2008 was 10 years ago.
That's all you have to say to make people feel old. For some, it was a simpler time, before social media exploded and we weren't capable of communicating and learning via technology the way we do now. For others, it was a worse time, and suddenly the world they took for granted was lost for good and could never be recaptured.
Looking back, it was a year that was very eventful and foreshadowed the good and bad of society a decade later.
And the fact that it's been a decade says it all on how fast time has gone by and also how much has changed.
With both nostalgia and lament, here are 8 things that happened in the year 2008 that makes us feel old.
1. Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt become Olympic immortals.
The history of civilization shows that we love mythology and larger than life figures from Ancient Greek Gods to Marvel and DC superheroes. The closest we can possibly get to that in real life is through athletic competition, and in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, we saw two athletes become Gods right in front of our eyes.
Michael Phelps followed a great showcase in the 2004 Olympics with the greatest Olympics performance of all-time in 2008, winning an unprecedented 8 gold medals. The most incredible moment was when he won his 7th medal in the Men's 100-meter Butterfly by 0.01 seconds.
Brazilian runner Usain Bolt also became a phenomenon by breaking the world record in both the 100 and 200-meter race. He blew away the competition so badly that his celebration in the final seconds of the 100-meter race might have shaved a few milliseconds from an even better performance.
2. Heath Ledger's joker and "The Dark Knight"
The release of "The Dark Knight", a sequel to the gritty Batman reboot "Batman Begins" had huge interest nationwide because of the shocking death of star Heath Ledger. Ledger was one of the rising stars in Hollywood who already earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in "Brokeback Mountain" and then was surprisingly cast as The Joker, the most iconic villain in comic book history, by "Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan.
His mesmerizing portrayal of the character was remarkable considering The Joker was already well known in pop culture and had another iconic movie version by Jack Nicholson in 1989. Ledger, along with incredible action and story-telling by Nolan several other great performances such as Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, made "The Dark Knight" one of the most popular movies of all-time and elevated it from "a great Comic Book movie" to "a great Film, period." Ledger would win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor posthumously.
The superhero movie genre would never be the same the next decade saw the rise of comic-book adaptations sour, especially with Marvel's ambitious and successful "Avenger's" franchise. Although we've seen dozens of great superhero movies of the past decade, none have come close to the greatness of "The Dark Knight."
3. David Tyree's helmet catch denies a perfect season.
A decade before The Philly Special, the New England Patriots suffered a devastating championship loss to the New York Football Giants in the final minute of Super Bowl 42.
The Patriots entered the game at 18-0 and we're one win away from just the 2nd perfect season in NFL history whereas Eli Manning and the Giants were a Wild Card team.
The game itself was a defensive struggle where New England pulled ahead 14-10 with just two and a half minutes left. On 3rd and 5, it looked like Giants quarterback Manning was about to get sacked before escaping and firing a deep ball. The ball (shown above) was miraculously caught against the helmet of receiver David Tyree. New York used that to score the winning touchdown to Plaxico Burress with just 30 seconds left and the Giants would pull off the NFL's biggest upset since the New York Jets upset the 17 points favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
4. The 2nd depression begins.
I was 14 and I didn't know much about Wall Street and the economy at the time so all I remember was the economy was bad. Like really bad and Wall Street is corrupt and everything is an inside job and Greed is Good and in reality, the bad guys always wins and the good guys are only celebrated when it's too late. Next slide...
5. Obama wins the 2008 election.
Politicians are usually unlikable hacks, but the past two years have made them even more impossible to relate to, even as human beings sometimes. Which is why most of us will look back on the 2008 election as a simpler and grander time in the respectful democratic process.
Not to mention that the candidates in 2008 were two of the most beloved politicians in our lifetimes, Illinois Junior Senator Barack Obama and the late-great Arizona Senator and Vietnam War hero John McCain. Even though that election had the usual amount of debates and satire that they typically have and Sarah Palin was Sarah Palin, 2008 looks as though George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were running for office again.
Considering that the 8 years later was the apocalyptic-hellfire-darkfire-epic disaster-contemplating existence-Rime of the Ancient Mariner-Joseph Milton's Paradise Lost-Dante's Inferno-Doctor Faustus-Lucifer-Beelzebub-Mephistopheles-comical tragedy-pitiful-Victor Hugo's Les Miserables-Victor Hugo's Notre Dame De Paris-Macbeth-Titus Andronicus-Oedipus Rex-Trojan Women-Apocalypse Now-the horror the horror-Michael Myers-A Nightmare on Elm Street-satanic-Cthulu-The Mountains of Madness-Judas must you betray the son of man with a kiss?-Father, forgive them for they know not what they do-This is the end, my beautiful friend, The End election.
6. "Breaking Bad" begins.
Once upon a time, there was this little show on AMC created by a former X-Files writer named Vince Gilligan about a genius high school chemistry teacher named Walter White who finds out he has lung cancer. Convincing himself that his family will need money before dying, White decides to team up with a former student turned junkie meth dealer named Jesse Pinkman to create crystal meth that turns out to be the best in the world.
The actor hand-picked by Gilligan to play White was an actor best known as the goofy dad from "Malcolm in the Middle" in Bryan Cranston.
The first season of "Breaking Bad" had really good reviews from critics but wasn't immediately embraced by audiences worldwide. Also, a 2008 Hollywood writers strike limited the first season to only 7 episodes. The strike turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the original plan for the series was to kill-off the Jesse Pinkman character but Gilligan changed his mind when noticing how incredible actor Aaron Paul's chemistry was with Cranston.
"Breaking Bad" quietly became the best television show in the world and the buzz about its greatness only grew with the arrival of Netflix streaming and by the time of the series's end in 2013 everyone was addicted.
7. "Twilight" premieres.
Ok to be honest with you, as a guy I don't think "Twilight" was THAT bad. And there's a reason why it became one of the biggest pop-culture phenomena for a few years starting with the first movie in 2008.
Gothic-romantic-super-natural-young-adult-angsty-teen-dramas were on the rage during that time and author Stephanie Meyer had her pulse on the public when penning these novels.
Although "Twilight" didn't have the staying power of "Harry Potter", it had a pretty good run.
8. "The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 world champions of baseball!"
If you're not from Philadelphia then the only thing you remember about this World Series was the two-day rain delay during Game 5 of the Fall Classic.
But as a Philadelphian who was in middle school at the time, the 2008 Phillies are the very definition of nostalgia that takes me back.
The double play to clinch a second-straight NL East title (which I was there for)
The epic at-bat by pitcher Brett Myers against CC Sabathia.
The Shane Victorino Grand Slam
The Matt Stairs Pinch-Hit Home Run against the Dodgers
Chase Utley's Deke
And Brad Lidge sliding onto his knees celebrating the first ever Philadelphia sports championship I got to see in my lifetime.
Oh yeah and... WORLD F@#%ING CHAMPIONS!
The only Philly sports championship that could've topped the 2008 Phillies would have to be when a lot of the team's key players get hurt and they win every game as underdogs and clinch the title against the premier dynasty of the league.