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Saturday, August 04, 2012

ESPN Films Announces Fall Schedule for 30 for 30 Vol. II

Produced by Bill Simmons which reminds me of the joke my buddy House made during the season finale of “Melrose Place” that likened the 1997 ALDS to the Andrew Shue/Courtney Thorne-Smith love storyline.

Broke (Billy Corben)
Broke explores the roads to fortune in American sports and eventually, the many detours to bankruptcy.  Bernie Kosar, Andre Rison and Cliff Floyd are among the athletes who talk openly about the challenges of managing their money in an era when big contracts don’t necessarily support bigger lifestyles. Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders and saddled with medical problems, many pro athletes get shocked by harsh economic realities after years of living the high life. A story of the dark side of success, Broke is an allegory for the financial woes haunting economies and individuals all over the world….

You Don’t Know Bo (Michael Bonfiglio)
Bo Jackson hit 500 ft. home runs, ran over linebackers, and—for a small window—he was the best athlete we had ever seen. You Don’t Know Bo is a close look at the man and marketing campaign that shaped his legacy. Even without winning a Super Bowl or World Series, Bo redefined the role of the athlete in the pop cultural conversation. More than 20 years later, myths and legends still surround Bo Jackson, and his impossible feats still capture our collective imagination.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM | 83 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, bill simmons, bo jackson, cliff floyd, espn, royals, white sox

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   1. Gamingboy Posted: August 04, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4200654)
I love me some 30 for 30.
   2. UCCF Posted: August 04, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4200656)
Yeah, for all the crap that ESPN has put out in the last 15 years, 30 for 30 has been consistently solid. Kind of frustrating to know that they can do this kind of thing when they put their mind to it, but choose to populate Sportscenter, BBTN, and most of the rest of their schedule with blithering, catchphrase-spouting talking heads and semi-literate ex-jocks.
   3. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 04, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4200659)
I really enjoyed "The Pony Express" and "The Best That Never Was" and loved "The Two Escobars." Didn't think that highly of "The U," which I found unoriginal, uninsightful and self-congratulatory. But this is certainly one of the more worthwhile projects ESPN has launched in the last 20 years, so kudos to them for it.
   4. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: August 04, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4200677)
Credit where credit is due: ESPN has by and large done a wonderful job with "30 for 30." The Marcus Dupree doc was the high point for me.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: August 04, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4200688)

"Once Brothers" - Vlade Divac and the late Drazen Petrovic - should have been released in theaters. You don't need to know anything about basketball to be moved to tears by that 30/30 story.

Usually the better you know the real story, the more you grimace when someone comes along and tries and fails to explain it. Not this time.

   6. steagles Posted: August 04, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4200709)
just as a heads up, netflix has added the original 30 for 30 films (plus a few of the other ones that were produced in the interim) to their instant streaming catalog.


none of the films announced in this article seem like they will be in the same league as the two escobars or once brothers, or from an entertainment pov, pony excess or winning time.

judging by the synopses in the article, i'll probably be most interested in "broke" and "you don't know bo". "there's no place like home" sounds terrible. "9.79" and "ghosts of ole miss" oculd be good, and i'm not really familiar with the events described in "benji", but that one sounds interesting, as well.
   7. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 04, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4200711)
Of course, not all the 30 for 30 docs are home runs--that's pretty much impossible--but the number of them which have been truly excellent is impressive.
   8. McCoy Posted: August 04, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4200714)
The 9.79 one could be good. The only guy who wasn't cheating or at least has never gotten caught for cheating was the guy who finished in last place in that race. Should be an interesing story.

