The "Flu Game" episode of Last Dance happened during the series finale last night.
Growing up it was something of lore that all dads would turn to especially when talking about the competitiveness and greatness of MJ especially vs. LeBron.
"You think MJ would have left the game let alone been carried off the floor for some little cramps?" your dad griped to you with a smug grin on his face during the 2014 NBA Finals.
A real bummer to find out that the vaunted MJ flu game just turned out to be him eating some bad pizza, but nonetheless growing up anytime you were off your game in anything it was considered your "flu game".
Could be beer pong when you have a cold. Could be video games if your thumbs are cramping up. Could be taking a test after a night out without studying. It's almost similar to shouting "KOBE!" whenever you shoot anything. If you're feeling a little off, it's an automatic "hey - flu game am i right?"
I'll never forget mine. Early June 2011. Summer going into my senior year of high school. I was playing travel baseball at the time and we had an early Friday afternoon first pitch at Ball State University in the quaint and lovely Muncie, Indiana.
The night before was a classic high school open house on a Thursday night. "Can't pass that up" I thought to myself on Thursday evening knowing I had to be playing a baseball game in Muncie the next day before noon.
I did the classic "ah I'll just have a few" and we all know what happens when you say that - you have, in fact, the opposite of "a few".
Woke up the next morning like a redline bus hit me and was thinking of every excuse to try to miss this game. Unfortunately my parents weren't fucking clueless and could read between the lines of me being gone the night before and me feeling like complete dog shit the next morning, and it wasn't because I ate some bad White Castles (was my go-to line).
Anyways, the hour and 15 minute ride up to the classic all-American town of Muncie was brutal. It was one of those hangovers where even the thought of food makes you want to roll the window down and let it fly. All that could go through my head was how I'm going to cover my ass when I inevitably puke in the box during this midday summer bullshit game with four people in the stands.
Miraculously the top of the 1st came, I stepped up to the plate with a cold sweat dripping on me, and bam started the game off with a double. Immediately I felt a lot better, and it only got better from there.
Somehow I pulled a 4-for-4 day with a home run short of the cycle (WTP) and gunned someone down at the plate from right field. Sure, it wasn't the NBA Finals on the road, but when you've had your "flu game" you know it, and damn it feels good.
Especially when your pops was giving you shit for being hungover telling you how bad you were going to play beforehand then BOOM double birds to you, dad MJ's flu game was a fluke.
(But still really, really cool)