We commence the year-by-year look back at the decade with the year 2000, back when there were rocket packs, back when we all thought O.J. Simpson was just the smiling guy from the Hertz commercials. Simple times.
Y2K doesn't kill us, but it could have. David Letterman has quintuple bypass surgery. Dan Marino plays his final game, a 62-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point" is released. Kurt Warner and the Rams win a thrilling Super Bowl over the Titans, but dot-com commercials dominate the storyline, most notably the infamous Pets.com sock puppet, voiced by Michael Ian Black. AOL and Time Warner merge. The deal, surprisingly, is not delayed while AOL waits for its roommate to get off the phone.
In their race for the Republican nomination for President, John McCain upsets George W. Bush in New Hampshire, but loses in South Carolina amid allegations of dirty tactics on behalf of the Bush campaign. Ray Lewis is arrested on murder charges after an incident outside the Super Bowl. Dave Eggers' "A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius" is released. The Mariners trade Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinnati, where he grew up. Marty McSorley hits Donald Brashear in the back of the head with his stick. Charles Schulz, Tom Landry and Jim Varney all die, though not at the hands of McSorley.
Vladmir Putin is elected as president of Russia. Boomer Esiason is fired from "Monday Night Football." The NASDAQ collapses, signifying the end of the dot-com boom. Budweiser's "Whassup?" commercials debut. Sports Illustrated profiles University of Minnesota wrestler Brock Lesnar. Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan compares pitcher Rick Ankiel to Sandy Koufax. Dan Marino turns down an offer from the Minnesota Vikings to continue his career. Rangers pitcher Darren Oliver tells a reporter he's voting for George W. Bush because "it would be cool to know the dude in the White House."
Michigan State, behind Mateen Cleaves, wins the NCAA Championship. "ESPN: An Uncensored History" is released by an independent publisher. Metallica sues Napster for pirating their songs, followed soon thereafter by Dr. Dre and Madonna. Mike Morgan pitches for his record 12th different major league team. Cal Ripken gets his 3,000th hit. "Hollywood" Henderson wins $28 million in the Texas Lotto. In a related story, the NBA approves the sale of the Dallas Mavericks to Mark Cuban.
The ILOVEYOU virus attacks gullible home computers. Boo.com burns through $160 million in six months. Malik Sealy dies in a car accident. Daniel Snyder signs Jeff George to a multi-year contract. Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" is released to an unsuspecting public. "Party of Five" and "Beverly Hills 90210" go off the air. Lynn Swann is hired to serve as a sideline reporter for the upcoming Ray Lewis murder trial.
The Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA Championship. Nancy Marchand, the actress who played Livia Soprano, dies. Mike Tyson knocks out someone names Lou Saverese in the first round in Scotland. Jeff McGregor writes in Sports Illustrated that "sportswriters will soon be dinosaurs, driven to extinction by the Ice Age of the Internet." Scientists announced they've sketched a rough draft of the human genome. Steve Young retires. Photos reveal that Mars has water. Frank Deford refers to Anna Kournikova as "the Jezebel of sweat."
ABC announces it is hiring Dennis Miller to broadcast "Monday Night Football." Pete Sampras wins his record 13th Grand Slam title. Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady sign free agent contracts with the Orlando Magic. Chuck Knoblauch hits Keith Olbermann's mom with an errant throw. A Concorde jet crashes minutes after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, killing all 109 on board and nine people staying at the Relais Bleu hotel in the town of Gonesse. Kobe Bryant performs a rap concert at Los Angeles' House of Blues.
Tiger Woods wins the PGA Championship, his third major of the year. "Dora The Explorer" debuts. Firestone recalls 6.5 million tires after reports of faulty design. Gay con man nudist Richard Hatch wins the inaugural season of "Survivor." Obi-Wan Kenobi dies.
The 2000 Summer Olympics begin in Sydney, Australia. The opening ceremonies are hosted by Bob Costas and Katie Couric. Many sports no one will watch for another four years happen, and winners are declared. Indiana fires longtime coach Bob Knight after he grabs a student's arm for saying "'Sup, Knight?" The San Diego Chargers announce Ryan Leaf as their starting quarterback. The Global Millennium Summit is held at the United Nations in New York City. Tiger Woods signs a $100 million endorsement contract with Nike. Nomar Garciaparra and Mark Grace fight over actress Lauren Holly.
The Yankees and Mets meet in the Subway Series, and Roger Clemens throws a broken bat at Mike Piazza. The USS Cole is bombed by terrorist group Al-Qaeda and their elusive leader Osama bin Laden. Patrick Ewing plays for the Sonics. The PlayStation 2, hailed as the "future of entertainment," is released. Television programs "CSI" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" debut. Serbian president Slobodan Milošević leaves office. Allen Iverson records his first single, "40 Bars," which features the lyric, "Everybody stay fly get money kill and fuck bitches/I'm hittin anything in plain view for my riches/VA's finest fillin up ditches, when niggaz turn to bitches/die for zero digits; I'm a giant, y'all midgets." Joe Buck, 31, calls his third World Series.
The United States Presidential election between Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore ends in a virtual tie, and each candidate's representatives do battle for a month. Former Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth's murder trial begins. Daunte Culpepper declares on the cover of Sports Illustrated that he "wants to be the best quarterback ever." Bill Clinton becomes the first sitting President to visit Vietnam. Hunter S. Thompson begins writing for ESPN's Page 2. Former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne succeeds in his race for the U.S. House of Representatives, but Illinois State Senator Barack Obama does not.
The Texas Rangers sign shortstop Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $252 million contract. Mario Lemieux announces he is returning to the NHL after a three-year retirement. Department store Montgomery Ward goes out of business. Mike Mussina signs with the Yankees and officially destroys the Orioles franchise. The Supreme Court stops the presidential recount in Florida, handing the election to George W. Bush. Victor Borge dies.