That one and broke look to be the only ones I'd be interested in watching.
   9. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: August 04, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4200715)
The Ben Wilson story was HUGE news in Chicago at the time and for years after, and went far beyond sports in its impact. The prototypical senseless act of violence over absolutely nothing.
   10. Chris Fluit Posted: August 04, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4200716)
Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I loved "the U.". It was one of my favorite episodes, right up there with "the two escobars" and "pony express.".
   11. Walt Davis Posted: August 04, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4200717)
Bo redefined the role of the athlete in the pop cultural conversation

Bo was certainly big but if you're going to credit any individual, surely it's Jordan (and Spike Lee).
   12. Walt Davis Posted: August 04, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4200718)
Bo redefined the role of the athlete in the pop cultural conversation

Bo was certainly big but if you're going to credit any individual, surely it's Jordan (and Spike Lee).
   13. Paul d mobile Posted: August 04, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4200720)
Did the Steve Bartman one ever come out?
   14. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 04, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4200724)
Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I loved "the U.

I guess it depends what you mean by "loved"--it was unintentionally but brutally honest in depicting what a loathsome, despicable program that school had

Pork-face Satan (Jimmy Johnson) was his own despicable self
   15. Gamingboy Posted: August 04, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4200726)
Did the Steve Bartman one ever come out?


Yeah, it was last year, I believe. It probably is available on Netflix. I know ESPN is adding those to Netflix.
   16. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 04, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4200727)
I guess it depends what you mean by "loved"--it was unintentionally but brutally honest in depicting what a loathsome, despicable program that school had


I think this is accurate, and I think the "unintentionally" here is part of what put me off the documentary. Here's my impression of "The U:"

"Miami was bad for a long time. Then they hired Howard Schnellenberger, and he recruited good players. The good players were good, and the team was good. They also did a lot of things that annoyed a lot of people. THE U! THE U! THE U!"

There was little attempt at explaining the team's success beyond airing a lot of interviews where players just said, "We were really good." As I said, I found it pretty uninsightful.

I found the documentary's treatment of the players' shenanigans somewhat troublesome. Look, I don't care if a bunch of 18-22-year-old kids in the 80's and early 90's danced around after big plays or pulled out fake six shooters and fired them or ran all the way down the tunnel after a TD. Who cares? I mean, I'm white, but I'm not that white.

But I was awfully put off by the way the Miami alums talked about that Cotton Bowl victory over Texas, specifically the UT player one of them knocked unconscious. There was a lot of guffawing and light-hearted banter about how awesome it was that they knocked a kid unconscious, and it was totally cool, because Texas said mean things about Miami before the game. It's one thing for a bunch of college football players to say things like that, but it's another thing altogether when those kids are in their late 30's and early 40's and the event is 20 years in the past.

All of which would be fine, as it's a documentary and the players said what they said. But there's little evidence in the documentary that the people behind the camera find any of this objectionable. Certainly giving over the last minute or two of the film to a dozen alums so they can make the U hand signal and say "The U" doesn't seem to indicate that the director thought there was much wrong with what Miami did.
   17. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 04, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4200732)
The Navratilova/Evert one was godawful boring. It's the only one that I turned off.

"June 17, 1994", "The Two Escobars", "The Pony Express", and the Divac/Petrovich one were all riveting stuff.

The Gretzky Trade and the Terry Fox one were too close to my heart for me to judge properly.

Funny enough, I never got a chance to see the baseball ones entirely (Jordan on the bus, Roto, 2004 Red Sox, Steinbrenner).

I bought the DVD set for my dad a year ago. I don't think he's watched them yet. I might swipe it from him when I visit next time...

Edit: Oh, and the Reggie Miller/Knicks started off well, but didn't hold me interest enough for me to really recommend it.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: August 05, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4200737)
I saw most of the Miller one as well, and it was well done, but was not convinced it would attract the casual fan. The draft-day stuff and Cheryl Miller stuff was good, but the theme was not as profound as the best ones.

not the directors fault, of course....
   19. Del B. Vista Posted: August 05, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4200739)
Credit where credit is due: ESPN has by and large done a wonderful job with "30 for 30." The Marcus Dupree doc was the high point for me.


