Flip telephones, ‘Associates’ and LeBron’s debut — It has been 18 years for the reason that Browns made playoffs


The final time the Cleveland Browns made the playoffs, coach Kevin Stefanski was in school and Baker Mayfield grade faculty.

Michael Jordan was nonetheless within the NBA, and LeBron James wasn’t out of highschool.

Mark Zuckerberg hadn’t invented Fb but, whereas Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears had simply damaged up.

However at house on Sunday, towards the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns can lastly clinch a playoff berth for the primary time in 18 years, whereas mercifully ending the NFL’s longest postseason drought.

A drought that has felt like an eternity in the past to Browns. In some ways, it was an eternity in the past.

Simply how completely different was the world the final time the Browns had been within the playoffs? Here is a glimpse of what occurred and what life was like within the yr 2002 — the final time Cleveland superior to the postseason:


Jim Thome slugs 52 homers

A spine of Cleveland’s 5 consecutive playoff groups within the 1990s, Thome saves his greatest season in Cleveland for final. He units a franchise document with 52 house runs whereas turning into the 21st participant in baseball historical past to move the 50-homer threshold. Thome additionally tops the AL in walks and slugging proportion and wins the Roberto Clemente Award for sportsmanship and neighborhood involvement. Cleveland, nonetheless, misses the playoffs, and Thome leaves after the season, signing an $85 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.


USA shocks on the World Cup

America males’s soccer crew opens the World Cup with a 3-2 victory over heavy favourite Portugal, behind the highly effective headers of Columbus Crew star Brian McBride (no obvious relation to unique Browns proprietor Arthur McBride). The People go on to defeat Mexico within the knockout stage thanks to a different McBride purpose, earlier than falling 1-Zero to Germany within the following spherical within the USMNT’s greatest World Cup exhibiting in 72 years (and since).


Kelly Clarkson wins first ‘American Idol’

The primary season of American Idol premiers, with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson judging the truth tv signing competitors. Out of roughly 10,000 preliminary contestants, Clarkson defeats Justin Guarini within the finals, singing “Earlier than Your Love,” “Respect,” and “A Second Like This,” which turns into the No. 1 track on the Billboard Scorching 100 and best-selling single of the yr. Clarkson inks a document cope with RCA, American Idol shortly turns into the highest present on tv and Clarkson’s inaugural live performance tour features a cease in Cleveland through the Browns’ Week 10 bye.


Buckeyes win nationwide title

Led by second-year coach Jim Tressel — who performed his school ball at Baldwin Wallace, situated lower than a mile from the Browns apply facility — Ohio State goes 13-Zero through the common season, profitable six of these video games by a landing or much less. Then, going through Miami within the Fiesta Bowl for the BCS nationwide championship as 12-point underdogs, Ohio State pulls off one of many greatest upsets in school soccer historical past. A controversial fourth-down move interference name towards Miami offers the Buckeyes one other likelihood within the first time beyond regulation earlier than they win it within the second, 31-24, for the varsity’s first nationwide championship since 1968.


Michael Vick goes to first Professional Bowl

The 2001 No. 1 total decide is chosen to the Professional Bowl a yr later after throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and speeding for an additional 777. In December, Vick units an NFL document for many speeding yards by a quarterback with 173. However within the regular-season finale, the Browns include Vick and knock off the Falcons to sneak into the playoffs. Just like the Browns, the Falcons advance to the playoffs, the place they defeat the Packers earlier than dropping within the divisional spherical. Vick later seems on the duvet of Madden with a pace score of 95, making him maybe probably the most dominant participant within the online game’s historical past.


European Union adopts the Euro

Euro banknotes and cash formally supplant the currencies in a dozen European Union member states, rendering the German mark, French, Belgium and Luxembourg franc, Dutch guilder, Irish pound, Austrian schilling, Finnish markka, Greek drachma, Italian lira, Portuguese escudo and Spanish peseta all out of date. The design of the banknotes displays European structure, together with the €5 (Greek/Roman), €10 (Romanesque), €20 (Gothic), €50 (Renaissance) and €100 (Baroque/Rococo).


Nokia boasts top-selling mobile phone

The most well-liked mobile phone would not come from Apple, which is 5 years away from introducing its first version of the iPhone. As an alternative, the Finnish firm Nokia continues to dominate the mobile phone market, and debuts the primary color-screened telephones to promote over one million models. Nokia additionally launches its first cellphone to incorporate a built-in digital camera, which seems within the science-fiction movie “Minority Report” as Tom Cruise’s futuristic go-to system.


‘Associates,’ ‘All people Loves Raymond’ dominate the rankings

The highest 5 field workplace grossing movies of the yr are “Spider-Man,” “Star Wars: Episode II: Assault of the Clones,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and techniques,” “Indicators” and “My Huge Fats Greek Marriage ceremony.” On the small display, the next-to-last season of “Associates,” together with “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” take the highest spots on the Nielsen tv rankings, whereas TV Information contains “24,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Sopranos” on its reveals of the yr. “All people Loves Raymond” is the second-highest rated sitcom, starring Patricia Heaton, a Cleveland-area native whose father, Chuck Heaton, was a longtime sportswriter for the Cleveland Plain-Supplier.


LeBron James performs on nationwide TV for first time

4 days after the Browns preserve their playoff hopes alive with a Hail Mary landing to stun Jacksonville, James makes his nationwide tv debut on ESPN. A highschool senior for Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary, James knocks off the nation’s No. 1-ranked crew, Oak Hill, with 31 factors and 13 rebounds, instantly turning him into a fair greater star. The next summer season, the Cleveland Cavaliers preserve James in Northeast Ohio, choosing him with No. 1 decide within the NBA draft.


‘Lose Your self’ goes No. 1

Because the Browns make a late surge for the playoffs, “Lose Your self” turns into rapper Eminem’s first single to achieve No. 1 on the Billboard Scorching 100. Earlier than changing an injured Tim Sofa to quarterback Cleveland to a playoff-clinching victory over Atlanta, Kelly Holcomb barks out the lyrics throughout warm-ups. “It is a good track,” he says afterwards. “You solely get one shot in life and also you higher take advantage of it. It is bought a very good message.” “Lose Your self,” off the “eight Mile” film soundtrack, goes on to win an Academy Award for greatest unique track.



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