Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Michael's Last Dance and All That Jazz

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Michael's Last Dance and All That Jazz

Article excerpt

It has gone almost unnoticed, or is merely glossed over, as the

gushing sentiment for the possible last run of the Chicago Bulls

becomes a worldwide plague.

Spreading the infection is not just NBC, but a fawning print

media as well. Everyone is so enthralled with this Last Dance

business, with the silly perception that the public will need

time to mourn if tonight or Wednesday is Michael Jordan's last

game, that another potential closure to these NBA Finals has

been blatantly ignored.

With all due respect to Jordan, can anybody outside Utah work

up any feeling for two future Hall of Famers winning their first

championship ring?

Remember how much Americans empathized with Ernie Banks, and to

a lesser extent, Don Mattingly, for never playing in a World

Series?

Oh, what a compelling story it was when John Elway finally won

a Super Bowl.

And how NASCAR fans practically soiled their britches as Dale

Earnhardt took the checkered flag at the Daytona 500.

The common thread is, as sports fans, we generally like seeing

consummate professionals reap the ultimate benefit of their

occupation. To, one time, know that feeling of being crowned a

champion.

Karl Malone and John Stockton of the Utah Jazz deserve that as

much as anyone who ever made a jump shot.

There's just one problem. Too many people can't bear to watch

Jordan leave the game without a sixth championship ring. As if

Michael would feel emotionally empty without it.

But if you watch or read anything about the NBA Finals, it's as

if nothing else matters. Only the coronation of the adora-Bulls,

the invinci-Bulls or whatever happens to be the catch phrase of

the day.

I think Jan Brady said it best: "It's always Michael. Michael,

Michael, Michael!" Or something like that. …

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