The Boston Red Sox begin their 2024 season tonight, a season that will also celebrate 20 years since the 2004 Sox won baseball’s world championship for the first time since 1918.

Those lovable “idiots” (as they called themselves) that “reversed the curse” will live forever in Boston folk – or is it Foulke? – lore and no fan will ever forget the names of Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Jason Varitek, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon and so many others that made that season special.

So while it may seem like just yesterday that Dave Roberts was stealing second base, Schilling was pitching with a bloody sock and the Sox were sweeping the Cardinals in the World Series, a lot has changed in the past 20 years.

Back then, you might not have owned a cell phone. If you did, it definitely wasn’t an iPhone; those weren’t rolled out until 2007 – just a few months before the Sox won another World Series title – and the Samsung Galaxy didn’t come along until 2009.

Nah, back then, it was all about the Motorola Razr (the O.G., not the reboot that came out a few years ago).

The Patriots had just won their third Super Bowl in four years, officially becoming a dynasty. Just a few months before the start of the ‘04 Red Sox season, the Patriots were playing in Super Bowl XXXVIII when the infamous Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” happened during the halftime show with her and Justin Timberlake.

Speaking of music, Kanye West was all over the charts, and the band Bowling for Soup had a big hit with “1985.” Think about this: more time has passed now since “1985” was released than had passed between the actual 1985 and the song about the year 1985.

In 2004, The Sopranos was still must-see television on Sunday nights, and Sex and the City had just wrapped its final season in February. Friends would follow suit about a month after the Sox season began. Survivor, CSI and American Idol were major parts of the television lineup. Well, maybe some things haven’t changed much in 20 years.

Nobody was yet quoting Napoleon Dynamite – the movie wasn’t released until June 2004 – but were probably still quoting Austin Powers, even though Mike Myers had the biggest movie hit of the year with another of his iconic characters in Shrek 2.

McDonald’s had just stopped offering the ability to “supersize” your meal, which was certainly helpful because if you gained too much weight, your “Livestrong” bracelet would get too tight.

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Perhaps the biggest difference between the start of that legendary Red Sox season and this current one is that there was very little social media in those days. MySpace had only debuted the previous year, and while Facebook was launched one month prior to the start of the Sox season, it was still known as “The” and was only accessible to Harvard students.

Of course, 2004 was also an election year. Then-Delaware Senator Joe Biden had declined to run, and John Kerry ended up losing to incumbent President George W. Bush.

Oh, and just 11 days after the Red Sox began what became the most important season in franchise history, Donald Trump wrapped up the first season of The Apprentice.

Yes, a lot has changed in 20 years. The Red Sox won three more championships after “reversing the curse” in ‘04, but now it’s been a reversal of fortune for the franchise in 2024 as the Sox are predicted by most experts to finish last in the AL East for the third straight season.

READ MORE: Boston Red Sox Announcer Castiglione Headed to Hall of Fame

Maybe there's something to be said about a celestial tie-in. In 2004, in Game 4 of the World Series, the Sox broke the curse under a total lunar eclipse. On April 9, they'll have their home opener in Boston just a day after the region experiences a near-total solar eclipse.

Hey, remember when they told us to have faith? Yeah, that was 20 years ago, too.

LOOK: MLB history from the year you were born

Stacker compiled key moments from Major League Baseball's history over the past 100 years. Using a variety of sources from Major League Baseball (MLB) record books, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and audio and video from events, we've listed the iconic moments that shaped a sport and a nation. Read through to find out what happened in MLB history the year you were born.

Gallery Credit: Seth Berkman

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