I'm sure Dayn has read it, but if you haven't read Willie Morris' "The Courting of Marcus Dupree," you're missing out.
   20. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4200740)
I'm sure Dayn has read it, but if you haven't read Willie Morris' "The Courting of Marcus Dupree," you're missing out.

excellent book--one of many by Willie--his short time as editor of Harper's (~1967-71) was the absolute height of that magazine
   21. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4200742)
I'm sure Dayn has read it, but if you haven't read Willie Morris' "The Courting of Marcus Dupree," you're missing out.


thirded. I was a teenager when I read this and thought it was great then.
   22. steagles Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4200751)
Edit: Oh, and the Reggie Miller/Knicks started off well, but didn't hold me interest enough for me to really recommend it.

I saw most of the Miller one as well, and it was well done, but was not convinced it would attract the casual fan. The draft-day stuff and Cheryl Miller stuff was good, but the theme was not as profound as the best ones.

not the directors fault, of course....


i thought the miller doc was hilarious, and i felt the best part about it was that the emotions of the subjects came right through the television. i could feel reggie miller's enthusiasm, and john starks's seething hatred of it, and spike lee's utterly dismissive contempt for miller.

the biggest issue i had with that film was that it completely ignored the fact that neither team won anything of consequence during that era. it was a great little side story, but it didn't present itself as a side story.

it was still one of my favorites though.


   23. UCCF Posted: August 05, 2012 at 04:18 AM (#4200760)
Did the Steve Bartman one ever come out?

Yeah, it was last year, I believe. It probably is available on Netflix. I know ESPN is adding those to Netflix.


I recommend it. The job they did in recreating what happened, including some really fascinating behind-the-scenes footage of what happened to Bartman still at the game, but after the play, is terrific.
   24. UCCF Posted: August 05, 2012 at 04:20 AM (#4200761)
And since no one's mentioned it - the one on the Fab 5 at Michigan is worth a watch as well. I'm not well-versed enough to know whether it overplays the impact that they had on culture as a whole, but the story of how the team came together, and how it came apart, is nicely told.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4200775)
Funny enough, I never got a chance to see the baseball ones entirely (Jordan on the bus, Roto, 2004 Red Sox, Steinbrenner).
They're pretty much all bad. The 2004 Red Sox doc and the Steinbrenner doc are by far the worst ones in the series. Jordan on the Bus should have been excellent, but goes nowhere. I missed the roto one, heard mixed things. Bartman was very good, so that's one good baseball doc. I have high hopes for Bo.

Bill Simmons, weirdly, seems to be kind of an excellent curator of sports writing and filmmaking. Grantland has hired a whole bunch of good writers, and a huge percentage of the best sportswriting of the last year was written on Grantland. 30 for 30 likewise. I'm sick of his just-us-bros-here sportswriting voice, but I've got to give him credit for this stuff.
   26. AndrewJ Posted: August 05, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4200778)
The Roto one (Silly Little Game) was meant to be mock-heroic and was presented in a tongue-in-cheek style, but some felt it was self-indulgent.
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4200796)
just as a heads up, netflix has added the original 30 for 30 films (plus a few of the other ones that were produced in the interim) to their instant streaming catalog.


Just watched "The Band That Wouldn't Die" last night. The band director looked really familiar and it kept bugging me til I realized he is also in the doc "Becoming Elmo" about the puppeteer behind Elmo on Sesame Street (Kevin Clash) that I watched a few weeks ago - he's the guy at the Baltimore TV station that gives Kevin his first break.

Marcus Dupree (Best that Never Was), Once Brothers (Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac) and The Two Escobars are by far the best.

The baseball ones have been by far my least favorites. Jordan Rides the Bus interminably boring, the fantasy baseball one was terrible because they tried to make it funny, Four Days in October was okay, but the material has been covered so much. I haven't seen the Bartman or Steinbrenner ones -they're in my Netflix queue though.
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4200976)
"House of Steinbrenner" is nauseating. I couldn't even finish it.
   29. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 05, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4200988)
they interviewed the espn guy tasked to track down bartman. he hated it but kept at until he got to bartman in a parking lot

agreed with uccf that the zapruder type film of the wrigley stands following the incident is great.

the guy who was right there with bartman in going for the ball is ridiculously amusing in the very casual way he admits he did the same thing and that he immediately disavowed doing anything when at the game and fingered bartman.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4200992)
Awful Announcing's ideas for 30 for 30 docs.

