With a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns will reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
2002 is a lifetime ago for Browns fans especially when you consider what was happening in 2002.
Here are some highlights of the world in 2002.
The 2002 Super Bowl was also known as the “Gruden Bowl”, it pitted Gruden’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers against his former team, the Oakland Raiders.
The Bucs prevailed for their first ever Super Bowl championship.
U2 performed at halftime.
The first overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft was David Carr from Fresno State.
Carr was selected by the new expansion team, the Houston Texans.
People’s Sexiest Man Alive
Ben Affleck was the magazine’s cover boy.
This was the same year he got engaged to Jennifer Lopez.
— Page Six (@PageSix) April 22, 2020
Halle Berry won for Best Actress at the Academy Awards for the movie Monster’s Ball.
She was the first African-American actress to take home this honor.
Denzel Washington won Best Actor for Training Day.
In 2001, Denzel Washington starred in TRAINING DAY as Alonzo, a Los Angeles narcotics detective who isn't what he appears. He went on to win #BestActor from @TheAcademy Awards for his role. https://t.co/uBrCv03TdL pic.twitter.com/AYL3FV30CX
— AMC Theatres (@AMCTheatres) May 21, 2020
Shrek won Best Animated Feature Film.
CSI, Friends, ER, and the first season of American Idol were the top rated television shows.
The friends episode where Rachel tells Joey she doesn't love him back aired in 2002 and yet it still tears me up inside
— RiRi (@3cheers20years) November 29, 2015
Kelly Clarkson was named the first winner of the American Idol competition.
Top Paid Athletes
Forbes’ list of top five highest paid athletes included the following:
- Tiger Woods – Golf
- Michael Schumacher – Racing
- Michael Jordan – Basketball
- Lennox Lewis – Boxing
- Grant Hill – Basketball
Nokia was the king of the cell phone world.
15 million units of its Nokia 6610 phone were sold in 2002.
Apple had not gotten into the cell phone business yet.
It introduced the second version of its iPod.
MySpace launched in 2002 giving the world its first taste of social media.
Say what you want about My Space, but at least Tom Anderson added you. It made you feel special it that micro moment. Though that special feeling faded soon after when you realized who he was and that it was an automatic add for every new user of My Space,,,but still pic.twitter.com/2HaFvKDB3B
— Ryan Rebalkin (@RyanRebalkin) May 27, 2020
Current Browns Personnel
GM Andrew Berry was a high school student at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Maryland.
Coach Kevin Stefanski was a college student at the University of Pennsylvania; he graduated in 2004.
Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt was nearing the end of his 10 year NFL career.
He was playing for the Buffalo Bills.
Offensive line coach Bill Callahan was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders who lost the aforementioned Super Bowl.
2002 Was A Rebound Year
This may be the one similarity that exists in the world between 2002 and 2021.
In the United States, there was a sense of unity and hope in 2002 following the disastrous events of September 11, 2001.
Given the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the United States in 2020, perhaps 2021 can be a healing and unifying year also.
The Browns have a chance to rewrite history and erase the long playoff drought on Sunday with a victory over the Steelers.
In the ultimate irony, the 2002 Browns, coached by Butch Davis, finished 2nd in the AFC North and lost the wildcard game to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh by the score of 36-33.
If the Browns reach the playoffs, let’s hope they rewrite that piece of the history also.