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ESPN's 30 For 30


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#31

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Posted Jan 21, 2010 @ 8:13 PM

ESPN has released the spring schedule for the series.
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#32

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Posted Jan 22, 2010 @ 7:19 PM

I finally saw the Jimmy the Greek episode and I'm a little surprised by the amount of "he didn't deserve it" stuff. It's hard to say anyone deserves what they get, but he seemed to live his life pretty hard. He was hard on people. He was really a pretty big dick, and I don't think it's hard to understand why people were so unforgiving of the intensely, incredibly, insanely racist statements, compounded by an apology which underscored that he didn't know he was racist.

I thought they really stretched it to make Jimmy the Greek a more sympathetic character than he really was.
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#33

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Posted Jan 22, 2010 @ 7:19 PM

darn double post

Edited by Split Ends, Jan 22, 2010 @ 7:22 PM.

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#34

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Posted Mar 14, 2010 @ 9:34 PM

I really enjoyed the Reggie Miller vs. the Knicks documentary tonight. You absolutely had to watch those games, no matter what you thought of either team. Good assemblage of interviewees from both sides.

I haven't watched the NBA in a long time. This brought back some good memories of when I watched it non-stop.
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#35

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Posted Mar 14, 2010 @ 9:35 PM

Loved the Reggie Miller/Knicks documentary. I laughed out loud so many times, loved seeing John Starks being a good sport. Enjoyed the Reggie/Cheryl stuff...105 points! Spike Lee was hilarious. Easily this one and the Miami one are my favorite docs so far.
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#36

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Posted Mar 14, 2010 @ 9:59 PM

I'm sad I never saw the Miami one. I DVR'd it but never changed the save time so it was erased before I knew it was on there.

I loved tonight's. I had no idea the NBA was ever that brutal on a regular basis. Seeing Michael Jordan trying to beat the crap out of Miller was kind of amusing.

I hate watching these historical shows because I want to change the outcomes. Like I always felt bad for the Knicks and wanted Ewing's last shot to fall.
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#37

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Posted Mar 14, 2010 @ 10:05 PM

I loved the Winning Time documentary as well, although I wish they would have covered more of the late 1990s series. They met three other times after the 1995 series, Pacers won 2 and Knicks one more series after that. Knicks team won the east in the strike shortened season as the 8th seed and beat the Pacers in the conference finals. That one had the infamous, in Indiana, Larry johnson 4 point play, though the Pacers just choked and blew that series. That was their best chance to win it all. And the Pacers beat the Knicks in 2000 in the conference finals to reach their only NBA finals before losing to the Lakers with Shaq and Kobe.

I had heard that Reggie-Cheryl story before about her 105 points. Still funny though. What I found most interesting, however, was the actual home video footage of Reggie and Steve Alford right after the Pacers announced they had drafted Reggie. No Pacer fan was very happy about that choice at the time, but Donnie Walsh could not have been more correct

Edited by HickoryColt, Mar 14, 2010 @ 10:06 PM.

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#38

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Posted Mar 14, 2010 @ 10:13 PM

Another person who enjoyed tonight's documentary. It really benefited from the fact that so many of the participants are great storytellers. The Millers and Spike of course, but also Mark Jackson (I liked his Bundini Brown to Reggie's Ali comparison) and even Donny Walsh and the other Pacer exec.

I'm a Sixers fan, but I really liked that Knicks team. Oakley's suits, Mason's haircuts, Ewing's guarantees. . . good times.
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#39

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Posted Mar 14, 2010 @ 10:28 PM

Also the thing about those Knicks-Pacers rivalry is it came kind of out of nowhere and ESPN, even if they tried (and boy do they sometimes), could not have SCRIPTED that story better. The Pacers prior to 1994 were NBA also rans, had never even won a playoff series. You think about what happened and it almost surreal. If in the summer of 1993 someone told you 1. Michael Jordan will retire and play baseball, allowing the Knicks to rise to the top of the East 2. The Pacers will struggle as always for half a season and then in the second half be one of the best teams in the east and make a playoff run 3. Reggie Miller, who up to that point was a trash talker who had done nothing to back it up, will lead the Pacers to the bring of the NBA finals and in the process get into an ON THE COURT, DURING THE GAME trash talking fest with Spike Lee as they play the Knicks..........everyone would have thought you were crazy. Spike Lee himself, if he had written that script before it happened, would have been told he was crazy.

