“The Last Dance” was a big hit, even with sports fans in the Pacific Northwest.
ESPN’s 10-part documentary on the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s provided a lifeline for fans suffering withdrawal from the lack of sports during the coronavirus pandemic. The series began airing on April 19 and concluded on May 17, and with nothing else happening in the sports world it generated all kinds of buzz.
Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers whether they had watched “The Last Dance,” and if so what they thought about it.
POLL: Have you watched “The Last Dance,” the ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, and if so what did you think about it? Full context here: https://t.co/FXaoLMv0Kb
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) May 26, 2020
The reviews came back thumbs up. When adding up the votes between the poll posted on Twitter and the one posted on the blog, more than half the responders (54%) said they watched it and loved it. The remaining 46% were split almost evenly between the other three options, with 18% saying they haven’t watched and don’t intend to, 14% saying they watched and didn’t understand the hype, and another 14% saying they haven’t watched but intend to.
I wasn’t sure what the response was going to be like for this one. On one hand, “The Last Dance” was all over the sports landscape, becoming almost impossible to avoid. On the other hand, Seattle area fans weren’t big Bulls backers in those days, and we don’t even have an NBA team anymore — though it was kind of cool to see the Sonics trending during the days following the initial airing of the episode that covered the 1996 NBA finals. I didn’t know if this poll was going to get any kind of participation, and I didn’t know what the voters would say.
The poll ended up getting a pretty good turnout. With 231 votes it ranked behind all five of the NFL-related polls that have been posted since the pandemic began, but it received the second-most votes among the four non-NFL-related ones. With 68% of the responders reporting they had watched, it seems we in the Pacific Northwest weren’t exempt from the demographic that made “The Last Dance” the most-watched ESPN documentary ever. And among those who watched, 79% thought it was great, so there was near universal approval.
As for my opinion? I have to begin by acknowledging that I only watched it begrudgingly. I didn’t intend to watch, since I witnessed all that when it happened. But when social media was blowing up about “The Last Dance,” soccer bloggers were writing about it, my friends were asking me about it, etc. I decided I’d better see it for myself. I thought it was fine, and seeing some of the behind-the-scenes footage was cool. But I don’t feel like I learned much new, and my suspicion that the positive reaction had as much to do with the lack of new sports content as it did the actual quality of the documentary wasn’t allayed.
But that’s just my opinion. And based on the poll results, my opinion is in the distinct minority.