ESPN's 30 for 30 and Other Sports Documentaries

I know they have been discussed in different parts of the forum, but just thought it should have its own thread.

I have been watching most of these as they have come on ESPN. I downloaded the first few and watched them, and they have since been coming on weekly. Some cracking series of shows. A few misses alright, but the vast majority of them are really well documented stories and gives a huge insight to the story they are covering.

The 2 Escobars one is unreal. The depth it goes into to get the history of the whole Columbian situation with drugs and soccer, and getting first hand accounts of people directly involved. A lot of times documentaries talk about the person to randomers, but these talk directly to them and to family members and close friends.

They are mostly, nearly all, American based, but no one does sports films or docos like Americans. The first 20 ( I think ) have been shown already. All that have been shown are available on torrent sites easily enough. The full list of all 30 is below.

Anyone else have any favorites or watched many of them?

1 “King’s Ransom”
The 1988 trade of Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings and the effect it had on both Gretzky and Edmonton.
2 "The Band that Wouldn’t Die"
A profile of Baltimore’s love affair with football and the Colts, focusing on the Colts Marching Band. After the team decamped for Indianapolis in 1984, the band remained in Baltimore and helped promote the eventual return of the NFL to the city.
3 “Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?”
Fresh interviews and archival footage track the life and demise of the United States Football League in the mid 1980s. One interview, conducted by Tollin, is with Donald Trump, the former New Jersey Generals owner whose post-interview comments on the league give this documentary its title.
4 “Muhammad and Larry”
A look at the October 1980 Muhammad Ali-Larry Holmes fight and its impact, featuring fresh interviews with participants and previously unseen lead-up footage from both fighters’ camps.
5 “Without Bias”
The death of Len Bias, from a cocaine overdose, two days after Boston selected him in the 1986 NBA Draft.
6 “The Legend of Jimmy the Greek”
The life of Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder, from his career as a Las Vegas bookmaker to his tenure on The NFL Today, from which he was fired in 1988.
7 “The U”
The racial and cultural evolution of Miami during the 1980s as represented within the University of Miami football team.
8 “Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks”
The impact of Reggie Miller on the New York Knicks in the 1990s, specifically focusing on the 1995 NBA Playoffs and Miller’s interaction with Knicks fan Spike Lee.
9 “Guru of Go”
Paul Westhead’s coaching tenure at Loyola Marymount University (1985-1990) features his high-scoring run-and-gun offense and players such as Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers.
10 “No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson”
The 1993 trial of Hampton, Virginia, high-school athlete Allen Iverson, convicted for his role in a racially-tinged melee, and its impact on both the community and on Iverson’s life.
11 "Silly Little Game"
Meeting at New York City’s La Rotisserie Francaise, a group of writers and academics develop Rotisserie Fantasy baseball, only to see it take off and leave them behind.
12 "Run Ricky Run"
Facing media criticism and fresh rumors of marijuana use, Ricky Williams steps back from the NFL, in 2004, in an effort toward self-redemption.
13 “The 16th Man”
How hosting (and winning) the 1995 Rugby World Cup and Nelson Mandela’s support of the Springboks national team affected post-apartheid South Africa.
14 “Straight Outta L.A.”
The relationship between the Raiders and the gangsta rap culture in Los Angeles during the team’s 13 seasons in L.A. (1982-1994).
15 “June 17, 1994”
Quick-cut archival montages capture the various sporting events on the day in question and the emotions they generated, with O. J. Simpson’s run from the police overshadowing all else.
16 “The Two Escobars”
The lives of soccer player Andrés Escobar and drug lord Pablo Escobar; the intertwining of crime and soccer in their native Colombia; and the connections between the murders of both men.
17 “The Birth of Big Air”
The life of Mat Hoffman and his career, since 1985, of advancing, both creatively and promotionally, BMX riding.
18 “Jordan Rides the Bus”
Michael Jordan retires from basketball on October 6, 1993, and has a brief career in minor league baseball.
19 “Little Big Men”
The Kirkland National Little League team from Kirkland, Washington wins the 1982 Little League World Series, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the event’s history.
20 “One Night in Vegas”
The friendship of boxer Mike Tyson and rapper Tupac Shakur and the night of September 7, 1996, when Shakur was murdered after attending the Tyson-Bruce Seldon fight in Las Vegas.
21 “Unmatched”
The friendship and rivalry of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.
22 “The House of Steinbrenner”
The tenure of George Steinbrenner as owner of the New York Yankees.
23 “Into the Wind”
How Terry Fox’s attempt to run across Canada in support of fundraising for cancer research captured the attention of his fellow Canadians.
24 “Four Days In October”
The story of the Boston Red Sox coming back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS.
25 “Once Brothers”
The story of Croatian Dražen Petrović and Serbian Vlade Divac, NBA players and Yugoslavian national teammates, and how the civil war in their homeland adversely affected their friendship.
26 “Tim Richmond: To the Limit”
The life of NASCAR driver Tim Richmond and his 1989 death from AIDS.
27 “Steve Bartman: Catching Hell”
The relationship between Chicago Cubs fans and Steve Bartman following Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series.
28 “Marion Jones: Press Pause”
The successful track and field career of Marion Jones, her 2007 admission of performance-enhancing drug use, and subsequent prison sentence.
29 “Pony Excess”
Chronicles the Southern Methodist University football scandal and the rise, fall, and rebirth of the Southern Methodist University Mustangs .
30 “The Best That Never Was”
The 1981 recruiting of high school football player Marcus Dupree by multiple big-time college programs, his resulting career, and how his recruitment changed the recruiting process