Its one of the few times a story just drops in the laps of sportsfans and it really needed no hype whatsoever. It was a geniune rivalry where the story just wrote itself. All the pieces fell into place with no manipulation or fake bravado by any TV network or sports broadcaster

Edited by HickoryColt, Mar 14, 2010 @ 10:28 PM.

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#40

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Posted Mar 15, 2010 @ 11:55 AM

I love how after John Sparks head-butted Reggie the voiceover said "Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley looked like they were going to murder Sparks on the spot." It made me giggle, because yeah. Ewing is one tall badass mofo and I wouldn't want him on my bad side.

Was that Ahmad Rahshad doing commentary? He looks fine.
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#41

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Posted Mar 15, 2010 @ 4:12 PM

As a resident of the Circle City I am admittedly biased but this was the best of the series so far. The first ten minutes are hilarious. All these years later I still remember jumping straight out of my chair when Ewing missed that layup. I look forward to watching it again.
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#42

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Posted Mar 15, 2010 @ 10:46 PM

I haven't watched the NBA in a long time. This brought back some good memories of when I watched it non-stop.


So true. I was thinking the exact same thing. How did I go from loving the NBA to pretty much ignoring it? I think it's precisely because there are no more Reggie Millers in the NBA. This was a great documentary from the series!
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#43

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Posted Mar 16, 2010 @ 8:40 AM

So true. I was thinking the exact same thing. How did I go from loving the NBA to pretty much ignoring it? I think it's precisely because there are no more Reggie Millers in the NBA. This was a great documentary from the series!


Once Reggie Miller retired it really was the end of an era in the NBA. He was the last remaining player, at least major one, with any link to the Bird/Magic glory years for the NBA in the 1980s and early 1990s at the time he retired.

I stopped watching the NBA, at least Non-Pacers NBA games, after the Detroit-Indiana brawl. Not because of the brawl, but because of what I viewed as the unfair discrepancy between the punishment of the two teams. Artest is a nut and he deserved to be punished, but no one will ever convince me those punishments of the two teams were fair. I made a decision after those punishments were handed down I was not watching another non-Pascers NBA game the rest of the season. I didn't, then Reggie retired after that season, I moved away from Indiana and I have pretty much not watched an NBA game since. And I really haven't missed it that much. That was the surprising part. This documentary reminded me of how much fun the NBA used to be. Not any ESPN/media created Shaq/Kobe hype, but an honest rivalry based on two great teams going at each other for 7 games.

Also they should have added in the documentary, when Reggie played his last game at MSG, they gave him a bigger standing ovation than any place in the league outside of Conseco Fieldhouse.

Edited by HickoryColt, Mar 16, 2010 @ 8:44 AM.

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#44

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Posted Apr 4, 2010 @ 11:58 PM

I still laugh at Jerome Brown's comment that the Hurricanes players were not going to eat with the Penn State players because that would be like the Japanese eating with the Americans before they bombed Pearl Harbor. Like the Japanese the Hurricanes lost. I do remember that game and the documentary made it seem like all the turnovers were Testeverde's fault but there were also a lot of dropped passes by the receivers that ended drives.

The Knicks - Pacers rivalry was intense but they were not the two best teams in the league. The Sonics, Rockets, Jazz and Suns were better than either of those teams.
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#45

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Posted Apr 16, 2010 @ 2:35 AM

Did anyone catch the most recent one with Allen Iverson by the director who did Hoop Dreams (Steve James)? It basically focused on the racially charged bowling alley incident that had the potential to destroy AI's career before it really even began.

I thought it was really interesting. It was of particular interest to me because AI and James are from my hometown.
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#46

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Posted Apr 16, 2010 @ 11:09 AM

Did anyone catch the most recent one with Allen Iverson by the director who did Hoop Dreams (Steve James)?


I did and I'm surprised that there hasn't been more commentary on it. I was really looking forward to it because it did sound like such an interesting story but to be honest, I wasn't impressed with the quality of this particular documentary. Compared to some of the others, and especially following the Reggie Miller/Knicks one, it seemed like such a letdown. There was an entertainment quality lacking.

