You all know by now that I’m not a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate someone who is the best at his game. Someone like Michael Jordan. I can recognize why he’s a superstar and I can respect his ability to dominate his sport.
So when commercials like Gatorade’s “23 vs 39” that they played during the Super Bowl hits the airwaves I have to confess to being impressed. You can catch it on the web at various places and I’m sure it’ll be repeated for quite a while on TV. It features Michael Jordan at age 39 going up against Michael Jordan at age 23 in a one-on-one basketball game.
Michael Jordan is working out in a gym alone, just shooting around. A door opens on the other side of the building, and in walks none other than Michael Jordan.
Only this is the young-legs MJ, the circa-‘87 MJ, complete with a No. 23 Bulls uni, a pair of the old, bold red-and-black Airs on his feet, and hops for days and days and days. The game is on.
Experience versus hunger. Wisdom and guile head-to-head with brilliant abandon. Head-fakes and shoulder leans on the perimeter against head-fakes and acrobatics around the rim. Trash talk in both directions. Playoff intensity and playground swagger in the air.
It’s a damned impressive commercial and leaves you wondering just how the hell they did it. Over at ESPN.com they spill the beans. They didn’t just use old footage of young Jordan and insert it into shots of current Jordan, no, this is totally new stuff and very convincing. You’ll have to go read the article to find out exactly how they did it, but when you hire James Cameron’s Digital Domain you can pretty much bend reality any way you want.