The ESPN and Netflix produced documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls quest for a sixth championship in 1997-1998 is outstanding.
As a 90s kid, watching the ten-episode series is a really fun trip down memory lane as I get to think back to all the fun times I had as a child watching Jordan and the Bulls play. I’m a sucker for nostalgia.
From a production standpoint, “The Last Dance” is high quality.
However, nostalgia and production values are not the real reason this show is so spectacular. The best part of the entire program is that it is politics free!
Unlike the ESPN of today, the network used to air sports programming minus the politics. This was ESPN’s golden era in the 1990s when they aired highlights on SportsCenter and aired sporting events.
When Jordan was leading the Bulls to a sixth championship, ESPN spent their programming days discussing sports.
In the Bulls era, there were no discussions of woke politics or hours of talking heads during the day discussing the latest political issues on shows like “First Take.” In the 1990s, there were actual sports discussions on ESPN.
In the past decade, the network decided to go political and allow their hosts not only to express their political opinions on issues but also to discuss them openly on their programming.
The political discussions on ESPN alienated some in their audience that watches the channel to escape from politics. No one wants to watch ESPN and hear politics on a sports network.
With the Bulls documentary, the focus is on the player’s lives on the court and the situations occurring off the court during their championship run. For example, Dennis Rodman’s 48-hour Vegas vacation during the season.
There is no talk of Jordan’s politics and what he thought of Bill Clinton, or if the Bulls will attend or boycott a ceremony at the White House because they don’t like the president.
The lack of a political tone could change in future episodes, but so far, the producers have stayed true to the era in which the story occurred and have not included politics.
With American society so dominated by partisan politics, the documentary serves as a reminder of a time not too long ago in history where politics did not dominate pop culture and how glorious of an era that was.
ESPN should produce more content like “The Last Dance” and stay away from politics. Sports is what the channel does best.
Also, Jordan is the G.O.A.T.
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