We continue our year-by-year look back at the decade with the year 2001, back when people wore fedoras and smoked in the office, back when Jimmy Carter was President of the United States. Simple times.
George W. Bush is sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States. Jennifer Capriati overcomes her past drug addiction and wins the Australian Open. Former President Bill Clinton pardons campaign contributor Marc Rich. ABC reality show "The Mole" debuts, hosted by future CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. Beloved broadcaster Al McGuire dies. Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin announce they are separating. The Baltimore Ravens beat the New York Giants in the most boring Super Bowl of all time. Affirmed dies. Affirmed.
Dale Earnhardt suffers a fatal crash in the Dayton 500. Paranoia over foot-and-mouth disease takes over England. Vince McMahon's Xtreme Football League debuts, with "He Hate Me" and Matt Vasgersian and Jesse Ventura broadcasting. A bloated Matthew Perry enters rehab. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman shock the nation by declaring that they are seeking a divorce. When asked by David Letterman how her life is different, Kidman says, "I can wear heels now." Ariel Sharon is elected prime minister of Israel.
Bob Knight is hired as coach of Texas Tech. Gladiator wins Best Picture. Alonzo Mourning returns from kidney disease to play for the Miami Heat. America backs out of the Kyoto climate pact. Dick Cheney has his second angioplasty in four months. In the midst of an energy shortage, California suffers rolling blackouts to save power. Talk show host Morton Downey Jr. dies, of lung cancer.
Joey Ramone dies. Duke defeats Arizona to win the NCAA men's basketball championship. Arnold Schwarzenegger announces he will not run for governor of California in 2002. A Japanese newspaper offers $1 million for a naked picture of Ichiro Suzuki. Race riots break out in Cincinnati after a white police officer shoots and kills an unarmed black man. Albert Pujols grounds out off Mike Hampton in his first major league at-bat. Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic is arrested in Belgrade. Tiger Woods finishes the Tiger Slam. A U.S. plane and a Chinese plane crash over Chinese airspace, and China officials keep the U.S. plane's 24-person crew hostage for 11 days. Bill Simmons' publishes his first piece on ESPN.com, "The Nomar Redemption."
The U.S. Supreme Court rules to allow disabled golfer Casey Martin to use a cart on tour. Pearl Harbor opens. Brendan Lemon, editor of Out magazine, claiming that his boyfriend is a current Major League Baseball player. Chandra Levy disappears. Vince Carter attends his college graduation in the morning and misses a shot with 2.0 seconds to lose Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in the evening. Chuck Klosterman's "Fargo Rock City" is released. Harvey Pitt is approved as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Walker, Texas Ranger" goes off the air.
Congress passes President Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut. The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals. Tom Cruise sues a man who claims he has a videotape of Cruise having sex with a man. Timothy McVeigh is executed. The Atlanta Gold Club Trial ends. "The Producers" wins 12 Tony Awards. Ray Borque wins his long-awaited first Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche. Jack Lemmon and Archie Bunker die. Luke and Laura of "General Hospital" divorce.
The U.S. House of Representatives votes to ban human cloning. Tom Green and Drew Barrymore marry. Beijing is awarded the 2008 Olympic Games. "Sopranos" star Robert Iler is arrested for robbery and marijuana possession. Cal Ripken homers in his final All-Star Game. Mariah Carey enters an undisclosed New York City hospital after suffering an emotional breakdown.
Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer collapses during a practice and dies of a heat stroke. Bill Clinton is paid $10 million to write his memoirs. Pop singer Aaliyah dies in a plane crash. Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gary Condit admits he had a "very close relationship" with Chandra Levy. The San Jose CyberRays win the first ever WUSA championship. Nothing in the world is wrong.
Famed film critic Pauline Kael dies. Four hijacked plans crash into both World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing a total of 2,976 people, not counting the 19 hijackers. All airplanes are grounded, causing John Madden to offer a ride across the country to ice skater Peggy Fleming. People are sad. Michael Jordan announces he is returning to basketball with the Washington Wizards. Tom Brady takes over for an injured Drew Bledsoe as quarterback for the New England Patriots. Bob Dylan's "Love And Theft" is released. Eric Dickerson makes his debut as a sideline reporter for "Monday Night Football."
The United States begins airstrikes on Afghanistan. O.J. Simpson is acquitted in a road rage case. Barry Bonds breaks Mark McGwire's three-year-old home run record, ending the season with 73. Author Jonathan Franzen refuses Oprah Winfrey's request to make his book "The Corrections" part of her book club. Derek Jeter makes the tag play. Letters laced with weaponized anthrax are sent to various media and government offices. "Pardon The Interruption" debuts. An Ontario newspaper reports that Bud Selig plans on contracting the Montreal Expos and the Florida Marlins after the World Series. Michael Jackson's "Invincible" hits stores. Rush Limbaugh announces he is deaf. Mark McGwire is pinch-hit for by Kerry Robinson in his last plate appearance. Everyone is still drinking.
Ken Kesey and George Harrison die. The government announces it will train doctors to recognize the symptoms of smallpox. Kyle Turley rips a helmet off a New York Jet opponent and throws it across the field. A plane bound for the Dominican Republic crashes in Queens, killing 265 people. The Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees to win the first World Series ever to be completed in November. "24" debuts on FOX. Baseball owners vote 28-2 in favor of contraction. Mark-Paul Gosselaar joins the cast of "NYPD Blue." Everyone is still drinking.
The Taliban collapses. Winona Ryder is arrested for shoplifting. Notre Dame fires Bob Davie as head football coach. Osama bin Laden releases a videotape in which he laughs and boasts about the September 11 terrorist attacks. Enron files for bankruptcy and evaporates most of its workers' 401(k)s. Rudy Giuliani is chosen as Time magazine's Man of the Year. Eric Crouch wins the Heisman Trophy. Everyone is still drinking.