I'd watch a good doc about the early Bill James days or the death of the Expos.
   31. Chris Fluit Posted: August 05, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4201005)
"Miami was bad for a long time. Then they hired Howard Schnellenberger, and he recruited good players. The good players were good, and the team was good. They also did a lot of things that annoyed a lot of people. THE U! THE U! THE U!"

There was little attempt at explaining the team's success beyond airing a lot of interviews where players just said, "We were really good." As I said, I found it pretty uninsightful.


I'm still going to disagree. I thought that the first part of the film did a very good job of documenting why Schnellenberger was able to turn the program around. They mentioned his focus on recruiting in the state of Florida up through the Tampa-Daytona corridor (which they referred to as "the state of Miami") and especially within the city of Miami. They shared stories of his willingness to go into the ethnic neighborhoods and his pitch to the local kids of basically turning the Hurricanes into an all-Miami All-Star team. And they mentioned the significance of having the parents and high school fans turn out for the college games as a way to boost attendance and fan intensity. It seemed very clear to me why Schnellenberger was able to turn things around, even if later coaches got away from that blueprint.

   32. Chris Fluit Posted: August 05, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4201008)
They're pretty much all bad. The 2004 Red Sox doc and the Steinbrenner doc are by far the worst ones in the series. Jordan on the Bus should have been excellent, but goes nowhere. I missed the roto one, heard mixed things. Bartman was very good, so that's one good baseball doc. I have high hopes for Bo.


I agree with this one. The Jordan one was okay, if I little boring. The roto one was fun, though not as good as the other humorous doc about the USFL. But I found the Red Sox and Steinbrenner films to be unwatchable. I couldn't finish either one. Way too much fawning over the subjects. And in the case of the Red Sox, I didn't feel I was learning anything I hadn't known when I watched the games the first time around.
   33. AndrewJ Posted: August 05, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4201075)
A 30-for-30 doc detailing the rise and fall of Barry Halper's reputation would be cool.
   34. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 05, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4201081)
The Mike Tyson one - One Night In Vegas - was totally unwatchable. I couldn't get past the first ten minutes of poetry slamming and faux comic book art.

Otherwise I loved the first batch of 30 For 30 films, particularly June 17, 1994 and The Two Escobars.
   35. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 05, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4201134)
I'll add my voice to those who loved the Two Escobars and thought the Red Sox one (Four Days in October) was awful. That one was clearly Simmons just saying "it's my idea so I'm doing something I want to do."

I will say that I hate basketball but the Reggie Miller one was in my opinion the best of the bunch. You really felt like you were in it as it happened.
   36. Lassus Posted: August 05, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4201182)
I know a lot of people disagree, but the Magic one just had too much Magic Johnson in it. I mean it simply was not dispassionate enough with Magic himself narrating the whole damned thing.
   37. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4201190)
I'd watch a good doc about the early Bill James days or the death of the Expos.

I'd LOVE to see the death of the Expos, especially a "where are they now" follow-up at the end.
(Like Brad Wilkerson being the last man to wear an official Montreal Expos jersey in competitive action, on the Japan tour in the off-season.)

I'd also like to see an outsider come into Toronto and do a doc about the unbreakable Toronto Maple Leaf fan support. I don't think anyone can really understand how crazy it is that such an unsuccessful franchise (40+ years without a title, 7 years without the playoffs, and only 9 seasons with more than 50% wins in the past 50) can still pull huge attendance/TV/merchandise numbers. Other legendary teams (Canadiens, Yankees, Red Sox) had down periods, but not the Leafs.

How about a "odd nation sport" collection, like the Israeli ice hockey team, the Canadian cricket team, and the British baseball league?
   38. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4201193)
I know a lot of people disagree, but the Magic one just had too much Magic Johnson in it. I mean it simply was not dispassionate enough with Magic himself narrating the whole damned thing.

As one of the most famous moments in televised sports history, I was surprised at how flat that doc seemed to be. I agree that Magic talking about Magic really took away from any critical look at him and those around him.
   39. Obo Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4201203)
Just went and watched "The Two Escobars" because of the comments in this thread. You guys weren't kidding.
   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4201208)

the biggest issue i had with that film was that it completely ignored the fact that neither team won anything of consequence during that era.


