The year was 1997.
Bill Clinton started his 2nd term as President. We found out there was a cloned sheep. The top 4 tv programs in America were not football related. The top shows you ask? They were Seinfeld, ER, Veronica’s Closet, and Friends. Then, at a measly #5 was Monday Night Football.
In the music world, Toni Braxton was asking us to un-break her heart, The Spice Girls informed us of what it took to be their lover, and Jewel was letting me know that I was meant for her. Then the movies informed us that Leonardo DiCaprio became king of the world (and subsequently…our hearts), Mike Myers introduced us to Austin Powers, and you may not remember the Men in Black, but I do. They were nice.
Here’s some of the stuff that happened in the sports world during that magical mystery year.
Here’s some athletes that were born in 1997:
- Jérémie Boga, French footballer
- Hilary Palma, Peruvian volleyball player
- Izzy Brown, English footballer
- Lamar Jackson, American football player
- Connor McDavid, Canadian ice hockey player
- Kyle Tucker, American baseball outfielder
- Rheed McCracken, Australian wheelchair racer
- Yang Yang, Chinese paralympic swimmer
- Sophie Hahn, English paralympic sprinter
- Noah Hanifin, American ice hockey player
- Gedion Zelalem, American footballer
- Jack Roslovic, American hockey player
- Joel Eriksson Ek, Swedish hockey player
- Shim Suk-hee, South Korean speed skater
- Saquon Barkley, American football player
- Jaire Alexander, American football player
- Leighton Vander Esch, American football player
- Josh Jackson, American basketball player
- Josh Rosen, American football player
- Mike Hughes, American football player
- Deondre Francois, American football player
- Mitchie Brusco, American professional skateboarder
- Jamal Murray, Canadian basketball player
- Jessica Rogers, American wheelchair athlete
- Simone Biles, American gymnast
- Katie Ledecky, American swimmer
- Rūta Meilutytė, Lithuanian swimmer
- Harry Wilson, Welsh footballer
- Josh Sweat, American football player
- Pavel Zacha, Czech ice hockey player
- Roquan Smith, American football player
- D. J. Moore, American football player
- Donny van de Beek, Dutch footballer
- Kim Hae-jin, South Korean figure skater
- Lydia Ko, South Korean-born New Zealand golfer
- Denzel Ward, American football player
- Mitchell Marner, Canadian ice hockey player
- Lauri Markkanen, Finnish basketball player
- Da’Ron Payne, American football
- Sam Darnold, American football player
- Jeļena Ostapenko, Latvian tennis player
- Madison Kocian, American artistic gymnast
- Derrius Guice, American football player
- Shakur Stevenson, American boxer
- Marquese Chriss, American basketball player
- Bryce Love, American football player and sprinter
- Bam Adebayo, American basketball player
- Kayli Barker, American race car driver
- Ronald Jones II, American football player
- Kyler Murray, American football player
- Renato Sanches, Portuguese footballer
- Brandon Ingram, American basketball player
- Forrest Whitley, American baseball pitcher
- Tammy Abraham, English footballer
- Lonzo Ball, American basketball player
- James Whitley, British paralympic skier
- Dennis Smith Jr., American basketball player
- Shoma Uno, Japanese figure skater
- Ronald Acuña, Venezuelan baseball outfielder
- De’Aaron Fox, American basketball player
- Ana Konjuh, Croatian tennis player
Here are some of the athletes that died in 1997:
- Carol Habben, American baseball player (b. 1933)
- Curt Flood, American baseball player (b. 1938)
- Henry Picard, American golfer (b. 1906)
- Ralph Horween, American football player and coach (b. 1896)
- Helen Jacobs, American tennis champion (b. 1908)
- Don Hutson, American football player (b. 1913)
- Chūhei Nambu, Japanese athlete (b. 1904)
- Frank Parker, American tennis champion (b. 1916)
- Ben Hogan, American golf champion (b. 1912)
- Johnny Vander Meer, American baseball player (b. 1914)
- Rod Milburn, American athlete (b. 1950)
- Shirley Crabtree, British professional wrestler (b. 1930)
News of the Year:
- Interleague play begins in baseball, ending a 126-year tradition of separating the major leagues until the World Series. The first series featured the San Francisco Giants vs the Texas Rangers.
- Bill Clinton is sworn in for a second term as President of the United States.
- In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that an adult sheep named Dolly had been successfully cloned, and was born in July 1996.
- Divorce becomes legal in the Republic of Ireland.
