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A look at the world the last time Nevada beat Boise State on the road

Titanic
Titanic was still two months from being released the last time Nevada football beat Boise State on the blue turf. (Handout)

When the Nevada football team hits the field at Boise State on Saturday, it will have been 8,730 days since the Wolf Pack beat the Broncos on that blue turf. Nevada's last win at Albertson's Stadium came on Nov. 8, 1997, a 56-42 Wolf Pack win in which John Dutton threw for 557 yards, a program record at the time, and five touchdowns. That is one of only two Nevada wins at Boise State in its 20 games there, and fifth-year head coach Jay Norvell knows that stat. During his press conference last week, he mentioned how often the Boise State media has brought up the Wolf Pack's poor record in Boise, most recently asking those questions in the Wolf Pack's bowl appearances there the last two seasons.

"I get a little bit tired of those people asking me those questions up there, so we'd like to go up there and play well and do something about it," Norvell said.

To put into perspective how long it has been since Nevada beat Boise State on the road, here are some notes on what the world was like on Nov. 8, 1997, the last time the Wolf Pack beat the Broncos in the City of Trees.

* The No. 1 song on the Billboard music charts was Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997," a tribute single to Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris two months earlier. That song became the second-best-selling single of all time behind Bing Crosby's "White Christmas." "Barbie Girl" by Aqua also was in the top 10, and Hanson's "MMMBop" landed in 1997. Let's listen to "Barbie Girl."

* "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was the No. 1 movie in the U.S. and set the record for highest weekend debut for a slasher film at $12.9 million, topping "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare." Two months later, Titanic was released and became the highest grossing movie of all time (it now ranks third behind Avatar and Avengers: Endgame).

* "Seinfeld," in its final season, was TV's No. 1-rated show followed by "ER" and "Veronica's Closet."

* Bill Clinton was one year into his second term as U.S. president. There have been six presidential elections since then. In 1997, George W. Bush was in the middle of his term as Texas' governor; Barack Obama had just been sworn into his first term as an Illinois state senator; Donald Trump was a businessman who was still seven years away from creating The Apprentice; and Joe Biden was in his fifth of seven terms as a Delaware Senator.

* In November 1997, Clinton was applauded after becoming the first sitting President to address a gay and lesbian civil rights organization. Ellen DeGeneres also publicly came out in a Time magazine cover article.

* The iPod hadn't been created. Apple released that in 2001, and the iPhone didn't come out until 2007, a full decade after Nevada's last win at Boise State.

* Not only had Facebook not been created (that came in 2004), but MySpace (created in 2003) hadn't either. In 1997, Amazon went public and began selling music and videos one year later before getting into online book sales.

* Nevada and Boise State were members of the Big West, which stopped playing football three years later in 2000.

* Pope Saint John Paul II led the Catholic Church. He's been dead for 16 years.

* George Clooney was the star of the hit TV show "ER" and was named People's Sexiest Man Alive. in 1997, Clooney also starred in the movie "Batman & Robin," so you win some and you lose some (that movie was awful). In 1997, Teri Hatcher was named FHM's Sexiest Women

* The TV show "South Park" made its debut three months earlier, as did the VH1 show "Behind the Music." "Daria," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "King of the Hill" also premiered in 1997. TGIF's most popular shows were "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "Boy Meets World." "Family Matters" had its season finale in 1997.

* Teletubbies, the British children's TV series, was launched in 1997.

* "Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back" was the most popular video game rental in the U.S. in November 1997, per Blockbuster Video's records. "GoldenEye 007" was released three months prior.

* At age 14, LeAnn Rimes became the youngest person to win a Grammy in 1997, earning nods for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

* Greg Norman was the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world in November 1997 and Tiger Woods had just one major championship title. Norman hasn't played a PGA Tour event in nine years.

* Michael Jordan still played for the Chicago Bulls and had just led the franchise to its fifth NBA championship, and would add one in 1998, too.

* Ken Griffey Jr. and Larry Walker won the AL and NL MVPs, respectively, in 1997 and Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez (then on the Expos, a franchise that hasn't existed for 17 years) won the Cy Young Awards. Nomar Garciaparra and Scott Rolen were the league's rookie of the years. Garciaparra retired 12 years ago, and Rolen is entering his fifth year on the Hall of Fame ballot.

* On that exact day in 1997, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays name their first manager Larry Rothschild. That team isn't even called the "Devil Rays" anymore, dropping the "devil" in 2007. Meanwhile, Rothschild was still in the game this year until being fired as the Padres' pitching coach on Aug. 23 (San Diego needed a scapegoat for its late-season collapse).

* In November 1997, two men were convicted in the World Trade Center bombing that killed six people and wounded more than 1,000 more.

* An Iowa woman, 29-year-old Bobbi McCaughey, set a U.S. record by giving birth to seven live babies in November 1997. It required a team of 40 specialists to perform the Caesarean section.

* Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first of the Harry Potter books, was released five months before the 1997 Nevada-Boise State game.

* The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles earlier in the year. RIP, Biggie.

* Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow announced they were calling off their engagement in 1997. Goop!

* Virtual pets such as Nano Pet, Giga Pet and Tamagotchi were all the rage.

* Reno's estimated population in 1997 was 176,000 people. It's now at 266,511, up 54.1 percent. That state of Nevada has risen from 1.67 million to 3.2 million people in the same period, almost double.

* And while I can't 100 percent confirm this since Nevada no longer lists birthdates in its athlete bios, no active members of the Wolf Pack roster were born the last time Nevada won at Boise State. That came 23 years, 10 months and 25 days ago, and while Sam Hammond, Kam Toomer and Lawson Hall are all sixth-year seniors, I don't think any of them are that old. It's been a while since Nevada last won at Boise State.

Columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at crmurray@sbgtv.com or follow him on Twitter @ByChrisMurray.

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