They kinda did when Reggie ends with "now if only we'd won in the Conference Finals." I think my wife busted out laughing at that point. But that was probably the most entertaining of the non-heart-tugging docs.
   41. Tripon Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4201210)
30 for 30, the Jeff francoeur story.
   42. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4201219)
The Red Sox one is just awful - it's an automatic fast forward when Simmons is on screen in the bar. Just a waste of time.

The Two Escobars is just stunning , it's one the best documentaries, I've ever seen in any genre.

One that hasn't been mentioned which I loved was the Matt Hoffman one - I had to look up while I was watching it , to make sure he wasn't dead - really great stuff.

The OJ Simpson one is freakishly well edited and great - the Reggie Miller one rounds out my favourite 3.




   43. Guapo Posted: August 06, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4201278)
A 30 for 30 on the Pittsburgh drug trials could be interesting. It's not something that got an inordinate amount of coverage at the time, and I'm assuming most of the principals are still alive and have some perspective on it based on the ensuing 20 years.

Game 6 of the 2011 World Series also deserves its own documentary, but might need to marinate for a few more years.
   44. just plain joe Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4201352)
30 for 30, the Jeff francoeur story.


That would be more like 8 for 30 wouldn't it?
   45. JJ1986 Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4201354)
30 for 30, Al Leiter's quest to defeat every team in baseball.
   46. phredbird Posted: August 06, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4201595)
wouldn't mind seeing a 30 for 30 about the dysfunctional website Baseball Think Factory, with a special segment using actors to recreate the banning of kevin.

in all seriousness. the two escobars was awesome. also really liked the one about marcus dupree and the one about terry fox.

i'm glad they are on neflix, now i can go see the vlade divac one.
   47. Tripon Posted: August 06, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4201597)
Not all of them are on netflix. Me and my friends couldn't find The Fab Five.
   48. ASmitty Posted: August 06, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4201605)
Unguarded, the doc about Chris Herron, was pretty riveting.

Also in the substance abuse genre, the Marinovich project was very entertaining as well. The story is familiar, but the ending was not at all what I expected.
   49. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: August 06, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4201621)
Fab Five was not under the 30 for 30 umbrella
   50. Tripon Posted: August 06, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4201663)
The Hartman or unguarded or the auburn and Alabama weren't either, but they are on Netflix.
   51. aleskel Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4201714)
I skipped the Marcus Dupree and SMU docs because I loathe big-time college football, which I consider a cesspool of overinflated macho nonsense, provincialism, and corruption. I watched both over the weekend on Netflix, and they were both terrific ... and confirmed that big-time college football is a cesspool of overinflated macho nonsense, provincialism, and corruption.
   52. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4201729)
I'm sure Dayn has read it, but if you haven't read Willie Morris' "The Courting of Marcus Dupree," you're missing out.

Can see it on my shelf from where I stand. Great book by a great writer.

I thought the 2004 Red Sox installment was almost completely ruined by having Bill Simmons smirking in a bar for so much of it. Took away from the narrative and reminded me why I can't stand his shtick.
   53. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4201732)
All the Alabama-Auburn one achieved for me was to depress me about the state of the stinking human animal.
   54. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4201734)
I've seen virtually none of the series. Saw part of the one on the U-Miami & another on Reggie Miller. The Reggie Miller one was fun.

The U-Miami one was enjoyable, but they played fast'loose with the facts. I remember them talking about a Catholics vs. Convicts game and they complained about a bad ref call that cost them a TD, and how they barely lost that game and all. Made it seem like that call cost them. I was curious because I remember that game but don't remember that play -- turns out that a few plays after the bad ref call Miami scored a TD anyway, so they still got a TD on that drive. Didn't cost them the game - but that's not how it seemed in the video.
   55. Moeball Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4201992)
June 22, 1994. My wife and I, my buddy Chaz and other friends were sitting in the stands at the Rose Bowl watching USA vs. Colombia in the "Copa Mundial". It was my first World Cup match ever - I've been to several since and will be at more in the future (Brazil awaits in 2014!) - but when Escobar let in that own goal we were laughing stupidly "Oh my God, he probably wishes he was dead right now!" Never thinking for a moment that this one play would really cost him his life.

