Everyone remembers those iconic Chicago Bulls intros from the ‘90s, with the Alan Parsons Project song and the animated bull charging through the streets of Chicago, eventually building up to the big moment when the announcer would scream: From North Carolina… MICHAELLLL FUCKING JORDAAANNN! Alright, it didn’t always happen like that, but thanks to a somewhat surprising decision from ESPN, we will at least get to hear some sweet, sweet cursing in the upcoming ‘90s Bulls documentary series Last Dance—but only if you want to. As reported by Variety, ESPN will simultaneously air two versions of the Jason Hehir-directed series, one with unedited footage of players occasionally saying bad words (Variety specifically cites “F,” “MF,” and “S,” if you can figure out the secret code), and one with the “words that are deemed scurrilous” dropped out for anyone with sensitive ears… or, you know, children.
ESPN will be getting the one with all of the fucks intact, while ESPN2 will get the sanitized version where everyone pretends that Dennis Rodman isn’t just constantly walking around saying “motherfucker.” It sounds like the idea, naturally, was to get Last Dance in front of as many potential viewers as possible without necessarily having to touch some of the “authentic and raw” footage that Hehir was able to get of the Bulls’ final championship run of the Jordan era.
As we reported last month, ESPN bumped up the airdate for Last Dance in response to the widespread shutdown of professional sports due to the coronavirus. It was originally supposed to air in June, but it will premiere on April 19 (this Sunday) and run through May 17. For a fun game, switch back and forth between the clean and inappropriate versions until you don’t know which is which. Then it’ll be a fun surprise when Dennis Rodman says “motherfucker.”