Back in the mid 90’s there was a game that four College students invented called the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
It was designed on the premise that in six moves or less you could connect every actor in Hollywood with Kevin Bacon.
There is delicious irony in the fact the theory was devised after watching KB play College basketball coach Jimmy Dolan in the largely forgettable hoops comedy The Air Up There.
So let’s park that and the Bacon six-steps for a moment.
Because speaking of basketball, just over a week ago marked the four year anniversary of a milestone day in NBA history.
April 13, 2016. The Golden State Warriors defeat Memphis to win their 73rd game of the regular season.
It’s back in the conversation somewhat with the overnight release of the long-awaited sports docu-series The Last Dance which reflects on the legendary days of Michael Jordan’s 1997-98 Chicago Bulls.
They were bloody good. MJ. Pippen. Rodman. The sharp-shooting Croatian Toni Kukoc. And of course our own Luc Longley.
There was also a crafty point-guard named Steve Kerr who still holds the record for the NBA’s highest career three-point percentage.
They were all there two seasons earlier when the Bulls put together their notorious 72-10 season which was considered a unicorn for teams in a new millennium competition.
So how’s the irony of the Warriors – a team coached by Kerr and led on court by the man second to him on that three-point percentage chart – Steph Curry – being the franchise to eclipse Jordan’s 72 game Bulls?
Anyway, despite being in COVID-19 enforced season suspension right now, the NBA remains at the forefront of conversation because of MJ’s Chicago Bulls.
Question is though – was the Bulls’ 72-game haul the greatest record ever snapped?
Perhaps not. Today marked the anniversary of a genuine contender to the crown. A record set by the other MJ. Michael Jackson.
His album Thriller busted all sorts of milestones when it sat on top of America’s Billboard charts for 37 weeks. 37 weeks. And what a cracker it was.
Billie Jean. Beat It. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ and of course the title track itself, Thriller.
It just wouldn’t lie down. It’s clocked more than 400 weeks on the Billboard charts. Imposing record.
And at the top? They were non-consecutive weeks but 37 weeks at the helm are serious biscuits.
But of course just like Jordan’s Bulls and their dreamy 72, all good things must come to an end. The time at the top was eventually knee-capped.
Sometimes there’s pedigree in the successor. Like the Kerr-Curry combo.
Or sometimes, it just kicks off your Sunday shoes.
And therein lies the kryptonite to the future King of Pop. Footloose. The legend. The myth. The soundtrack.
To be fair, it stayed there for a couple of months too.
The soundtrack to a movie which had people across the world heel-tapping through steels mills in a hybrid mix of parkour and long-distance walking.
It’s just not quite Thriller is it? At least Jordan’s Bulls can say they were eclipsed by a more savage beast.
The star? Who else but Kevin Bacon. Kevin bloody Bacon. The bloke connected to anything, everything and everyone.
The bloke who played Ren McCormack. A teenager who moves to Bomont, Utah to live with his aunt and uncle.
From where else … but Chicago …
Bacon’s Law. It’s spooky really. There is simply no escaping its ideological and philosophical hold.