Not to hijack your thread Gman, I was going about downloading these again last night and remembered rocko mentioned something about getting an application to transfer them to avi format, rocko what was that again do you remember? The HD I have mainly plays MP4 and avi and a lot of the torrents I get aren’t compatible.

I’m still stuck on the 2 I posted about before, but hoping to plough through the rest once I can get sorted, can comment some more then. Looking forward to the Escobar one, have heard loads about it, but the Reggie Miller one is my favourite of what I’ve seen so far.

yeah it was the Escobar one that prompted me to start it up. well worth watching.

I was disappointed with the U tho. it was ok, but really played on the racial stereotype and how they were a great bunch of guys at heart. long drawn out too. The Mandela one was well made, and probably side by side with invictus as Morgan Freeman is doing the voice over.

Winavi is the quickest commercial one that I’ve used and never had a problem with it. You can get it on torrents handily enough.

Saw the Rickie Williams and the Reggie Miller documentary…both were excellent, Rickie Williams comes across as a bit of a tortured soul

Saw the Ricky Williams, Escobar, Muhammad and Larry & the Reggie one.

Escobar by far the best. Enjoyed Ricky as well.

Looking forward to the Red Sox come back. Was there for game 6, it was some time to be in Boston.

In the Escobars one did you not find the random use of footage from games a bit misleading. I mean they’d be talking about a game and show footage from 3-4 different games.

The main thing i remember was the game itself that cost all the money in the WC, and the unbelievable pressure they were under. It was crazy watching them go out on the pitch.

I’d say they were using random footage when talking about Escobar, didn’t take much motice, the ESPN guys probably wouldn’t take much notice of it.

He was very silly for going where he did that night.

Trying to reason with a bunch of gangsters was the big mistake. If he had of just got the fuck out of there rather than drive up to these crazy fucks he would have got out of there alive.

Pure madness.

Great show though, scary shit.

these are being shown over the holidays on ESPN classic and the main ESPN channel. some are worth recording to watch instead of some of the shite on tv. couple of them I still havent seen that I want to

Downloaded them all on a torrent over the last couple of days - 17.4 GB overall. Started off just now with the OJ Simpson one (June 17 1994). Any crap ones to avoid?

Good thinking Sid. Just copying you on that.

Didnt like the mike tyson/tupac one myself. Or the fantasy baseball one. Couple of others were a bit shit too, but doesnt take much viewing to realise the crap ones

I watched The 16th Man last night. Wasn’t impressed at all - I imagine the ones covering their bread and butter American sports are better?

I switched off the Martina Navratilova/Chris Evert one yesterday, was boring. Just a chat between the 2 of them exchanging bland platitudes about each other.

yeah I saw the first minute of it too and it was shite.

the better ones I have seen are
1 “King’s Ransom”
2 “The Band that Wouldn’t Die”
3 “Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?”
4 “Muhammad and Larry”
5 “Without Bias”
7 “The U”
8 “Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks”
10 “No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson”
12 “Run Ricky Run”
15 “June 17, 1994”
16 “The Two Escobars”
18 “Jordan Rides the Bus”
24 “Four Days In October”
25 “Once Brothers”
30 “The Best That Never Was”

but still havent seen the Bartman/chicago cubs, nor the SMU scandal one. The tim Richmond one wasnt too bad also.

Thought Guru of Go was goos as well.

yeah missed that one too but interested in seeing it as well. they are a good source of tv over holidays anyway with so much shit on.

I watched Marion Jones Press Pause there. Interesting enough but would have liked more on what led her to taking performance enhancing drugs and also to examine on thoughts on drugs in wider sense. Too much time was spend discussing her time in prison etc and there may have been conditions on what could be asked etc prior to her agreeing to be interviewed for it. She doesn’t come out of it badly in fairness.