But I will say, it did help me understand Allen Iverson more and appreciate his background more. The saddest part of the documentary was the end because it left things so open ended about the future of Iverson.
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#47

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Posted Apr 20, 2010 @ 8:11 PM

I have to count this as the first really bad 30 for 30. For me, the test of a good 30 for 30 should be that it's interesting even if I'm not interested in the sport. Even though I'm not much of a football guy, the USFL one really caught my interest. I'm not a huge NBA guy, but Winning Time was great. For me, this was just boring. At a point in there, they mentioned that "nothing is more interesting than your fantasy team, and nothing is more boring than someone else's." For me, this was like an hour on someone else's fantasy team. There seemed like a pretty interesting story, how these 4 or 5 people created what became a million dollar industry. But then we spend the first half hour of a one hour documentary with endless scenes of horrible reinactments with over the top costumes, distracting special effects, and bad, bad, bad acting. Even going later in the film we got awful "surreal" moments of these actors on the field with players and more numbers, and funerals and all that. There was an interesting story in how their little league spread around the country. Dan Okrent I remember as an interesting and informative interview back in Ken Burns' baseball in 1994. Here it was just blah. "They were in the media, and so it became an article and people read it and blam" but then they were back to stupid reenactments with three extras from "Revenge of the Nerds" while the originals get out of a limo like rock stars (to all of these 3 people). Just plain bad. Nothing close to the rest.

Edited by Crocktacularity, Apr 20, 2010 @ 8:12 PM.

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#48

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Posted Apr 20, 2010 @ 10:20 PM

RE: "Silly Little Game"

I liked it. Sometimes in formal French meals, after the fish course, they serve a small dish of sorbet to "cleanse the palate." "Silly Little Game" was like that dish of sorbet; it's not one of the Major Issue Documentaries (the Allen Iverson bowling alley incident documentary, the upcoming one about Marion Jones and PEDs) but it was interesting and cute. The reenactments were kind of cheesy, but that was on purpose. I liked that Okrent seemed kind of embarrassed of this monster he created, and I liked whenever any of the original 11 members (Wulf, Eisenberg, Salembier, Fleder, McCall, Waggoner, Gethers) was asked, "So, you created this thing that generates between $1 - 2 billion a year, and you guys didn't make any of it. How does that feel?"

That said, it should have been 30 minutes instead of an entire hour.

Edited by UnfamousLoser, Apr 23, 2010 @ 4:03 PM.

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#49

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Posted Apr 21, 2010 @ 9:48 AM

I did and I'm surprised that there hasn't been more commentary on it.



Me too. I didn't catch the Miller/Knicks one (I am sure that was interesting!)

But I will say, it did help me understand Allen Iverson more and appreciate his background more. The saddest part of the documentary was the end because it left things so open ended about the future of Iverson.


It helped me understand him more as well. I feel that there is a lot going on in his personal life (divorce, and his daughter's illness), and who knows when he will return. I saw an interview with him a while ago, and the reporter asked him if there was one word to describe him, what would it be, and he replied by stating 'misunderstood'. I think this is true.

I feel he is so talented, and I really hope for the best with him. I must add that I think that judge was out of his mind to give him that sentence for what had happened. And they say justice is blind ...

Edited by mystic80, Apr 21, 2010 @ 9:49 AM.

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#50

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Posted Apr 23, 2010 @ 11:27 AM

Wow, "Silly Little Game" was just terrible. It was the first one that I felt asleep through and then just ended up deleting. The reenactments were just annoying and distracting from the actual story.
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#51

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Posted Apr 23, 2010 @ 3:43 PM

So I do not come to this thread often, even though I have watched a few versions of this show. However, "Silly Little Games" was so bad, I had to comment. I, like others, thought it was an interesting story and appreciated the history of it. Despite my feelings now about fantasy sports, I have participated in the past in some leagues.

As others have mentioned, the reenactments were annoying and I personally can't stand them in just about any form anyway. And then, following the story and really understanding how they ran the league was hard for me to follow (or maybe I just lost interest).

As for the AI story, it was okay and an interesting story so I guess it served its purpose.

Never saw Reggie's story even though he was my fave player growing up so I really enjoyed him torching the Knicks like that.
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#52

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Posted Apr 24, 2010 @ 9:29 PM

I'm sorry, but "Silly Little Game" cannot be called a documentary. It was a silly little special about the Rotisserie league.

Perhaps the problem is that there just was not that much to show via video. There are only so many clips of SportsCenter fantasy segments that one can use; otherwise, there is nothing to show us. It took me a while to get into the whole re-enactment approach; I never fully accepted it.

Bottom line, there really was not much that the creators could do to make money off of this. It was Basic Statistics - anyone could come up with their own version. Maybe they could have worked with someone on a simulation application, to make drafts and stat tracking easier, but they would have no right to legally protect anything but the name. Just take the credit for creation, and be proud of the fact that you got people to take much greater interest in statistics than ever before.
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#53

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Posted Apr 28, 2010 @ 9:16 PM

I'm not even going to bother commenting on Silly Little Game.

