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Defector Up All Night

Panthers Accused Of Having The Full Tampa Experience

SUNRISE, FL - MAY 24: Stanley C Panther the Florida Panthers mascot comes down from the catwalk prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Five of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the BB&T Center on May 24, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Stanley C Panther
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

What we have here is a classic, unambiguous "Down 3-0 Controversy." A team need not be literally down 3-0 in a series for one of these to occur. All that is required is that a team be struggling, and that the players go out and have some fun, which is controversial because fun is not allowed to struggling teams. In its broadest terms, the controversial thing at the heart of a Down 3-0 Controversy need not have even happened, as long as enough people want to believe it did.

Members of the Florida Panthers—down, yep, 3-0—may or may not have stayed out late last night at one of Tampa's world-famous strip clubs. So sayeth some Tampa radio guys.

The implication is that they're not bummed out enough about being down 3-0 to the Lightning, while simultaneously not getting enough sleep before tonight's Game 4. I'm not sure if either of these things necessarily follow, but even engaging in that argument is to accept the premises. And Panthers coach Andrew Brunette says it did not happen.

Well, hang on now. OK, so maybe Tampa radio guys aren't the most unimpeachable source. What if I told you a Miami radio guy confirmed? If the Panthers bow out meekly tonight, it'll honestly be much less embarrassing if they have the excuse.

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