The Detroit Lions' victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs following the 2023 regular season ended one of the National Football League's most dubious streaks.

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It marks the first time that the Lions will appear in the NFC Championship Game since 1992, when Detroit was defeated by Washington.

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There are generations of football fans who have never seen the Lions play in a conference championship game. Take a look at some of the things that weren't things the last time it happened.

Email

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OK. Granted, there are days we all wish email had never been invented. For real though - the last time the Detroit Lions played in the NFC Championship, it wasn't yet a widely used thing. Email as we know it today emerged later in 1992.


Netflix

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If you wanted to watch a movie, you had fewer options back when the Lions played in their last conference championship game. You could buy tickets and go to your local theater, or stop by a local video rental store and take a VHS tape home. Netflix came along in 1997 and revolutionized how we watched movies - allowing us to receive them in the mail! The company would later evolve into one of the world's biggest streaming services.


Hybrid Cars

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Hybrid cars weren't around the last time the Lions played in a conference championship game. The first Toyota Prius didn't roll off the assembly line until 1997.


Flat Screen TVs

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No one watched the Lions lose to the then-Redskins on a flat-screen TV in 1992, because they hadn't been invented yet. All our TVs back then were clunky, smaller, and much heavier. Flat screens arrived in 1997 - although the typical family wouldn't be able to afford one for several more years.


Google

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Who remembers what research was like before the internet? Search engines like Lycos and Altavista showed up a few years after the Lions' last conference championship game, with Google setting the standard after its debut in 1997. Card catalogs and microfiche were the rule back in 1992.


 

International Space Station

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It may seem like the International Space Station has just always been up there in the sky - but the multinational space exploration module didn't launch until late 1998, nearly seven years after the last time Detroit played in a conference championship game.


DVDs

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How about a huge invention that's seen its rise and fall since the last time the Lions played for the NFC Championship? DVDs basically replaced VHS tapes back starting in 1998, joined by Blu-ray several years later. We're more likely to stream our movies these days.


Facebook

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Facebook wasn't the first social media network, but it's proven to have lasting power. If you wanted to let the world know how excited you were about Detroit's most conference championship appearance before this year - you would have had to make some phone calls or maybe take out a newspaper ad. Facebook came along in 2004.


iPhones

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A world without smartphones? That's what we lived in last time the Detroit Lions played for the NFC Championship. While cellular phones were starting to emerge around that time, it wasn't until the late 1990s that they began to become commonly used. The iPhone debuted in 2007.

1990s Pager Speak You Almost Forgot About

Long before texting, people could only use pagers and the numerical system to communicate to each other. It wasn't long before an entire pager-speak code was set, and youth throughout the '90s learned how to chat with each other in secret.

Gallery Credit: Townsquare Media

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