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Old 06-24-2011, 01:26 AM   #1
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ESPN's 30 For 30

I love these documentaries.
These were so well made, I am thinking of buying the complete set.
Some of my favorites;

"The Two Escobars", "Winning Time" and "June 17th, 1994".

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Old 06-24-2011, 09:58 AM   #2
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These have been fantastically made and I've greatly enjoyed the ones I've seen. The two you mentioned about the Colombian soccer team and Reggie Miller were both awesome; haven't seen the third one, but from the date I'm assuming it's about OJ Simpson?

I also really liked the L.A. Raiders and Len Bias docs. And the Fab Five one was excellent, though I'm not sure it was actually part of the series.

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Old 07-03-2011, 12:57 AM   #3
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I think I saw 26 or 27 of them, from a quick count of a list from wikipedia.
30 for 30 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Additionally I saw the Fab Five doc which was not a part of 30 for 30.

I tend to dislike any doc that has a sizable lack of balance toward the subject matter.
In other words, glorifying something with almost no objective perspective.
Like the doc on the Miami CFB teams of the 80's and early 90's. I had the same problem with the self-wankery in the Fab Five documentary. Any objective voice in these cases would have given these docs a lot more credibility and a more rounded perspective. Although I have to say the Fab Five doc was quite good nonetheless and didn't overstate the influence of that squad...just their 'greatness'.

For instance, if you think Chris Webber's (non) timeout cost them a title, then this is exactly what I am talking about. There was nobody in the doc to say "but they were fucking already losing the game!" (etc.). Or that Webber had traveled and if we're going to play revisionist history, then let's stop right there. Or that somehow they managed to merely 'come up short' vs Duke. Or that Coach K/Grant Hill were vilified by Jalen Rose and didn't even appear (read: probably weren't asked) to defend themselves. And no, I am not a Duke lover by any stretch, I am talking about being fair and objective toward the subject matter. Anyhow, this one was not even part of it and I could have a long commentary about many of these docs, but I'll try to keep it concise.

I also didn't care much for some of the more fan-nation-centric docs. Like the Raiders doc (sorry bollox) or the Bill Simmons masturbatory 2004 Red Sox doc...I am not a Sox hater but I thought it was lame, in that you'd almost have to have affection for the mythology of the Red Sox to have it strike much of a chord. I've seen better treatments on that specific story elsewhere. And yeah, it's a great story. It should have been incredible...and it wasn't.

Still a few of them were either boring or flat underwhelming. I thought the doc on Evert and Navratilova had a chance to be excellent. But it was among the worst, easily. Others that were strikingly underwhelming were the Steinbrenner and Marion Jones docs.

Overall, I enjoyed most of them. Even those I have criticisms with.
Since you both mentioned the Reggie Miller doc...I thought it was good.
But I hate Spike Lee, Reggie Miller, his sister and the Knicks in general. So...

My top 5 would have to be...
5. Marcus Dupree/Pony Express (tie) - I just love college football and these docs were far and away superior to the one-sided wankery in that Miami doc. (sidenote- yes Miami was great, no question about it. But it was all too one-sided for me. No outside perspective).
4. The OJ coverage doc "June 17th, 1994" - just letting the footage tell the story. I thought it was well done. I remember exactly where I was on that day.
3. Terry Fox story - one of the few I had no extensive previous knowledge about, other than seeing the footage of him running for all those years on Wide World of Sports.
2. Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic "Once Brothers" - just struck me emotionally. Nothing too over-wrought, just struck the right tones and dealt with the Balkan issue appropriately IMO. Besides this, "what could have been" stories are always a little more interesting than the historically-revised "it was so awesome" stories...when you were actually there and know the particularly story pretty well in the first place.

1. And despite not liking soccer much...the Two Escobars takes the cake. Period.
Wow. Now that is what a documentary looks like. Totally well done.

I can't wait to see the Bartman story coming up in September.
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:09 AM   #4
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I've seen about 10....I liked about half. Thought the Miami doc was 30 minutes too long. House of Steinbrenner was the worst of the bunch, though, and I'm a life-long Yankee fan. The Dupree doc was very enjoyable, probably my favorite. The clip they ended the show on mesmerized me, what a fantastic choice. If you saw it, maybe you remember it. Dupree cuts and leaves one would-be tackler completely in the dust...another defender has a great angle on him, but Dupree appears to take like 3 strides to the other guy's one, and is gone.....unreal.

I want to see "Once Brothers" very much.
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:12 AM   #5
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I've only seen the Reggie Miller, Fab Five, and Miami docs in their entirety, then bits and pieces of the Marcus Dupree and UNLV ones. Vol. 1 made for a great Father's Day gift to my pop.

The points about the lack of outside perspective/objectivism in the Fab Five/Miami docs are totally valid, however I think there's something to be said for the views of those involved. When sports stories like The U or the Fab Five are as widely disseminated within sports media (whether it be with fans, journalists, etcs...), a singular viewpoint could be welcome. Again, I see where you're coming from; I'm sure that being around during these events shapes your view as well.

And if I remember correctly, they do mention how Webber traveled on the way to calling the timeout and how they were trailing Duke at the time.
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