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This is what the world looked like the last time the Browns were in the playoffs

Browns 2002
Posted at 5:11 PM, Jan 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-03 17:27:03-05

It’s been a very long time since the Cleveland Browns made the playoffs—just over 18 years to be exact. But the drought is over and the Browns will make a postseason appearance after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

As the reality sinks in that the Browns are once again a playoff team, let's look back on some of the things that were going on the last time this happened.

How the Browns did it last time

Browns Falcons classic
Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Kenard Lang (96) and defensive back Robert Griffith (24) celebrate the Browns 24-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 29, 2002, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

On Dec. 29, 2002, the Browns did something they hadn’t done since before they were moved to Baltimore and returned as an expansion team—they won their way into the playoffs after defeating the Falcons and getting a hand from the New England Patriots and New York Jets.

After taking down the Falcons inside Cleveland Browns Stadium, sans quarterback Tim Couch, who broke his leg in the second quarter, the team celebrated—then held their breath as they waited on the results of the Patriots-Dolphins and Jets-Packers games.

The Browns got a hint of relief when the Patriots defeated the Dolphins thanks to a field goal from Adam Vinatieri in overtime. Cleveland was able to breathe again, and celebrate thoroughly, when the Jets beat the Packers, officially making the Browns a wild-card playoff team.

Music

Eminem
(AP Photo/Denis Doyle, Pool, File)

Eighteen years ago, when the Browns found out they had made the playoffs for the first time in the expansion era, people around the world were listening to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” which was the No. 1 song on that date.

Shania Twain’s album “Up!” was at the top of the charts and Fergie had recently joined the Black Eyed Peas.

Movies

Lord of the Rings Two Towers
Actor Andy Serkis poses for photographers at the premiere of his new movie "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," Sunday, Dec. 15, 2002, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)

“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” remained a box office No. 1 for the second straight week after its release.

“I am Sam,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Catch Me If You Can,” and “Chicago” had also all been recently released.

Sports

LeBron James 2002
(AP Photo/John Heller)

When the Browns last went to the playoffs in 2002, they did so under head coach Butch Davis.

Carson Palmer had just won the Heisman Award and the then Anaheim Angels had recently won their first World Series.

A 17-year-old LeBron James was playing his senior year on the St. Vincent-St. Mary High School boys basketball team and had given up playing wide receiver on the school’s football team to pursue his now-legendary career in the NBA.

In other news

Game Cube

The last time the Browns found themselves in the playoffs, George W. Bush was the president of the United States.

AOL Time Warner had recently announced a patent for instant messaging.

Bratz, Chicken Dance Elmo and Beyblades were the hottest toys at the time and the Playstation 2, GameCube and Xbox were the newest gaming consoles on the market.

And here we are
It’s clearly been a while since the Browns have found themselves in the playoffs, but the past isn’t nearly as important as the present.

As the immortal Eminem once said, "Guess who's back?"

RELATED: The drought is over: After 18 long years, the Cleveland Browns are headed to the playoffs

Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.

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BROWNS 2020 SCHEDULE

Preseason

WEEK 1 · Aug. 13-17 · At Chicago Bears - CANCELED

WEEK 2 · Aug. 20-24 · At Green Bay Packers - CANCELED

WEEK 3 · Aug. 30 · Minnesota Vikings - CANCELED

WEEK 4 · Sep. 3-4 · Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CANCELED

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · L · Sun 9/13 · Baltimore Ravens - 38, Browns - 6

WEEK 2 · W · Thu 9/17 · Browns 35, Cincinnati Bengals - 30

WEEK 3 · W · Sun 9/27 · Browns - 34, Washington Football Team - 20

WEEK 4 · W · Sun 10/4 · Dallas Cowboys - 38, Browns - 49

WEEK 5 · W · Sun 10/11 · Browns - 32, Indianapolis Colts - 23

WEEK 6 · L · Sun 10/18 · Pittsburgh Steelers - 38, Browns - 7

WEEK 7 · W · Sun 10/25 · Cincinnati Bengals - 34, Browns - 37

WEEK 8 · L · Sun 11/1 · Browns - 6, Las Vegas Raiders - 16

WEEK 9 · BYE

WEEK 10 · W · Sun 11/15 · Browns - 10, Houston Texans - 7

WEEK 11 · W · Sun 11/22 · Browns - 22, Philadelphia Eagles - 17

WEEK 12 · W · Sun 11/29 · Jacksonville Jaguars - 25, Browns - 27

WEEK 13 · W · Sun 12/6 · Tennessee Titans - 35, Browns - 41

WEEK 14 · L · Mon 12/14 · Browns - 42, Baltimore Ravens - 47

WEEK 15 · W · Sun 12/20 · Browns - 20, New York Giants 6

WEEK 16 · L · Sun 12/27 · Browns - 16, New York Jets 23

WEEK 17 · W · Sun 1/3 · Browns 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 22

Post-season

NFL Wild Card Round - W · Sun 1/10, Browns 48, Steelers 37

NFL Divisional Round · L · Sun, 1/17, Browns 17, Chiefs 22