Imagine if Red Sox fans/zealots/crazy drugged-out gamblers were as unforgiving of Bill Buckner.

Scary.
   56. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4202030)
as a very serious college football fan, and someone with a long memory, the U was disappointing for its POV. I wasn't expecting it to be overly critical, but it was basically, 'yeah we were bad dudes, but #### you we're the U'. Kosar seemed hammered during his appearances. A lot of pertinent information was ignored/glossed over. They totally ignored having a chance to win the '85 title after Iowa lost the Rose and OU (a team they beat in the regular season was beating PSU in the Orange), meanwhile Tennessee absolutely punked the Canes in the Sugar Bowl, like it never happened.

#16 is right though. On one hand it was very appropriate that they spent as much time on the '91 Cotton Bowl vs UT as they did, as it was the nadir of the 'U' in terms of total jackassery. From the opening kick off you could tell the Canes wanted to draw blood and out gain the Horns in penalty yards, they just missed 205 yds gained-202 penalty yards. They For some very strange reason, I still have the broadcast on videotape. The most memorable piece isn't a bit of taunting or cheap shots, but Jim Nantz and Pat Haden talking about Randall Hill and how he dreamed of running with cheetahs and being pulled over by the police for speeding (presumably on foot), this was around the time in the game when Hill ran all the way up the tunnel and started firing his guns.

re:#54, yeah, the Cleveland Gary fumble. It wasn't a fumble, he was down and ND did recover, but ND turned it over a few plays later and the Canes scored and were still gonna go for two anyways.
   57. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4202058)

as a very serious college football fan, and someone with a long memory, the U was disappointing for its POV. I wasn't expecting it to be overly critical, but it was basically, 'yeah we were bad dudes, but #### you we're the U'. Kosar seemed hammered during his appearances. A lot of pertinent information was ignored/glossed over. They totally ignored having a chance to win the '85 title after Iowa lost the Rose and OU (a team they beat in the regular season was beating PSU in the Orange), meanwhile Tennessee absolutely punked the Canes in the Sugar Bowl, like it never happened.


They also made it seem like the team was lousy and never got good players til Kosar's class, but I was thinking "didn't Jim Kelly go to Miami????"
   58. Kyle S at work Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4202072)
I really enjoyed the Allen Iverson story as well.
   59. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:02 AM (#4202078)
Canes played in their first bowl (Peach) game after the 1980 season since a '67 Bluebonnet Bowl appearance, so while yeah, Bernie's class was the first elite level class, Howard had sowed the seeds with Jim Kelly and others. Not certain why they didn't go bowling in '81 going 9-2 w/ losses at Texas by 7 and at Miss St. Miami was otherwise mediocre playing a mixed bag schedule as an Independent. Sleeping giant to be sure (same to be said for FSU and UF though, Fla had a pretty strong history (sans titles) pre-Spurrier.
   60. steagles Posted: August 07, 2012 at 08:22 AM (#4202121)
i just want to mention the other baseball related 30-for-30 doc: fernandomania. i think that was a much more interesting doc than the red sox or steinbrenner or little league or fantasy ones, even though it's gone unmentioned to this point in the thread.
   61. villageidiom Posted: August 07, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4202127)
I don't think anyone can really understand how crazy it is that such an unsuccessful franchise (40+ years without a title, 7 years without the playoffs, and only 9 seasons with more than 50% wins in the past 50) can still pull huge attendance/TV/merchandise numbers.
One of the top teams in merchandise sales, just last year, was the Hartford Whalers.

