On This Day

Events in Sport in December 1997

  • Dec 1 Golden State Warriors NBA guard Latrell Sprewell assaults head coach P.J. Carlesimo; suspended for 10 games
  • Dec 1 In their 81st season, Montreal Canadiens become first team in history to play 5,000 NHL games; host the Penguins but lose, 1-0; franchise record 2,625-1,603-772 with .620 winning percentage
  • Dec 2 MCI Center opens in Washington, D.C., Wizards vs SuperSonics
  • Dec 3 Golden State Warriors terminates guard Latrell Sprewell's four-year, $32 million NBA contract for attacking coach P.J. Carlesimo
  • Dec 4 NBA suspends former Golden State Warriors guard Latrell Sprewell for 1 year for attacking coach P.J. Carlesimo
  • Dec 5 1st Game at Wash Capitals' MCI Center vs Fla Panthers
  • Dec 6 6th SEC Championship Game: #3 Tennessee beats #11 Auburn, 30-29
  • Dec 12 Red Sox sign Pedro Martinez to record 6 year $69 million contract
  • Dec 13 63rd Heisman Trophy Award: Charles Woodson, Michigan (CB)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 14 Phoenix Coyote Mike Gartner is 5th NHLer to score 700 goals

NHL Star Mike Gartner
NHL Star
Mike Gartner

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 15 SF 49ers retire Joe Montana's #16

NFL Quarterback Joe Montana
NFL Quarterback
Joe Montana
  • Dec 21 Detroit Lions Barry Sanders is 3rd to run for 2,000 yards in a season
  • Dec 21 Detroit Lions linebacker Reggie Brown, knocked unconscious in game

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 22 Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding pre-record a show to air on FOX on Feb 5

Figure Skater Tonya Harding
Figure Skater
Tonya Harding
Figure Skater Nancy Kerrigan
Figure Skater
Nancy Kerrigan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 22 Scotty Bowman's Red Wings beat the Boston Bruins, 4-2 giving him 200 wins with Detroit, and making him the first NHL coach to record 200 wins with 3 different teams; also Montreal and Buffalo

NHL Coach Scotty Bowman
NHL Coach
Scotty Bowman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 23 Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson is quickest to reach 500 wins (682 games)

NBA Coach Phil Jackson
NBA Coach
Phil Jackson

Sports record brokenNHL Record

Dec 23 Colorado Avalanche Jari Kurri is 8th NHLer to score 600 career goals

NHL Star Jari Kurri
NHL Star
Jari Kurri

Sport awardFootball Awards

Dec 23 Ballon d'Or: Barcelona/Inter's Brazilian striker Ronaldo wins his first of 2 best football player in Europe awards ahead of Real Madrid forward Predrag Mijatović and Juventus midfielder Zinedine Zidane

Football Star Ronaldo
Football Star
Ronaldo
Football Player and Manager Zinedine Zidane
Football Player and Manager
Zinedine Zidane
  • Dec 29 Cricket Women's World Cup: Australia defeats New Zealand by 5 wickets
  • Dec 31 72 year-old Marv Levy retires as coach of the NFL Buffalo Bills after 12 seasons, including 4 consecutive losing Super Bowl appearances
  • Dec 31 27th Fiesta Bowl: #10 Kansas State beats #14 Syracuse, 35-18
  • Dec 31 Buffalo's Czech NHL goalie Dominik Hasek stops 36 shots for his 27th career shutout in Sabres' 3-0 win over Ottawa Senators; his 6th shutout in month of December; first since George Hainsworth in 1928-29 to achieve the feat