Good morning, frents …
Hey, hey! Not only is today the last day of this terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad month — at least I believe it is, though who can say for certain — but we actually have good news to lead the Minute this morning. Let’s get to it.
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Thank you, ESPN … we needed this
Ask and we shall receive.
ESPN is releasing its 10-part “Last Dance” documentary on Michael Jordan and the dynasty-era Bulls starting Sunday, April 19. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post first reported the news on Monday night and it was confirmed on Good Morning America on Tuesday morning.
If you weren’t on Twitter when Marchand’s tweet dropped, you can rightfully assume this was the collective reaction from everyone upon reading the news:
As you might have known, the highly-anticipated film was originally supposed to debut sometime in June. But no sooner had the country started its coronavirus shutdown earlier this month than people on Twitter started appealing to the Worldwide Leader to debut the documentary early.
ESPN initially said the documentary wasn’t yet finished. But it also said it was looking at moving any finished original content up on the schedule as it faced an unprecedented hole in its schedules from the suspension of live sports.
And now here we are.
The documentary will be doled out in two-episode increments each Sunday night for five straight weeks. We’re basically gearing up for the type of time-slot domination previously owned by Tony Soprano, the Walking Dead zombies and Game of Thrones. (Whether or not this one has a better ending depends on if they end with Game 6 in Utah or that last stint in Washington.)
Here’s the full schedule:
And the final trailer …
In the whole scheme of things, the release of this film won’t solve a lot of problems. Our tattered economy won’t be saved. It won’t give anyone their job back.
At the same time, let’s take our victories where we can get them right now. We’re coming off a weekend in which Netflix’s The Tiger King became a surprise cultural hit despite all of the human and collateral damage that ridiculous group of damaged characters left in their wake. That’s how desperate most of this country is for any shared experience right now that doesn’t involve runs on toilet paper or PPE shortages.
With the Michael Jordan movie moved up at least two months, we’re getting together to watch 10 nights of the excellence and inspiration that Jordan has brought into our lives ever since he started putting on a Bulls uniform. And what better time for everyone to get a lesson from MJ’s brand of dedication and willpower as we start to stare down the biggest challenge of most of our lifetimes.
We’re definitely going to be talking about this much more in the weeks to come, but let’s just savor it for now. We were overdue for a bit of a good news.
Quick question: How does everyone feel about a mailbag newsletter? I’ve gone dark the last two Fridays in these sports-free times, but ending the week having some back-and-forth might be a good way to pass the time. So, yeah, let’s try it. If you have questions about Chicago sports, baseball cards, the media scene, music, craft beer or being a 41-year-old dad stuck inside with two pre-K kids, I’m game to answer them.
I can’t do it without you, though.
Email me or hit me up on Twitter this week.
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• TV reporter Siera Santos said a farewell to Chicago on Twitter last night, which is a major bummer. The media scene in town is better with her here. (@SieraSantos)
• It’s hard to think of a local athlete made good more unique than Tommy Zbikowski. This Dan Pompei profile on Zbikowski facing his triumphs and tribulations in a boxing ring was fantastic. (The Athletic)
• Jon Greenberg catches up with Chicago’s beer vendors. (The Athletic)
• Nick Foles and Chase Daniel had a video chat and the Bears somehow only came up once. Thanks to Cam Ellis for taking one for the team and watching this. (NBC Sports)
• 90 Miles Cafe is one of my favorite spots to eat in the city. 90 Miles Cafe needs our help. (Block Club Chicago)
• So does FanGraphs. (FG)
• This? Just Bill Murray singing with John Prine at the Grand Ole Opry. (Twitter)
• It took me a bit but I finally found one negative to this shutdown eventually ending: Telling the Shedd penguins they can’t walk around the aquarium any more.
• Props to Rick Bayless and an anonymous $250,000 donor for buying grocery boxes for affected restaurant workers. (AP)
• Gotta be honest: There’s a strong chance this just might turn into a Lori Lightfoot meme blog as long as we’re stuck inside and she keeps making content like this:
That’s it for today. Thank you for being a #frentofthenewsletter.
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