This song has become widely used at sporting events, particularly as opening-lineup themes for basketball teams. That's thanks to the Chicago Bulls of the NBA, which started using it around 1987. After drafting Michael Jordan in 1984, the team started playing Michael Jackson's "Thriller
" when introducing their starting lineups, giving Jordan top billing by introducing him last. At the time, most teams were still using organists for music during games, and introductions were a formality that could be missed - like the previews at movies.
But the Bulls wanted to get fans into the arena early and pump them up for the game. Their public address announcer, Tommy Edwards, was the right man for the job: he was the midday host at the Chicago radio station WLS. Edwards helped the station install cart machines (like 8-track tapes with one track) that radio stations used in the arena, allowing him to play music and sound effects. He also put some flair into his vocals, creating the famous "from North... Carolina" introduction for Jordan.
The new introductions worked well, especially when they would turn off the lights in the arena, which they did before before big games. By Jordan's third season, he was the leading scorrer in the NBA and the most exciting player in the league, warranting any hype he was given.
Edwards heard "Sirius" when it was playing at a movie theater as background music before the film. He knew the song from playing it on WLS, so he decided to try it as the new intro music for the Bulls; the team has been using it ever since.
The song timed out perfectly, with the guitar section hitting just as Jordan was announced. Edwards talked over songs for a living, so he knew how to hit the marks. The Bulls kept improving, but in 1990 Edwards left to take a job in Boston programming a radio station. His replacement, Ray Clay, used the same style. In Clay's first full season as announcer (1990-1991), the Bulls won the first of their six championships with Jordan.
As for Parsons, when he was told by an American friend that his song was being used as intro music for Michael Jordan, Parsons replied, "Who's Michael Jordan." He is not a basketball fan.
Brian - Edmonton, Canada