By Brett Smiley
September 15, 2013

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It's been seven years since the first Manning Bowl on September 10, 2006, a 26-21 Indianapolis victory over New York at the Meadowlands. A lot has changed since that game, not the least of which is the brothers' participation in the Double Stuf Racing League and their forays into both law enforcement and R&B. And, oh yeah, the hardware: The bros combined for three Super Bowl wins and accompanying MVP trophies in the seven championships that followed their first meeting.

Indeed, seven years is a mighty long time. Here's how far society has come since the initial Manning showdown way back when.

1. Neither Manning had yet hosted Saturday Night Live

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Season 32 of SNL premiered on September 30, 2006, with host Dane Cook and musical guest The Killers (insert Dane Cook joke here; any will suffice). Peyton hosted on March 24, 2007, his 31st birthday, when the legendary United Way SNL Digital Short aired. Eli got his turn on May 5, 2012.

2. Americans had jobs

More of them did, at least:


In September of '06, the unemployment rate was 4.5%. It would hit the lowest point of the last ten years, 4.4%, the following month.

It's presently around 7.3%.

3. Bryan Cranston was still best known as Hal

A few months before Manning Bowl I, Bryan Cranston's TV son Malcolm graduated from high school in the finale of Malcolm of the Middle. Roughly 16 months later in January 2008, Cranston would debut as Breaking Bad's Walter White.

4. Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander was on the cover of Madden

True to Madden Curse form, Alexander followed his MVP-winning, record-setting 1880-yard, 28 touchdown campaign in 2005 with a (relatively) disappointing year in 2006: He played in only 10 games due to a broken foot, and his yards per carry dropped from 5.1 in 2005 to 3.6.

5. Maxim named Eva Longoria No. 1 on its annual Hot 100 list

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In third? A rather healthy looking Lindsey Lohan.

6. "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin had just died

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In the week before the game, the exuberant wildlife expert was killed by a stingray while scuba diving during the filming of the documentary Ocean's Deadliest. RIP:

7. Hot Clicks was a mere twinkle in Jimmy Traina's eye


D.O.B. Monday, April 23, 2007. (In 2006, Kate Upton was only 14.)

8. Netflix had nearly delivered its 1 billionth DVD—but did not yet offer streaming

Netflix introduced its streaming service in 2007.

9. Pluto had just lost its membership to the planet club

On August 24, 2006, more than 70 years after its discovery, researchers at the International Astronomical redefined "planet," rendering Pluto a "dwarf planet." Pluto hasn't been the same since.

10. Justin Timberlake brought SexyBack to No. 1

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On September 9, 2006, the track off of J.T.'s Futuresex/Lovesounds vaulted from 31 to 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 list.

11. The Covenant topped the box office with a $8.8 million opening

It did so despite an abysmal 3% Rotten Tomatoes score. The Rotten Tomatoes synopsis reads:

The Covenant plays out like a teen soap opera, full of pretty faces, wooden acting, laughable dialogue, and little suspense.

Elsewhere in the September 2006 box office, Snakes on a Plane proved that awful can still be awesome, even (and maybe even especially) when it's edited for TV.

12. Miley Cyrus had clothing

And, presumably, dignity.

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13. The iPhone Didn't Yet Exist

It made its U.S. debut on June 29, 2007.

football on your phone

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