A 30-for-30 on the NHL's seemingly-failed move southward, and its impact on the old and new host cities, could be compelling.
   62. JJ1986 Posted: August 07, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4202133)
Did anyone watch The Guru of Go? I don't know if it was bad, but I was disappointed that it was almost all about Hank Gathers and barely about Westhead and The System at all.
   63. Guapo Posted: August 07, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4202140)
I don't think anyone can really understand how crazy it is that such an unsuccessful franchise (40+ years without a title, 7 years without the playoffs, and only 9 seasons with more than 50% wins in the past 50) can still pull huge attendance/TV/merchandise numbers.


Any Cubs fans in here?
   64. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4202145)
Did anyone watch The Guru of Go? I don't know if it was bad, but I was disappointed that it was almost all about Hank Gathers and barely about Westhead and The System at all.


I saw it and can't really remember much of it. Pretty blah.

I saw Catching Hell last night and even though its not officially a "30 for 30" I'd put it in the top five if it was. Really entertaining. The interview with the minister on origin of the word "scapegoat" and the examination of the film to see if Alou would have caught it and if others interfered were excellent.
   65. Papa Squid Posted: August 07, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4202194)
I'd also like to see an outsider come into Toronto and do a doc about the unbreakable Toronto Maple Leaf fan support. I don't think anyone can really understand how crazy it is that such an unsuccessful franchise (40+ years without a title, 7 years without the playoffs, and only 9 seasons with more than 50% wins in the past 50) can still pull huge attendance/TV/merchandise numbers. Other legendary teams (Canadiens, Yankees, Red Sox) had down periods, but not the Leafs.


I would say the Leafs have had three distinct periods when they were quite good, each about a generation apart -- the Sittler Leafs (late 70s), the Gilmour Leafs (early 90s), and the Sundin Leafs (early 00s) -- were all minor contenders and forged a new generation of Leafs fans. People like to talk as if they've been constantly bad for 45 years, but that hasn't been the case.
   66. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4202204)
A 30-for-30 on the NHL's seemingly-failed move southward, and its impact on the old and new host cities, could be compelling.
I totally watch that. I'd also watch one on the guy--John Spano--who bought the Islanders, even though he didn't have any money.
   67. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 07, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4202220)
They could do a 30-30 on the conspiracy to rob Seattle of their NBA team. I'm pretty sure David Stern is evil. Actually, they could do a 30-30 on all the cities Stern has screwed over since he's been commissioner.
   68. Nasty Nate Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4202264)
They could do a 30-30 on the conspiracy to rob Seattle of their NBA team. I'm pretty sure David Stern is evil. Actually, they could do a 30-30 on all the cities Stern has screwed over since he's been commissioner.


I wish they had the guts to do a 30-30 on the Tim Donaghy scandal and related NBA ref issues.
   69. PreservedFish Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4202276)
30-30: The Curse of Colonel Sanders
   70. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4202283)
I'm surprised nobody has offered "Muhammad and Larry", the 30 for 30 show on the buildup to Muhammad Ali's comeback fight against heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, as being on of the episodes most worth watching. Growing up in Miami and eventually frequenting the same boxing gym shown in Ali's training footage, I'd heard so many eyewitness accounts to Ali's waning skill at this period, but to actually see the footage with my own eyes was nothing short of disturbing. As a historian it immediately recalled watching training camp footage of Jim Jeffries in 1910, preparing to face a prime Jack Johnson in Reno; the former champion, so magnificently and effortlessly athletic and brilliant in earlier footage is completely gone, replaced by some vaguely familiar neophyte clearly ready for slaughter.

What also struck me about the "Muhammad and Larry" footage was how gleefully the sports media bought in to the Ali hype and succumbed to his wishful thinking despite the clear evidence to the contrary on display right in front of them. I think the boxing and sports media at the time willed themselves to believe Ali had one more legendary comeback in him, but never gave Larry Holmes even a shred of the credit he deserved; in retrospect, with Larry Holmes almost universally considered a top-10 all-time heavyweight champion (and I'll gladly argue for top-5) and the signs of Ali's neurological demise so well-chronicled, I'd like to believe some of the covering media are quietly ashamed of their role in his horror.
   71. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4202292)
I wish they had the guts to do a 30-30 on the Tim Donaghy scandal and related NBA ref issues.

