Years ago, when I was in high school, I was fanatical about the Chicago Bulls. Fanatical. I tried to tape almost every broadcast game from the 95/96 season through 97/98. This was in the days before League Pass, when the internet meant AOL and Compuserve, and it took forever to download a picture (of puppies of course). It took dedication to be a super fan.
So recently I was watching an old mixtape I had made of Bulls highlights from the 95/96 regular season. That was the season the Bulls led by Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Toni Kukoc won 72 regular season games (of 82) en route to their first championship since Jordan had retired. I recorded it on VHS, and I had used two non-SVHS VCRs to dub the footage over the course of a couple days. Of course that followed the several weeks I had taken to rewatch every game and had taken copious notes to help narrow down the choice highlights. It was a labor of love at the time. I still watch basketball but not on the level that I did for those three years. That was the first, last, and only professional sports team that I will ever love so much barring the possibility that I have a child who also grows up to be a professional athlete. Although in that case I probably still won't love his or her team that much.
After watching the tape I had a few thoughts: at least three of the non-Bulls players on the tape have since passed away (Bobby Phills, Bison Dele, Malik Sealy), very few players are left in the league from that year, and how easy it looked when the Bulls scored. It also got me thinking--perhaps I should re-edit the video.
I had kept most of the tapes from back then. I have a video transfer device, an editing program as well as the expertise to go along with all that. I even have an SVHS VCR with a flying head that should make things easier this time around. I have the tools and the resources, so what's to stop me? So off I go then, re-watching those magical seasons. I hope to check back in now and then with observations about the experience. It sure is going to be a pleasure seeing basketball played by the greatest again.