Monday, December 06, 2010

ESPN Films 30 for 30

How many you have been watching the "30 for 30" series on ESPN? It is a series of 30 sports documentaries (most of them were an hour long) about sports related topics from the ESPN era (since 1979). I was quiet skeptical going into this series because aside from E:60 and Playmakers most of ESPN's original programming has been horrible.

A DVD set which includes the first 15 documentaries goes on sale tomorrow. Amazon has it for $49 and that is well worth it for the few that I watched alone. I highly recommend the series for all sports fans despite not having had the chance watch them all myself. The ones I did watch have all been good,. What I liked about the series was that despite being part of the "30 for 30" umbrella they were each directed by someone different and each told the story differently from the others.

"June 17, 1994" jumps back and forth with news and sports clips from a very busy day. The day included the O.J chase, a victory parade for the New York Rangers, a NBA Final game, the opening of the 1994 World Cup and Arnold Palmer's final appearance at the US Open. The pace of the documentary does a great job in capturing the chaotic day and includes a lot of news footage.

"King's Ransom" takes a look at the trade that brought Wayne Gretzky from Edmonton to Los Angeles and the effect it had on both regions.

"Winning Time" takes at one of the more entertaining rivalries in recent NBA history. Reggie Miller versus the New York Knicks. The documentary looks specifically at the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals which included  him scoring 8 points in 8.9 seconds.

"The Sixteenth Man"looks at the South African Rugby team and their relationship with Nelson Mandela leading up to their 1995 World Cup win. The documentary covers events that also inspired the movie Invictus starring Morgan Freeman.

You can find more information on the series here.

The 15 documentaries on this DVD set are also available individually. Here is a full list in chronological order of release.

King's Ransom
The Band That Wouldn't Die
Small Potatoes: Who Killed The USFL?
Muhammad & Larry
Without Bias
The Legend of Jimmy the Greek
The U
Winning Time: Reggie Miller Vs. The New York Knicks
Guru of Go
No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson
Silly Little Game
Run Ricky Run
The Sixteenth Man
Straight Outta LA
June 17, 1994

Which of  the first 15 do you recommend?

Does anyone know when Volume 2 comes out? I really liked "Four Days in October." It took a look at the 2004 ALCS where the Boston Red Sox came back form 3-0 down to beat the Yankees on their way to their first World Series title in 86 years. I'll post more about the 2nd half of this series when that set gets released.
 As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Gift Set Collection, Volume 1ESPN Films 30 for 30: June 17, 1994

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