CHARLOTTE _ It was almost four years ago, enough time in our harried world to nearly earn the afternoon of Jan. 5, 1997, a sepia tone.
Carolina, hosting its first-ever playoff game in its first-ever season at Ericsson Stadium, shocked Dallas and the NFL that day with a 26-17 defeat of the defending Super Bowl champs.
The Panthers have played 85 games in their history, and there is absolutely no doubt those 60 minutes were their best.
Best atmosphere. Best performance under pressure. Best everything.
Carolina hummed with perfect pitch all day - with brute force (the knockout blows the defense administered to Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders), with remarkable fan support and with just the right, light touch at the end …