Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” and Hero Worship: A Pretty Much Pop Culture Podcast Discussion (#50)

The 10-part ESPN doc­u­men­tary dis­sect­ing Michael Jor­dan and the Bulls’ six cham­pi­onships has pro­vid­ed some much need­ed sports dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, rop­ing in even sports haters with a mix of game high­lights and behind-the-scenes dra­ma.

Your hosts Bri­an Hirt, Eri­ca Spyres, and Mark Lin­sen­may­er are joined by Seth from The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life to inter­ro­gate the event: Was it actu­al­ly worth 10 hours of our time? Did its “time-jump­ing” struc­ture work? Its its treat­ment of Jor­dan real­ly “hagiog­ra­phy” sanc­ti­fy­ing the man, or is the pic­ture of grudge-hold­ing ultra-com­pet­i­tive­ness actu­al­ly pret­ty repul­sive? Why was he like that? Why are sports amenable to cre­at­ing cul­tur­al icons out of its heroes in a way that, say, physics isn’t? Are we going to see many more of these long-form treat­ments of sports heroes?

For more dis­cus­sion, here are some arti­cles we looked at:

If you enjoyed this, check out our episode #25 with sports­cast­er Dave Rev­sine.

Learn more at prettymuchpop.com. This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion that you can only hear by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts or start with the first episode.

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