What Life Was Like in 1999, the Last (and Only Other) Time the Atlanta Falcons Played in a Super Bowl

PHOTO: Tim Dwight of the Atlanta Falcons is pursued by corner back Tory James of the Denver Broncos as he returns a kick-off for a touchdown during Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami, Florida. PlayGetty Images
WATCH What Life Was Like in 1999, the Last Time the Atlanta Falcons Played in a Super Bowl

The tales of the two teams playing in Sunday’s Super Bowl could not be more different.

When the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship two weeks ago, they secured a bid to their second trip to the Super Bowl in its 51-year history.

PHOTO: Atlanta Falcons players celebrate after the NFL football NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers, Jan. 22, 2017, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 44-21 to advance to Super Bowl LI.Mark Humphrey/AP Photo
Atlanta Falcons players celebrate after the NFL football NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers, Jan. 22, 2017, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 44-21 to advance to Super Bowl LI.

On the other side, the New England Patriots have established themselves as an elite, powerhouse program. The trip to Houston marks a record ninth trip to the Super Bowl and a chance for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and star quarterback Tom Brady to win their fifth championship together.

The Falcons, however, have never taken home a Lombardi Trophy. They lost to the Denver Broncos 34-19 in Super Bowl 33 nearly 20 years ago.

This is what life was like in 1999, the last time the Falcons played in a Super Bowl:

Super Bowl XXXIII: Jan. 31, 1999

The 33rd Super Bowl was played at Miami’s Pro-Player Stadium, now called Hard Rock Stadium. Cher sang the national anthem.

PHOTO: Cher sings the Star Spangled Banner before the start of Super Bowl XXXIII, Jan. 31, 1999, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami. Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images
Cher sings the "Star Spangled Banner" before the start of Super Bowl XXXIII, Jan. 31, 1999, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami.

The halftime show included Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Gloria Estefan And Stevie Wonder perform at half-time during the Super Bowl, Jan. 31, 1999, in Miami. Joe Traver/Getty Images
Gloria Estefan And Stevie Wonder perform at half-time during the Super Bowl, Jan. 31, 1999, in Miami.

Denver won the game, which was the last played by MVP quarterback John Elway, who would later announce his retirement before the start of the next season.

PHOTO: John Elway #7 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl XXXIII, Jan. 31, 1999, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami. The Broncos won the game 35-19. Focus on Sport/Getty Images
John Elway #7 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl XXXIII, Jan. 31, 1999, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami. The Broncos won the game 35-19.

Y2K Fears Ran Rampant

Fears that a digital bug nicknamed Y2K would wreak havoc on computing systems topped headlines leading up to the year 2000.

Until the 1990s, many early computer programs were designed to abbreviate four-digit years to two digits to save memory space, allowing computers to recognize "99" as the year "1999." People cautioned that in the New Year, computers would be unable to recognize “00” as “2000” and would interpret it to mean “1900,” according to Britannica.com.

PHOTO: Personnel at the Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center monitor their stations to provide Y2K updates, Dec. 31, 1999. Jim Ruymen/AFP/Getty Images
Personnel at the Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center monitor their stations to provide Y2K updates, Dec. 31, 1999.

A story published in the Los Angeles Times Jan. 21, 1999, said that city agencies were "still struggling to upgrade computers to handle the year 2000 problem."

At the time, several city departments were assigning themselves a "C or D in grading their preparations," the article read.

"I believe there is the possibility of some disruptions here and there," the city's assistant general manager said at the time.

Turns out Y2K didn't present much of a problem at all.

Cost of Living

Average cost of a gallon of regular gas: $1.22

Average cost of new car: $21,050

U.S. postage stamp: 33 cents

A dozen eggs: 89 cents

Average U.S. home price: $79,384

Family Guy’ Debuted After the Game

It's hard to imagine life without the Griffins, but the first time Peter Griffin graced the small screen was Jan. 31, 1999, after Super Bowl 33 ended.

In the pilot, titled "Death Has a Shadow," Peter loses his job after drinking too much and falling asleep at work. He then signs up for welfare to keep his wife, Lois, from finding out.

When Peter is mistakenly sent a check for more $150,000, he dumps the cash from a blimp at the Super Bowl and gets arrested before his family finds a way to bail him out.

It pays off to follow the most-watched television event every year. The "Family Guy" pilot garnered 22 million viewers that night.

Pop Culture: A Pop Princess Ruled the Airwaves

After Britney Spears' first album, "... Baby One More Time," debuted in the fall of 1998, and the single by the same name climbed its way to the top of the Billboard Top 100 chart in the new year and stayed there for two consecutive weeks. Both the album and single were No. 1 when Super Bowl 33 aired.

PHOTO: When Super Bowl XXXIII aired on Jan. 31, 1999, Britney Spears? inaugural album Baby One More Time was at the top of the Billboard charts.
Amazon
When Super Bowl XXXIII aired on Jan. 31, 1999, Britney Spears? inaugural album "Baby One More Time" was at the top of the Billboard charts.

The highest-ranking television show for the 1998-99 season was "ER," followed by "Friends" and "Frasier."

No. 1 at the box office was quintessential teen romance movie "She's All That," starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook.

Instead of watching the game, kids were playing with their Nintendo Game Boy Color and Furbies, both of which were among the most-sought-after toys for Christmas the month before.

PHOTO: Furby was one of the years hottest toys. Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Furby was one of the year's hottest toys.

The Nintendo Gameboy Color, released the year before, was all the rage at the beginning of 1999. Philipp Zechner/Alamy
The Nintendo Gameboy Color, released the year before, was all the rage at the beginning of 1999.

What's old is sometimes new again. By the end of the 1990s, the extreme trends -- bright-colored prints, overalls and jelly sandals -- began to die down. What was left were the staples, such as lingerie-inspired slip dresses, choker necklaces and denim dresses, which have circulated back in style.

PHOTO: Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a choker in New York, Dec. 8, 1999.Steve Eichner/Getty Images
Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a choker in New York, Dec. 8, 1999.

PHOTO: Models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss attend the De Beers/Versace Diamonds are Forever celebration at Syon House on June 9, 1999 in London. Dave Benett/Getty Images
Models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss attend the De Beers/Versace 'Diamonds are Forever' celebration at Syon House on June 9, 1999 in London.

Advancing Technology and Smartphones Had Not Yet Changed Lives

People who attended Super Bowl 33 actually watched the game because smartphones and the plethora of apps they offer were not yet around.

So instead of being distracted by taking selfies and checking how many “likes” they got on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, people were probably devoting a much larger percentage of their focus to the gridiron.

Most Americans didn't even have cellphones, yet. There were only about 86 million cellphone subscribers in the United States in 1999, compared to more than 300 million today.

After its release in 1998, the Nokia 6210 was among the best-selling cellphones. It was loaded with everyone's favorite -- and only -- game: Snake.

Apple wouldnt debut the iPod until 2001, so portable CD players were still being used for on-the-go music.
Clynt Garnham Technology/Alamy
Apple wouldn't debut the iPod until 2001, so portable CD players were still being used for on-the-go music.

Apple wouldn't release the iPod until 2001, so music lovers were forced to carry around portable CD players for on-the-go listening. The days of lugging around heavy zip-up books full of CDs are not missed.

ABC News' Celina Fang contributed to this report.

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