- The Comet Hale–Bopp makes its closest approach to Earth. In San Diego, 39 Heaven’s Gate cultists commit mass suicide at their compound.
- Tiger Woods creates an uproar with his record 12-shot victory at the Masters, and becomes the first Masters winner of African-American descent. He set the record for the lowest to-par score of −18, and the lowest 72-hole score of 272. He also rises to the No. 1 ranking on June 15, in only his 42nd week as a professional – the fastest ascent to the No. 1 ranking.
- A Pegasus rocket carries the remains of 24 people into earth orbit, in the first space burial.
- In Denver, Colorado, Timothy McVeigh is convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
- Bloomsbury Publishing publishes J. K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in London.
- The WNBA tipped its inaugural season with a game that game featured the New York Liberty facing the Los Angeles Sparks in Los Angeles.
- Liz Heaston becomes the first woman to both play and score in a college football game
- NASA‘s Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.
- Death of Diana, Princess of Wales: Diana, Princess of Wales is taken to a hospital after a car accident shortly after midnight, in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris. She is pronounced dead at 3:00 am.
- The International Olympic Committee picks Athens, Greece, to be the host city for the 2004 Summer Olympics.
- Mike Tyson bites off a piece of the ear of Evander Holyfieldin the third round of their WBA Heavyweight title fight, getting disqualified by referee Mills Lane.
- Mike Myers’ Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and James Cameron’s Titanic premiere in the U.S. Titanic quickly starting a trip to becoming the highest grossing film that year and for the 12 following years.
- MLB World Series – Florida Marlins defeated Cleveland Indians, 4 games to 3 over the . The Series MVP was Liván Hernández.
- NFL Super Bowl XXXI – Green Bay Packers defeated New England Patriots, 35–21
- NHL Stanley Cup Final – Detroit Red Wings defeated Philadelphia Flyers, 4 games to 0
- NBA Finals – Chicago Bulls earn their second repeat of the decade as they beat the Utah Jazz 4 games to 2 (see Steve Kerr).
- WNBA Finals – Houston Comets defeat the New York Liberty in one game playoff, 65-51
- MLS Cup – D.C. United defeated Colorado Rapids, 2-1
- NCAA Baseball World Series – Louisiana State defeated Alabama in a 1 game playoff, 13-6.
- NCAA Softball World Series –Arizona defeated UCLA, 10–2
- NCAA Men’s Basketball –Arizona Defeated Kentucky, 84–79 in overtime. Arizona’s first NCAA title in men’s basketball.
- NCAA Women’s Basketball – Tennessee defeated Old Dominion, 68-59.
- NCAA Division I-A Football – Florida Gators defeated Florida State, 52–20 to win the national championship in the Sugar Bowl.
- CFL Grey Cup – Toronto Argonauts defeated Saskatchewan Roughriders, 47–23.
- Champions League – Borussia Dortmund defeated Juventus F.C., 3–1
- UEFA Cup – FC Schalke 04 defeated F.C. Internazionale Milano, 4-1 on penaltiy kicks.
- Cup Winners’ Cup – Barcelona defeated Paris Saint-Germain, 1-0
- FA Cup – Chelsea defeated Middlesbrough, 2–0
- Intercontinental Cup – Germany’s Borussia Dortmund defeated Brazil’s Cruzeiro 2–0.
- CONCACAF Champions’ Cup – Cruz Azul defeated Los Angeles Galaxy, 5-3
- Tour de France – Jan Ullrich of Germany
- Masters Tournament – Tiger Woods
- U.S. Open – Ernie Els
- British Open – Justin Leonard
- PGA Championship – Davis Love III
- PGA Tour money leader – Tiger Woods – $2,066,833
- PGA Tour Player of the Year – Tiger Woods
- PGA Tour Rookie of the Year – Stewart Cink
- Senior PGA Tour money leader – Hale Irwin – $2,343,364
- Ryder Cup – Europe won 14½–13½ over the United States in team golf.
- Nabisco Dinah Shore – Betsy King
- LPGA Championship – Christa Johnson
- U.S. Women’s Open – Alison Nicholas
- Classique du Maurier – Colleen Walker
- LPGA Tour money leader – Annika Sörenstam – $1,236,789
Grand Slam in tennis men’s results:
- Australian Open – Pete Sampras
- French Open – Gustavo Kuerten
- Wimbledon championships – Pete Sampras
- US Open – Patrick Rafter
Grand Slam in tennis women’s results: