Tom Petty and the Bulls: A video connection

CHICAGO – As with most famous artists, there is always a tie to the Windy City.

For the late Tom Petty, who died at the age of 66 on Monday, the ties to Chicago also lie in his connections to the city’s sports teams.

The Chicago Cubs mourned the loss of Petty on Monday, showing pictures of the show he performed this past year at Wrigley Field on June 29th. Many on social media shared pictures of the concert which Petty performed along with his band the Heartbreakers.

But for die-hard Bulls fans, there was also a connection with the singer. It had to do with the Bulls’ first championship and an official video put out by the NBA in tribute to the franchise’s first Larry O’Brien trophy winner.

“Learning to Fly” was the title of the video created by NBA Entertainment that chronicled the 1990-1991 Bulls season and it featured the iconic song from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as the theme.

The song was featured in the first four minutes of the documentary as it chronicled the Bulls’ difficult ascension to the top of the Eastern Conference through the early years of Michael Jordan’s career. It was also in the closing credits which showed the Bulls’ celebration after their NBA Finals win over the Lakers.

So here in Chicago, the legacy of Petty lives on not only with the music fans of the city but the sports fans of two teams in particular.