As for Run Ricky Run, I'm going to rewatch, but I'm came out of it with a much more favorable impression of Ricky Williams, unlike the Iverson piece, where I felt badly for the town and the situation, but not for AI.

AyeshaTheGreat, I loved the Reggie Miller one. You should see it if you get the chance. It was a lot of fun.
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#54

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Posted Apr 28, 2010 @ 9:26 PM

I agree on the Rickey Williams one. It was kind of confused and didn't have a clear narrative structure, but I think that might deal with form follows function, where Ricky doesn't fit into a convenient narrow structure either. I appreciated how thoroughly it seemed to subtly rip ESPN's entire yell-ocracy. How plainly hysterical the Around the Horn/Sportscenter/Theismann and NFL brigade was about it, and how so clearly the soundbite no-info culture pounds out heroes and villains. It really showed how pathetic they are.
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#55

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Posted Apr 29, 2010 @ 8:20 PM

I liked the Ricky Williams doc ("Run Ricky Run"). Ricky has always struck me as one of those guys that cannot be canned by the NFL machine. The shock that everyone had that he could just leave everything behind; the only explanation they could think of was selfishness and hiding from a bad drug test. I saw the "60 Minutes" piece, but this gave an even deeper perspective on where Ricky's mind was. I still don't get it, but can see that there was more going on besides a weed fixation.

It was intriguing to see how the ESPN machine went from being upset with him for being so different from the standard, then turned around to support him when he started winning again. Even the guys at PTI were shown to follow the madness; Dan LeBatard (who I only know as a PTI-sub) comes across as voice of reason - the network should take note of its tendency toward knee-jerk reaction.
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#56

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Posted Apr 30, 2010 @ 4:01 PM

No one seems to have commented on the Paul Westhead/Hank Gathers doc The Guru of Go. I just caught this On Demand and it was very well done. When they get to the part of Gathers' death, they show a montage of the people involved: Westhead, Bo Kimble, Jeff Freyer, Father Dave, Gathers' brother and each is so overcome, they can't even speak. There's like 90 seconds of silence. Very moving.
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#57

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Posted May 5, 2010 @ 1:56 PM

When they get to the part of Gathers' death, they show a montage of the people involved: Westhead, Bo Kimble, Jeff Freyer, Father Dave, Gathers' brother and each is so overcome, they can't even speak. There's like 90 seconds of silence. Very moving.


I just saw this last night and boy, you ain't kidding. The tears just sprung to my eyes as they lingered on each person---it's so incredibly poignant.
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#58

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Posted May 8, 2010 @ 1:34 AM

As for Run Ricky Run, I'm going to rewatch, but I'm came out of it with a much more favorable impression of Ricky Williams

I actually feel the opposite. I finally got to see this one and I started out with a strange affection for the helmet-wearing guy who took off and then came back. I just found it hard to connect with a guy who demanded honesty, but used introspective philosophy to deflect questions he didn't want to answer. I feel like I missed a section of the story where he turned a corner.

I am looking forward to the Raiders one, though. As a born and bred Raider-hater, it has curious appeal.
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#59

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Posted May 8, 2010 @ 5:21 AM

The 16th Man

I haven't seen Invictus, or read any of the books related to this subject, so I came to this film only knowing that the 1995 Rugby World Cup meant a lot to South Africa, but that's it. I didn't realize that the Springbok team was equated in the eyes of some in the black community as a symbol of white oppresion, and that Mandela was sticking his neck out to support them. My favorite moment was when President Mandela was speaking to a mainly black crowd, and he held up the Springbok cap and said a "let's support the team" line, and you can hear some people murmuring disapproval along with the scattered applause.

This one was pretty good. I would put it on the same level as Guru of Go but (in filmmaking terms) below Winning Time.

Edited by UnfamousLoser, May 8, 2010 @ 5:21 AM.

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#60

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Posted May 8, 2010 @ 9:57 AM

I finally got to see this one and I started out with a strange affection for the helmet-wearing guy who took off and then came back. I just found it hard to connect with a guy who demanded honesty, but used introspective philosophy to deflect questions he didn't want to answer.


I had a similar reaction. I've known people who have gone on spiritual quests (joined communes, gone on walkabouts etc.) much like Ricky. Some are sincere in their motives, but some use it as a high minded excuse to avoid participating in the real world around them. It was Ricky's casual dismissal of his children that makes me think he's in the latter category. All the weed and meditation in the world won't help make you a better person if you're callous enough to ignore children you helped bring into the world.
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