The world was a much different place when Peyton Manning came into the league as a fresh-faced quarterback out of Tennessee in 1998 and earned the top spot over Ryan Leaf in that year's draft. Only three players from that draft were still in the league last year, with both Manning and Charles Woodson hanging up their spikes after 2015, while Matt Hasselbeck seems content to play football forever.
As Peyton's NFL time comes to an end, let's take a look back at what was happening in the sports world and beyond back when it all began in April of 1998.
The NBA regular season ended the weekend of the draft with the Bulls finishing tied with the Jazz for the league’s best record at 62–20. The two teams met in the Finals that year, where Jordan would win his sixth and final ring.
The MLB season had just begun with Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire racing to beat Roger Maris’s single season home run record, with both earning Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year award for their slugging prowess.
Nokia released its state-of-the-art 5110 model, which dominated the market for several years thanks to its sleek look and features like the game Snake (remember that?) and some advanced technology known as text messaging.
The number one song in the country the week of the draft was “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo. Meanwhile, America was still in the grips of Titanic fever for most of that spring and winter with the blockbuster’s soundtrack holding down the top spot on the album chart for 16 weeks.
The number one movie in the country that weekend was the Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan romance City of Angels, but the year’s highest grossing film was Steven Spielberg’s WWII epic Saving Private Ryan.
The world of politics in 1998 was focused solely on one thing, with the Drudge Report breaking the news in early January about president Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.