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What the world looked like last time the Toronto Maple Leafs were in the second round…

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Filipe Dimas
11 months ago
You may not have noticed, as it’s gone largely unreported, but the Toronto Maple Leafs advancing to the second round of the NHL playoffs marks the first time in 19 years that the franchise has accomplished such a feat. There are adults, old enough to vote and purchase homes, witnessing their favourite team play more than seven games of playoff hockey for the first time in their entire lives.
On a larger scale, the world has changed a lot over that time. Let’s take a look at how different things were on May 4th, 2004, the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs played a second round playoff game.
Sports
  • Sidney Crosby had just finished his rookie season in the QMJHL
  • LeBron James had just won NBA’s rookie of the year
  • Ben Roethlisberger had just won NFL’s rookie of the year
  • The Charlotte Bobcats (who would later become the Hornets) had yet to hold their expansion draft
  • The Anaheim Ducks were still the Anaheim Mighty Ducks
  • The Winnipeg Jets were still the Atlanta Thrashers
  • Las Vegas had no pro sports teams, they now have two with a third on the way
  • Seattle had a basketball team and no hockey team
  • Manchester City was wrapping up a season that would see them finish 16th in the EPL, narrowly avoiding relegation after getting promoted just two years prior
Film & Television
  • Mean Girls was the number one movie at the box office
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King had just dominated the Academy Awards, winning a record-tying eleven total Oscars
  • The 2003 Emmys held eight months prior saw Everybody Loves Raymond, The West Wing, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart all win Outstanding Series awards
  • The first MCU film wouldn’t release for another four years, debuting with Iron Man (2008)
  • Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, starring Tobey Maguire wouldn’t release until later that summer. 
  • The series finale of FRIENDS occurred two days after the Maple Leafs got eliminated
  • A Song of Ice and Fire, the novel series that would inspire Game of Thrones, had only released three books.
Music
  • Coldplay’s Clocks won Record of the Year at the Grammys, with Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below winning Album of the year
  • Evanescence won Best New Artist at the Grammys, with 50 Cent, Sean Paul, Heather Headley and Fountains of Wayne also being nominated
  • Usher’s Yeah! was number one on the Billboard
  • Taylor Swift had yet to release her debut album
  • Drake was still going by Aubrey Graham, and currently starring in the fourth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation
Video Games
  • Dany Heatley and Joe Sakic were on the cover of NHL 2004
  • Vince Carter was on the cover of NBA Live
  • Michael Vick was on the cover of Madden
  • World of Warcraft had yet to release
  • Pokemon Emerald had yet to release
  • Half-Life 2 had just won Game of the Year
  • Only one Call of Duty game existed
Internet
  • YouTube, Twitter and Instagram didn’t exist
  • Facebook only existed at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and Yale
  • Yahoo was the world’s most popular website
Global Politics
  • The nations of Serbia and Montenegro had yet to gain sovereign independence, operating as the union of Serbia and Montenegro before peacefully dissolving into independent nations in 2006
  • The Republic of Kosovo did not yet exist, and would only be partially recognized after declaring its independence from Serbia in 2008
  • The nation of South Sudan didn’t yet exist, and wouldn’t until seven years later when it separated from Sudan and gained independence
  • Four countries had different names including Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Eswatini (Swaziland), Republic of North Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia), and Republic of Türkiye (Republic of Turkey)
  • George W Bush was President, Paul Martin was Prime Minister.
So yeah, it’s been a while.

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