I highly recommend you check out these documentary films that ESPN is producing for their 30th anniversary. I've seen 2 so far and they've both been awesome. One was telling the story of the Colts leaving Baltimore from the perspective of the marching band and the second one was about the USFL. It made Donald Trump look like a total douchebag.
The link below provides a listing of the movies along with a schedule. Set your dvr's and if you miss one, you can catch it multiple times on their other networks.
A movie on Len Bias is coming up in a few weeks. Should be great!
Glad to hear some have been good. I was excited for this series until I watched the first one. Bored to tears with the Gretzky story. And I like both Gretzky and the filmmakter Peter Berg. But together, boring.
The one that's coming and grabbed my attention because a lot of people forget about it is the one on Iverson's bowling alley fight in Hampton VA when he was in high school.
THe Ali-Holmes one should be good too, if a little sad. Hopefully there are a few humorous ones in there because most of them seem to have a bit of a depressing edge/unhappy ending kinda feel to them.
I didn't think the Colts one was boring at all. Maybe because I lived along the Mason Dixon line and watched that stuff happen. Seeing the old news footage was cool to me too.
I'm going to start looking like a Bill Simmons shill, but... he has done a podcast with each of the directors of the documentaries. The podcasts spend some time talking about the documentaries and some time on other things (specifically the directors' other work). The USFL one is pretty interesting because it talks about everything that went on behind the scenes with the Trump interview and how trump sent a letter to the director that ended with "P.S. - You're a loser."
30 for 30 Podcast
I forgot to mention that there's also going to be one on Hank Gathers, Bo Kimble and the coach at Loyola Marymount. Sounds interesting.
Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.
You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner
You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke
Tastes vary, but IMHO, ESPN is batting .667 on this series.
Hated the Gretsky documentary ... poorly done and focused on a subject I don't give a rat's behind about. That's just me, I hate ice hockey (although Slap Shot is my favorite sports movie and the Miracle on Ice is the No. 1 non-Duke sports moment of my lifetime).
Loved the Band That Wouldn't Die. So little sports journalism focuses on the impact that sports has on the community ... and what little is done in that area tends to point at the few idiots who do crazy things (like the father-son team that beat up the White Sox coach).
Loved the USFL story ... just some great stories, great interviews and a great hatchet job on Donald Trump (that never gets old).
I'm very much looking forward to some of the stories mentioned, especially the Len Bias story and the Bo Kimble story. Obviously, a few more will be clunkers, but you gotta love that batting average.
The Ali/Holmes one last night was okay. I thought the stuff about his medical tests before the fight was interesting. The idea that there were some people who saw warning signs of his decline and yet still couldn't stop him from fighting is a definite cautionary tale. It was also sad to see that Holmes has never really gotten his fair share of acclaim. So-so documentary. My least favorite so far, although I didn't see the Gretzky one.
Watched the one on the USFL. Loved it! Donald Trump, what a wanker.
"The Boys of 2nd Street Park," a Showtime documentary that still shows and is available on DVD, is not to be missed if you like a story of the 60s: sex, drugs, friendship, and rock and roll, in the context of childhood friends in Brooklyn's Coney Island who lived originally to play basketball. Compelling.
"The First Basket" is reputedly a winner of a documentary (2008) that has several of the guys featured from whom me and my boyz learned the game--they either coached and/or played with us. Now who would want to miss that.
So did anyone watch Without Bias? Impressions?
What stuck with me the most is that it blew away the idea that he only tried coke once. That was the prevailing idea at the time immediately after his death. Doesn't appear to have been that way. But it sadly underscores how naive people were about it.
Very tragic. Very sad.
All of the films are being aired multiple times on their various networks. I posted a link in one of my posts up above. It has a schedule for all of them.
I feel like a shill for ESPN, but I really am impressed so far and have enjoyed the ones I've watched. There's something about sports that is so compelling and I've always like documentaries. I'm so glad they're doing these.
I've seen the first 4 and think only the Gretzky one was underwhelming....they say that an hour is not a lot of time to cover all angles of a story, but Peter Berg repeated the same shot of Gretzky walking in the empty LA Forum about 7x...he could have used that extra 1-2 minutes to mention that Edmonton won another cup without the Great One and to cover that angle a little.
I thought the Colts, USFL and Ali/Holmes ones were all excellent.
The USFL one is certainly light-hearted. I was a kid when the league existed and therefore didn't realize, remember that the year the league folded and all those players wound up in the NFL, something like 20 of them made the Pro Bowl! There are more than 10 guys from the USFL who wound up in the Hall of Fame...that's insane!
I have enjoyed Ali/Holmes the most, largely, I think, because I am a huge fan of Ali and, though it was tough to watch, I basically get into any topic about him. I also really liked Larry Holmes and was glad to see that his post boxing life seems so happy and normal.
Can't wait to see the Lenny Bias one (am taping it soon) and am also looking forward to the following; Iverson trial, LMU, Univ. Miami football in the 1980s, Knicks vs Reggie Miller, Jordan playing baseball, Steve Bartman and the Cubs, Terry Fox marathon across Canada...basically all of them!
I watched the Bias documentary last night and I have to admit, I was just a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it was an excellent summary of Bias' life and tragic death and the impact that death had on the sports world and the nation at large. But I pretty much knew the story and didn't learn anything I didn't already know.
I guess my expectations were just too high. I was hoping for a little insight, a little new infirmation.
Still, it was a solid piece of sports journalism ... and if you are new to the Bias story, I'd strongly recommend it.
Grading the series so far:
A -- The Band That Wouldn't Die; Who [Donald Trump] Killed the USFL?
B -- Without Bias
C -- The Ali-Holmes Fight
D -- The Gretsky story
That's just my opinion, of course. It's a good enough average that I'll keep watching.
I thought the Len Bias one was amazing. I agree that I was blown away that they just outted the fact that it wasn't his first time using cocaine. A very sad story, and that family, with Len's younger brother getting killed a few years later...jeez they've been through a lot.
I thought the USFL one was the best one so far. The Ali-Holmes one was hard to watch, especially for people who admire Ali. I missed the first 2 and need to catch up. But overall, it's been a great series so far.
Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA
I thought the Len Bias piece was pretty well done; amazing amount of video, family pictures and access to teammates, friends, and family members.
I lived in Maryland at the time of Bias's death, and can remember what a shock it was, and what a huge reaction the public had.
What a unique combination of strength and a soft shooting touch Bias had...perfect form on his jumpshot, great leaping ability, and great instincts for the game. Would have been very interesting to see how he developed as a pro.
What an amazingly strong person his mother was/is.
Kudos to ESPN for this series; it's some of their best work.
Just wanted to bump this, if only for a moment. Tomorrow night at 9pm, the next edition will premiere entitled "The U," a two-hour production about the 1980's Miami Hurricanes fb team.
I'm extremely excited about seeing this one. I remember exactly how I felt about those teams as a young teenager, and I suspect that I'm going to see them quite differently as an adult.
Watched "The U" last night and thought it was an awesome movie. I had heard, but not seen "The U" teams of the 80s. It was a great documentary.
Cream and Crimson on the outside.
Duke blue on the inside.