One of the biggest fears with the release of The Last Dance was the fact that legendary NBA Star Michael Jordan believed people would view him differently and negatively due to his innate character to win at all cost. That was not the case as millions of sports fans tuned in each week to view the journey of MJ or as Indiana Pacers Reggie Miller would say, “The Black Cat”. In fact, it was inspiring, motivational, historical and gave an insight to the mindset of one of the world’s greatest athletes and provided some insight to the GOAT debate between him (MJ) and Lebron James although this is a debate that will continue for quite some time.
The Last Dance showcased more than game highlights and victories; it featured an off the court aspect that many appreciated, an insight to the work ethic and passion that led to six NBA championships. Michael Jordan was and is a special kind of breed, a person who nature is competitive with an unstoppable drive to be the best.
Because of this personality and drive, MJ received the biggest endorsements and sponsorships, received media attention and a fan base that no athlete has ever experienced during that time, and at the same time, one must note, his character was not a selfish one as he pushed and challenged everyone around him to be the greatest that they could be although it may have been for selfish reasons – to win.
The higher he climbed, the more negative attention made its way into his life. Every success story comes at a cost and for Michael Jordan, it was his love of gambling that the media and others gravitated towards to thwart his reputation. He was scrutinized and under a microscope every second of his life during a time when social media was nonexistent.
In today's era, it is called the “Cancel Culture” an unorganized group of people whose sole purpose is to bring those with great success or on their way to success down by (1) highlighting and pointing out a “mistake” or something of controversy that may draw negative attention towards their target or (2) Dig through the past of the target and release any and every dirt they could find despite the fact that it could have been twenty, thirty years ago. Politicians and political appointees are the number one target, followed by CEO’s of major companies, and then celebrities/athletes with status – Kevin Hart (Homophobic-like Tweets), Tom Brady (Deflategate), Tyra Banks (Judging Models to Harshly), Oprah (Supporting Gayle King), Ellen DeGeneres (Hanging with President Bush), Lebron James (Everything) – have all become targets of their success.
And if their – the Cancel Culture – plan fails, they continue at all cost no matter how disrespectful or immoral. This was the case in the Summer of 1993 when Michael Jordan’s father was murdered. The media and those deemed to bring MJ down begin releasing stories that the murder was related to Michael’s addiction to gambling. In the most vulnerable and devasting state of Michael’s life, because of his success, people dismissed the sensitivity of his grieving and attempted to kick him while he was down. But despite the loss of his father, playing through a bad flu… well, food poison as the historical record has been corrected by Michael himself, MJ prevailed.
As the documentary featured those nearest Michael, teammates and opponents, no matter who disliked MJ, he earned each one of their respect. On the court he would trash talk you, dismiss you, dominate you and eliminate you but once the clock turned to zero, he would acknowledge you and respect you.
Now that The Last Dance is over, we would love to see more documentaries covering other great successes, their mindsets and their journey but will any documentary be as phenomenal as one covering the great Michael Jordan?
Written by John R Kerry
(1) Joe Burrow LSU QB
(2) Chase Young Ohio State DE
(3) Jeff Okudah Ohio State CB
(4) Andrew Thomas Georgia OT
(5) Tua Tagovailoa Alabama QB
(6) Justin Herbert Oregon QB
(7) Derrick Brown Auburn DT
(8) Isaiah Simmons Clemson OLB
Official: LSU's Joe Burrow selected #1 by the Cincinnati Bengals. #NFLDraft2020
"From the New York Post"
Drew Brees is signing with NBC Sports over ESPN in a move that will make him a fixture on NFL telecasts far after he finishes playing, The Post has learned.
In a contract that will begin after Brees retires from the Saints, the 41-year-old will be groomed as the potential replacement for Cris Collinsworth on “Sunday Night Football,” according to sources.
“Like all NFL fans, we look forward to watching Drew continue his Hall of Fame career this fall, and we are confident his post-playing career will be just as successful,” NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes told The Post.
NBC already has a succession plan for Collinsworth’s SNF partner, Al Michaels. After the 2022 Super Bowl, Mike Tirico is going to take over full-time for Michaels.
When Brees retires from the Saints, he is expected to start as a game analyst on Notre Dame football and as a studio analyst for “Football Night in America.” In its recruitment of Brees, NBC sold him on it being the best place to succeed.
The move by NBC has been made in part to solidify its announcing group as all the networks head into negotiations with the NFL for the next TV rights agreement. NBC could possibly add a second NFL package, which would allow Brees and Collinsworth to both be No. 1s. If not, Brees will be in the on-deck circle.
This offseason, Brees signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Saints, though there is a feeling this could be his final season. While ESPN was thought to be the highest bidder for Brees in the $6 million range, NBC’s offer is said to be competitive with it.
As for ESPN, its search to replace Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland on “Monday Night Football” continues. Internally, Steve Levy is considered a strong candidate for the play-by-play position, though ESPN does have others to choose from in Adam Amin, Dave Pasch and Bob Wischusen.
On the analyst side, ESPN will internally consider Dan Orlovsky, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese, while looking outside at NFL Network/Westwood One’s Kurt Warner and CBS/NFL Network’s Nate Burleson, according to sources.
ESPN had interest in Brees for “Monday Night Football” and was willing to wait for him. It had previously wanted to hire Tony Romo, but CBS locked him up for $180 million before Romo could officially hit the open market. ESPN again went after Peyton Manning, who declined. Philip Rivers decided to sign with the Colts over ESPN.
NBC has created depth, but it is a potentially awkward situation. Michaels, 75, is considered maybe the best NFL play-by-player in history and has no plans to retire.
Earlier in the offseason, NBC declined ESPN’s exploration in trying to trade for Michaels. ESPN had hoped for a powerhouse combination of Michaels and Manning.
Meanwhile, Collinsworth, 61, is well-liked by NBC. The network just signed his son, Jac, to be a big part of its future coverage.
It is conceivable to imagine that when Tirico leaves the studio show for the broadcast booth full-time, that NBC — if it only has one NFL TV package — could appeal to Collinsworth by having him sit next to his son in studio for the network’s pregame show. While Jac Collinsworth would likely be a candidate for the show, Liam McHugh, who is already on “Football Night in America,” would be, as well.
Longtime Patriots QB Tom Brady announced Tuesday that he will not return to the team for the 2020 season.
Brady, who is a free agent, made the announcement on Twitter.
"Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments," Brady said in an open letter to the Patriots organization.