So as of today, Michael Jordan is now 48 years old. Forget the indifferent arguments that he could still play today; the man is old. And he’s getting older. Creating some type of MJ tribute almost never works and that’s mostly because the man has been the focal point of an unimaginable amount of post tributes. I still remember watching the time leading up to his second retirement in 1998. As a slight showcase of how iconic he really is, we stopped school to watch his retirement. When SportsCenter brought those old “Jordan Moments” out, I was there leading the 6th grade class in a unified homage. I still have the tapes.
But sooner or later, he will reach a point – if he hasn’t already – where he no longer resembles what we want him to. For now, we will continue to look back in the past at the expense of the future. Normally, running with such talk is stupid. But since today is February 17 and since today is another born day for the Greatest Athlete of All-Time, I will allow it.
Even allowing that we might overstate the point, it is not uncommon for the most memorable of our athletes to reflect their times. Certainly, the Babe was at one with the Roaring Twenties, just as Jackie Robinson perfectly represented the grand societal advances of the postwar years, and as Ali and Billie Jean so symbolized the turmoil of their period. Likewise, Michael Jordan is not merely so extraordinary for what he does. He also has been the right, best athlete for us now, for this relatively serene and altogether prosperous fin de si�cle, when the United States rules alone, as much superculture as superpower.
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