florida made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals where they went head to head with Colorado. Unfortunately the Avalanche crowned their first season in Denver with a 4-0 whitewash. The run of that season is one of only three appearances this version of the Panthers have made into the post season and the only occasion in which they’ve advanced beyond the first round. In recent years they’ve been overshadowed by Florida rivals Tampa Bay Lightning who won the Stanley Cup in 2004.

Penrith Panthers
Rugby League
League: National Rugby League (Australia)
Year Formed: 1967
Good Cat/Bad Cat?: It took Penrith over two decades to qualify for a post season in what was then the New South Wales Rugby League. It wasn’t until 1990 that they made their first appearance in a league final where they lost to Canberra Raiders. They defeated the same team in the final the following season to claim their first major success as champions of New South Wales. A national championship didn’t arrive until 2003, 39 years after they were formed. Penrith defeated Sydney Roosters in the Grand Final to become NRL champions. They made an appearance on our shores in early 2004 when they faced Bradford Bulls for the World Championship. Unfortunately the Bulls triumphed 22-4!

Embrun Panthers
Ice Hockey
League: Eastern Ontario Junior C League
Year Formed: 2000
Good Cat/Bad Cat?: Finally! A Panthers team with some real consistent success under its belt, and we’ve had to go right down to junior grade ‘C’ to find it. Embrun adopted Panthers as their name in 2000. Who could blame them, seeing as their previous nickname was River Rats? Already a success under their previous incarnations, the Panthers have won the Eastern Ontario League five times in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2009. TCW can only hope the Panthers hoodoo doesn’t eventually find it’s way to Emburn and bite them on the bottom!

Sunderland AFC
League: Premier League
Year Formed: 1879
Good Cat/Bad Cat?: While strictly not Panthers, since Sunderland adopted the nickname of ‘Black Cats’ following their move to the Stadium of Light in 1997, they’ve managed to set a couple of records for futility. They finished bottom of the Premier League with record low point totals twice within the space of 3 years. Only Derby County have ever done worse. How humiliating. Sunderland have had some success in the First Division/Championship, winning promotion as champions three times since the nickname change.


1 Response to “The Curse of the Black Cat?”

  1. 1 Macca_88 March 29, 2010 at 12:44 am

    as i’m unfortunate enough to be a sunderland fan, i think its got nothing to do with the fact we’re black cats and more that in those two seasons we were hopeless and clueless, and led by managers of similar dispositions. never realised florida had that poor a record mind

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