Tom Brady retires: This is what the world looked like the last time the QB wasn’t in the NFL


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

Brady was drafted number 199 from Michigan by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. The league has been dominated by Brady for so long that it can be hard to remember a world where the number 12 wasn’t fit for a game.

The last time we had an NFL weekend that Brady wasn’t employed by a franchise, horse and carriage was the most popular mode of transportation, the lightbulb was yet to be invented, and milk was still trucked in weekly. OK, OK he’s not the old, but a lot has changed since he was called up.

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 yards: Marvin Harrison, Colts (1,663)
  • Most Sacks: Kevin Carter, Rams (17)
  • Major Retirement Announcements: John Elway and Barry Sanders
  • Rule Changes: Clipping was made illegal at the line of scrimmage and a new instant replay system was introduced
  • Walter Payton dies of a rare liver disease
  • The Browns are reactivated and move to Cleveland Browns Stadium

NFL by division

  • AFC East: Colts, Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots
  • AFC Central: Jaguars, Titans, Ravens, Steelers, Bengals. Brown
  • AFC West: Seahawks, Chiefs, Chargers (San Diego), Raiders (Oakland), Broncos
  • NFC East: Washington, Cowboys, Giants, Cardinals, Eagles
  • NFC Central: Buccaneers, Vikings, Lions, Packers, Bears
  • NFC West: Rams (St.Louis), Panthers, Falcons, 49ers, Saints

Defending champion in sport

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

The most popular song

The #1 song in March 2000 was Lonestar’s “Amazed”. “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child, a group defunct 17 years ago, was also a top song of the month. Emimen, DMX and Blink-182 were among the top artists of the time.

Most Popular Movie

The most popular film in March 2000, just before Brady was drafted, was Erin Brockovich. Mission to Mars, Romeo Must Die and Final Destination were also popular this month.

The 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 cell phone was one of the most popular devices back then. The iPod was only a year away from being invented and the first iPhone was seven years away. The GameBoy, Walkmans, instant messengers, and CD players were popular, while high-definition television became more common in homes. USB flash drives were invented in 2000, replacing floppy disks. This was also the year that camera phones became commercially available, although the quality was far from perfect. The PlayStation 2 was released in 2000.


  • The average price of gasoline was $1.51.
  • The median price for 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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