There was an actual scandal? The whole thing seemed to go away pretty quickly.
   72. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4202298)
I wish they had the guts to do a 30-30 on the Tim Donaghy scandal and related NBA ref issues.

There was an actual scandal? The whole thing seemed to go away pretty quickly.


IIRC, Donaghy promised that his soon-to-be-"disappeared" book was going to discuss specifics regarding how the league office pressured officials to protect certain high-value players and outcomes. That's what I most want to hear more about - I think the American public is ready for a full review of Michael Jordan and the extent to which his performance was overtly aided and assisted by league officials at every level.
   73. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4202306)
I'd still like to know the truth of Jordan's first "retirement" and how Patrick Ewing ended up a Knick. When it comes to the NBA, I've become a crazy conspiracy theorist as I'm pretty sure David Stern is evil. I put nothing past the man.
   74. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4202573)
I'd still like to know the truth of Jordan's first "retirement"


Yeah, I thought they'd spend more time on that for the "Jordan Rides the Bus" episode but they glossed over it pretty swiftly. "Jordan was the biggest star in the league, Stern was begging him to reconsider," was about as in-depth as the treatment of the issue got.
   75. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 07, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4202605)
I would say the Leafs have had three distinct periods when they were quite good, each about a generation apart -- the Sittler Leafs (late 70s), the Gilmour Leafs (early 90s), and the Sundin Leafs (early 00s) -- were all minor contenders and forged a new generation of Leafs fans. People like to talk as if they've been constantly bad for 45 years, but that hasn't been the case.


Yes, there have been three different 2-year periods where everything suddenly clicked...and they still didn't make the cup finals.

Here is a list of the teams that haven't been to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1967, and the year they came into existence:


Columbus Blue Jackets (2001)
Minnesota Wild (2001)
Nashville Predators (1999)
Phoenix Coyotes (1980)
San Jose Sharks (1992)
Toronto Maple Leafs (1918)
Winnipeg Jets (2000)

That's it. Every other team has at least had a chance to play for the Cup in the last 45 years.

Considering Toronto's financial advantage over almost every other team in the league, this would be like if the Yankees didn't make it to the World Series for the next 20 years.

   76. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4202622)
if the Yankees didn't make it to the World Series for the next 20 years.


Yes, please.
   77. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 07, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4202624)
given espn's nba contract the chances of any work even remotely critical of the nba is nil

it's pretty pathetic on how their programming endlessly shill every minor nba event. espn didn't seem to acknowledge the baseball season until the all star game.
   78. Mark S. is bored Posted: August 07, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4202704)
Bo was certainly big but if you're going to credit any individual, surely it's Jordan (and Spike Lee).

Bo Knows was huge in the late 80s (88/89) and that was 1-2 years prior to the Jordan/Spike/Nike commercials. Jordan eventually became a force bigger than Bo (especially after Bo was injured and dropped out of the limelight).
   79. McCoy Posted: August 07, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4202710)
Bo Knows started running in 1989. Mars Blackmon ads started running in February of 1988. The Mars ad campaign came out at the same time as the Jumpman logo for Air Jordans.
   80. Mark S. is bored Posted: August 07, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4202716)
Mars Blackmon ads started running in February of 1988
I thought Mars Blackmon was 89/90?
   81. Guapo Posted: August 07, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4202718)
Considering Toronto's financial advantage over almost every other team in the league, this would be like if the Yankees didn't make it to the World Series for the next 20 years.


I REALLY need to introduce you to some Cubs fans.
   82. McCoy Posted: August 07, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4202720)
She's Gotta Have It came out in 1986. Jim Riswold saw the movie and loved the character. Spent a good chunk of 1987 trying to convince Knight and the Nike top brass to get behind it and it aired as the campaign for Air Jordan IIIs which came out in 1988. Jordan wore the shoes during the 1988 Dunk Championship that took place February 7, 1988. You can do a google search of Air Jordan III and Mars Blackmon and you'll get a bunch of hit. Air Jordan IVs came out in February of 1989.
   83. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4205282)

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