The Last Dance cures sports viewers drought during pandemic

By Trent Champagne

With professional sports leagues suspending games, now is a tough time to be a sports fan.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, all sports have been canceled and games and matches postponed across the world. 

All of the top sports leagues in America have postponed their seasons to a date that will be later determined because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

 The National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and all spring sports in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have canceled play and have yet to announce a return date.

That leaves many sports networks scrambling to find old games and interviews to show on their channel. ESPN scrambled to finish their ten part documentary on the great Chicago Bulls, in particular, their final season in 1998. The documentary is called “The Last Dance,” and it airs two of the ten parts every Sunday night on ESPN and ESPN2.

ESPN was not finished with all ten episodes, but the COVID-19 pandemic left them in a situation where they scrambled to finish it as soon as they could.

Outside of the WNBA and NFL Drafts, The Last Dance has been the only new sports program since the outbreak of COVID-19. 

Eric Crider, 33, has been watching sports since he was a kid. Watching The Last Dance has him tuned in every Sunday night.

“Without the documentary, there is literally nothing else to watch when it comes to sports. It’s got me and my wife watching every Sunday and she is not even a basketball fan. We just miss sports,” Crider said.

The Last Dance is a documentary that profiles the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s and the rise of their best player, Michael Jordan.

For many basketball fans, Michael Jordan is considered to be the greatest player of all time. For Bob Molina, who has watched sports since he was a kid in the 1970s, has been impressed with all of the video compilations and interviews the documentary has provided.

“They’re telling stories and showing highlights of him from the 1990s. That was almost 30 years ago if you think about it. It’s just amazing how they can get interviews with all of the players and coaches and bring everyone together,” Molina said.

Like Molina, The Last Dance has turned back the clock for many sports fans.

“It brings back so many memories. I remember exactly where I was when some of the games took place. That is the beauty of sports, the excitement and memories it brings to all of us,” Molina said.

Michael Hagenhoff, a sophomore at Saint Charles Community College, is one of many fans who await the return of sports.

“I need sports back so bad. It’s not only fun and exciting, but it is also a great chance for me to bond with my dad and brothers. Sports just has that binding connection to it. I miss it so bad,” Hagenhoff said.

The Last Dance documentary is holding the sports fans over for now, while they wait for sports to make their return.

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