The Internet has come a long way in 20 years. For example, it no longer needs the NFL to issue a written introductory guide on its behalf.
As the 20th anniversary of the league's first website draws near, NFL PR guy Brian McCarty tweeted a throwback image of a memo sent out in April 1995. The one-page explainer hits some of the basic points of Internet fluency, answering tough questions like "What is the Internet?" and "Why is the Internet important?"
It's a fun trip back into time.
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) March 26, 2015
"Approximately 30 million people in nearly 200 countries connect to the Internet to send email, conduct business, transfer files, exchange information and participate in special interest newsgroups," the memo explains.
In terms of the Internet's appeal to the NFL specifically, the league actually had some good understanding of how an online presence could be of value. The memo describes the Internet as, "An instant, dynamic link to the fan. The internet facilitates two-way communication of NFL information, within seconds, any fan in the world can keep up with the latest news and stats from around the league."
Its target audience, meanwhile, was spot-on -- except for one minor miscalculation:
"A young, high-tech and international audience. The Internet audience is a young and rapidly growing group: Media savvy and affluent, this international audience will be a significant fan base for the newly launched World League."
Sadly, no significant fan base -- Internet-based or otherwise -- ever came to fruition for the NFL's World League, later known as NFL Europe. And that's yet another reminder of how long ago 1995 was: NFL Europe seemed like a great idea.
Some other notable time-markers from April 1995:
Browns coach Bill Belichick: Yes, in 1995 Belichick was still happily employed by the Browns, which he had just led to the playoffs in 1994. The future looked bright. But during the upcoming 1995 season, Browns owner Art Modell announced the team's relocation to Baltimore. After a 5-11 season, Belichick was left behind in Cleveland.
The Los Angeles Raiders were still a thing: In June 1995, Al Davis signed an agreement to bring the Raiders back to Oakland. But in April, the franchise was still based in Los Angeles. Because the league had never formally approved of the move to L.A., they couldn't block the team's second move since 1982 -- or even demand compensation for the switch.
Potential No. 1 draft pick Jameis Winston was 15 months old: The former Florida State quarterback, who appears to be the favorite to be drafted first overall in next month's NFL draft, was still sporting diapers.