What the world was like the last time Eli Manning wasn't the Giants' starting quarterback

The world has not known an NFL without Eli Manning in a long, long time, with the Giants two-time Super Bowl champion coming into the league in 2004.

Now Manning has to do something he's not used to doing, and his fans are not used to seeing: watch the game from the sidelines. The two-time Super Bowl MVP was benched as the Giants try their luck with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Manning has struggled over the last few years and was unable to lead his team to a win in the first two games of this season, causing the franchise to re-evaluate who they want behind center. 

Here's a look at what life was like in November of 2004, the last time Manning was not the franchise quarterback for the New York Football Giants:

Top movie

"The Incredibles" was the hit film in theaters at the time, dethroning "Shark Tale" for highest grossing movie of the week. "National Treasure" starring Nicolas Cage was about to be released and was about to dazzle millions with the story of an attempt to "steal the Declaration of Independence."

Top song

"My Boo" by Usher and Alicia Keys topped the charts when Manning was about to make his first career start. It took over for the former No. 1 song "Goodies" by Ciara featuring Petey Pablo.

Top album

"Encore" by Eminem was released in 2004 and was the top selling album of the time. Destiny's Child reformed and released their fourth album titled "Destiny Fulfilled." It was also the year Kanye West's album "The College Dropout" hit shelves. 

Average gas price

In 2004 the average gas price was $1.92 (wouldn't that be nice?). The average gas price in the U.S. is now $2.66.

Defending Super Bowl champions

The New England Patriots were on their way to becoming a dynasty after beating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII and taking home their second Super Bowl victory in three years. Not much has changed there, as the Patriots are still the defending champs. 

Defending Super Bowl MVP

A 27-year-old Tom Brady was the MVP, securing his second such honor in three years. He wouldn't be named Super Bowl MVP again until 11 years later in Super Bowl XLIX. Brady, now 42, is still leading his team to championships, but the defending Super Bowl MVP is now his teammate and BFF Julian Edelman.

Defending NFL MVP

Eli's rather famous older brother, Peyton Manning, was still with the Indianapolis Colts at the time and was named the NFL MVP.

Notable rookie quarterbacks

Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers, like Manning, were also picked in the first round of the 2004 draft and had high expectations entering the league. Roethlisberger and Rivers are still in the league, and still with their original teams, though Rivers' squad has moved from San Diego to Los Angeles. 

Champions in other sports

The Boston Red Sox reversed their 86-year curse and won the 2004 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. This year the Sox are also the defending champions, though they'll soon be dethroned. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning held the Stanley Cup title in 2004, defeating the Calgary Flames.

The NBA Finals were a matchup between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers, with the Pistons beating Shaquille O'Neil and the Lakers in five games. 

Other sports headlines

Dwight Howard was taken No. 1 overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. 

The 2004 Summer Olympics took place in Athens, Greece. In the 200m individual medley, Michael Phelps beat Ryan Lochte while setting an Olympic record time. 


The iPod shuffle was all the rage in 2004 and the iPhone would not hit shelves for another three years. Facebook had been invented earlier that year. 

Safe to say, things have changed a lot since the last time Manning was not the go-to guy for the Giants.

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