As you know, The Last Dance premiered last night. In a world without live sports, this 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, originally intended to accompany the NBA Finals in June, was thrust into the brightest spotlight a documentary has ever had, forced to stand in for the Final Four, the Masters, MLB opening day, the NBA/NHL playoffs and a zillion other events not happening right now.
You might think this has nothing to do with college football. You would be wrong.
Jordan Brand, a subsidiary of Nike, dresses four college football programs, and they used this pop-up national holiday to celebrate.
First, there was Jordan's own school, North Carolina.
Carolina, however, was downright modest compared to Oklahoma's embrace of all things Jordan.
The other two Jordan Brand schools, Florida and Michigan, they, uh, they took the night off.
(Update: Michigan has joined the chat.)
The Last Dance is a celebration of Jordan and the Bulls at their zenith. It's a previously unseen window into a truly larger than life player, a man that became the closest thing to the personification of ultimate excellence we've ever seen. So it makes all the sense in the world that North Carolina and Oklahoma would seize the opportunity to associate their brands with Jordan's, particularly at a time when the younger generation (read: recruits) is introduced to the MJ mystique for the first time.
Last night's premier showed a quick scene in which Jordan and his UNC teammates celebrate their 1983 national title inside Kenan Stadium. It simply boggles the mind that, 30 some odd years later, the Tar Heel football team -- that plays in the very spot Jordan was standing -- would wear the flying, basketball-dunking personal logo of that humble freshman. Jordan was so good and his star so enormous that he leapt over the bounds of reality.
No one summarized this phenomenon better than The Athletic's Jason Kersey did here.
The Last Dance will remain in center stage, without any sort of competition from the rest of the sports world, for the next four Sunday nights. It remains to be seen if Florida and Michigan will join in, but North Carolina and Oklahoma will milk this opportunity for all it's worth.