It was 18 years ago today that the Patriots made the best decision they've ever made when they drafted Tom Brady in the 6th round of the NFL draft.  Every other team in the league had multiple chances to draft the man that would become the greatest player of all-time.  Instead, an incredible 198 players were drafted before the Patriots finally pulled the trigger on TB12.  Here are a few of the ways that the world and the Patriots were different when that decision was made.

  1. The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gas has had it's ups and downs since Tom Brady became a Patriot.  It was only $1.26 a gallon that day.  It spiked to $4.11 in July 0f 2008.  It's now back down to a fairly reasonable $2.71 a gallon.
  2. Tom Brady was drafted 4 years before Facebook Mark Zuckerberg invented (or stole) the idea in his Harvard dorm room.  America Online (especially instant messenger) was MUCH more popular at that time.
  3. Bill Clinton was President of the United States.  Monica Lewinski was already a punch line.  Later that year, George Bush would edge out Al Gore because of "hanging chads" in Florida.
  4. The Patriots had never won a Super Bowl.  They had, however, been to the Super Bowl twice.  Once was in 1986 ('85 season), when they were embarrassed by the Chicago Bears.  The second time was in when they lost to the Packers in 1997 ('96 season).  Bill Parcells' moving truck was already loaded up and ready to drive to his new job with the New York Jets.
  5. The Red Sox were the darling of Boston sports fans.  They hadn't won a World Series since 1918.  When the Patriots beat the Rams in 2001, most fans would have gladly traded the Super Bowl win for a World Series Championship.  Boston's curse would finally come to an end after yet another Patriots Super Bowl win (more than 4 1/2 years after Tom Brady was drafted).
  6. David Ortiz had never played for the Red Sox.  He was still a member of the Minnesota Twins.
  7. September 11th was an unremarkable date.
  8. Texting was still in its infancy.  The average person sent only 35 text messages a month (most were still paying per text)
  9. The Patriots were still playing at Foxboro Stadium.  They were only 3 weeks into construction of Gillette Stadium when Tom Brady was drafted.
  10. The uniforms were changed the year Brady was drafted.  The earlier, lighter blue version of the "flying Elvis" jerseys were changed to the darker blue.
  11. Patriot Place was not yet built.
  12. Tom Brady was single with no kids.  He had not yet dated Tara Reid, Bridget Moynihan or Gisele Bundchen.