Ricky Williams was in his First Season with the Dolphins
The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner at Texas was in his first season with the Miami Dolphins and largely responsible for the 3-0 start. In his first three games with the team, Williams rushed for a combined 394 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 5.8 yards-per-carry.
Neither Dolphin Shout, MySpace, Facebook nor Twitter Existed
It was almost a year before MySpace, started by some guy named Tom, began the social media revolution. In 2002, none of the major social media sites were in existence and Dolphin Shout, at the time, was probably some sort of sonar reference.
LeBron James was a senior in High School
Now the best basketball player on the planet, a two-time gold medalist and two-time NBA champion with Miami's professional basketball team, the Heat, LeBron James was just a senior at St.Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. The Heat were coming off of a 36-46 season and led in scoring by Eddie Jones. Dolphins current quarterback Ryan Tannehill was just 14 years old at the time.
The Camera Phone was Brand New
2002 was also the first year that Nokia released the camera phone in the United States. The phone was brand new and at the cutting edge of technology. Interestingly enough at the time, most people used their cell phones for making phone calls. What a concept!
The Red Sox were Cursed and the Florida Marlins had Only One Championship
In 2002, the Boston Red Sox were still under the "Curse of the Bambino" and the then Florida Marlins had just one World Series title to their name. The Marlins won the World Series the following year over a New York Yankees team that beat the Red Sox in seven games in the American League Championship Series. In 2004, the Red Sox finally broke the curse by erasing a 3-0 series deficit to the Yankees to become the first team ever to win a series after trailing three games to none. Boston went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series and won a second championship three years later. Unfortunately for the Chicago Cubs, their "Curse of the Billy Goat" remains alive and well.
Nelly and Spider-Man Topped the Charts
At the time of the Dolphins 3-0 start in 2002, the #1 single in America was "Dilemma" by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland. Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire was the top grossing movie at the box office. Hannah Montana at the time was a town of about 150 people...probably.
College Football was "All About the U"
The Miami Hurricanes topped both human polls in college football after a 4-0 start and were coming off of their fifth national championship and first in 10 years. The 2002 team was led by stars like Ken Dorsey, Willis McGahee, Andre Johnson, Kellen Winslow Jr., Antrel Rolle, Jonathan Vilma and Sean Taylor. Miami went on to lose to Ohio State in double-overtime in the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship. The Hurricanes won the Big East the following season finishing 11-2 and beating Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Since then, Miami has not won as much as a conference championship as a member of the ACC and has failed to lose fewer than three games in any season.
Pluto was a Planet
That's right. The relatively small ball of gas known as Pluto was regarded as the ninth planet in our solar system and the furthest from the sun. Schoolchildren memorized the order of the planets by reciting My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas instead of My Very Educated Mother Just Sold Urine to Nancy, or whatever mnemonic they're using today. It was 2006 when Pluto stopped being considered a planet.
Hopefully this trip back in time was entertaining, but it's interesting to think about how long ago 2002 really was. As the Miami Dolphins visit the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, Miami will be facing a former league MVP in Drew Brees and looking for its first 4-0 start since 1995. Think about how fun that trip back in time could be...
Mike Ferguson is a staff writer at Dolphin Shout and the founder and editor of Outside the Redzone. Like Outside the Redzone on Facebook! Also, follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson