Michael Jordan – Beyond the Court
Every diehard basketball fan has a strong opinion on the NBA GOAT (greatest of all time) debate. The general consensus is a two-man race between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Personally, I am a LeBron James guy. A big reason behind my stance is that I wasn’t alive to witness Michael Jordan’s dominance. Given the Geocities era ran simultaneously with MJ’s six championship run, this blog post pays homage to his Airness himself, Michael Jeffrey Jordan.
This Michael Jordan tribute can be found under the Colosseum section and Field sub-section. The creator of the website is a man by the name of Michael Dequina. He does not provide much information about himself, but from the looks of it, he is an avid Michael Jordan superfan. Out of all the Michael Jordan pages, Michael Dequina’s tribute particularly caught my eye. Every other MJ website is mainly, if not solely, about the Bulls and their performance on the court. On the other hand, Dequina’s tribute has nothing to do with basketball at all, hence the name “Michael Jordan – Beyond the Court.”
The tribute is a compilation of pictures of MJ with small, one-line captions underneath. Pictures are categorized across seven sections with specific sub-sections in each of them.
- Cover Guy – Magazine covers
- The Family Man – The Father, The Husband, The Son
- Flair Jordan – Best outfits
- The Golf Nut – A whole section dedicated to golf
- Just Michael – Miscellaneous MJ doing cool stuff section
- The Pitch Man – Endorsements and commercials
- The Star – Media, SNL, Space Jam
My favorite image on Michael Dequina’s site
The site opened on February 12, 1997, during the back half of the Bulls and Michael Jordan’s 1997-98 season. This year would end with his fifth championship in a seven-year span – in the middle of the second three-peat campaign. The last update of the page came on January 14, 2004.
The genius of Michael Dequina’s page comes from the wide-ranging audience who can identify with it. Sure, most of the world at the time knew who Michael Jordan, the basketball player, was, but EVERYONE knew Michael Jordan, the superstar. Dequina’s site appeals to a wide range of 1990s pop culture enthusiasts. Jordan’s ventures into fashion, cinema, television, and advertising are all covered on the site. Those interested in pop culture will find this examination of Jordan’s influence outside of sports exciting and appealing. Sections such as “Family Man” and “Just Michael” make an effort to humanize Jordan beyond his athletic persona. This displays an appreciation for Jordan’s individuality that visitors to the page can consume. It represents the life of Michael Jordan, not just the basketball player.
The website design is simple yet perfect for the theme of the page. The background is a bunch of Michael Jordan signatures in red on a black canvas. Dequina also makes it easily accessible for visitors to find the pictures they seek. A “Site Map” is provided with hyperlinks to every section and sub-section on the page. The visual design, use of HTML tables and frames, and guestbook are all typical amateur fan site practices from the 1990s and early 2000s web. This is an example of an early internet fan identity.
In addition to the pictures provided by Michael Dequina, the page also offers a Michael Jordan Chat Forum, a Michael Jordan Guestbook, and a Michael Jordan Guestbook Archive. Fans of MJ can freely chat in this forum on all matters related to Jordan. Although the chat is no longer accessible, it is safe to assume that this chat was about topics synonymous with the page’s theme and not as much about basketball. There is a lot to talk about in regard to the personal side of MJ, given his worldwide superstar status. Additionally, the guestbook is a feature that appears on many Geocities websites. It is a place for visitors to stamp their signature and note appreciation for the page.
Since Dequina is such a MJ superfan, he also provides a hyperlink to seemingly every Michael Jordan/Bulls-related website on GeoCities. He appears to be more interested in spreading his love for Michael Jordan than hogging visitors on his site. Of course, his second Michael Jordan page, “A Michael Jordan Fan’s Heartbreak,” is the first site that is linked with the “written by yours truly” footnote.
By providing a thorough look at Michael Jordan’s diversified life, the website appeals to sports, pop culture, and web fandom identities. Additionally, Michael Dequina’s personal identity as a devoted follower of Michael Jordan is clearly evident.
A Tribute by Michael Dequina