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Tom Brady retires: What the world looked like the last time the QB was not in the NFL

Tom Brady retires: What the world looked like the last time the QB was not in the NFL

It’s been a while since the NFL was Brady-less


Quarterback Tom Brady officially retired from the NFL and it is “for real” this time. Brady’s 23-year career included seven Super Bowl titles, two teams and countless records.

Brady was selected out of Michigan by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft with the No. 199 pick. The league has been dominated by Brady for so long, it can be hard to remember a world where No. 12 was not suiting up for a game.

The last time we had an NFL weekend where Brady was not employed by a franchise, horse and buggies were the most popular mode of transportation, the lightbulb had yet to be invented and milk was still getting delivered weekly by truck. OK, OK he is not that old, but things have changed a lot since he was drafted.

A look at the NFL in 1999

  • MVP: Kurt Warner
  • Touchdown leaders: Stephen Davis, Washington and Edgerrin James, Colts (17 touchdowns)

  • Rushing leader: James (1,553 yards)
  • Most receiving yards: Marvin Harrison, Colts (1,663)
  • Most sacks: Kevin Carter, Rams (17)
  • Major retirement announcements: John Elway and Barry Sanders
  • Rule changes: Clipping became illegal at the line of scrimmage and a new instant replay system was adopted
  • Walter Payton dies from a rare liver disease
  • The Browns are reactivated and move to the Cleveland Browns Stadium

NFL by division

Defending champions in sports

  • Super Bowl: The Rams, who were in St. Louis at the time, defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia on January 30, 2000. Quarterback Kurt Warner was named the game’s MVP. 
  • World Series: The New York Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves four games to none in the 1999 World Series. 
  • Stanley Cup: The Dallas Stars were the defending Stanley Cup champs, winning it all against Buffalo Sabres in June of 1999. 
  • NBA Champion: The Gregg Popovich-lead San Antonio Spurs defeated Jeff Van Gundy’s New York Knicks in the 1999 NBA Finals.  
  • WNBA Champion: The Houston Comets defeated the New York Liberty two games to one in the best-of-three series.

Most popular song

The No. 1 song in March of 2000 was “Amazed” by Lonestar. “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child, a group that has now been broken up for 17 years, was also a top song of the month. Emimen, DMX and Blink-182 were some of the top artists of the time.

Most popular movie

The most popular movie in March of 2000, right before Brady was drafted, was Erin Brockovich. Mission to Mars, Romeo Must Die and Final Destination were also popular that month. 

Most popular TV show

Some popular shows at the time were “Friends,””ER”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “That ’70s Show.”


The Nokia phone was one of the most popular devices at the time. The iPod would not be invented for another year and the first iPhone was seven years away. The GameBoy, Walkmans, instant messenger and CD players were popular, while high definition television was starting to become more common in households. USB flash drives were invented in 2000, taking over for floppy disks. This was also the year camera phones became commercially available, though the quality was less than perfect. The PlayStation 2 was released in 2000. 


  • The average price of gas was $1.51.
  • The median price of a home in Massachusetts, where Brady would spend most of his career, was $185,700.
  • The average cost of a new car was $21,850.

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