Straight dope on the ESPN 30 for 30 series?

I’m very wary of ESPN, so I’m naturally quite wary of any praise I’ve heard about the 30 for 30 Series.

wrong forum, but several of those were excellent and I don’t even like sports.

Broke, The Marinovich Project, Playing for the Mob, Bad Boys, etc were all really good.

Moved to the Game Room.

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None of those are among my favorites, although Mob was pretty good.

The best ones are the ones where sports are just a backdrop for much larger stories - **The Two Escobars, Once Brothers, The Hillsborough Disaster **among others.

The Hillsborough Disaster will giver you nightmares after watching footage of the caked-in bodies. I thought the Two Escobars was a bit overrated and a bit of a reach in its conclusions.

I Hate Christian Laettner, Bo Jackson, actually 80% of them are really great.

I have watched all of them and have enjoyed every one, some enough to have watched again. Although I am a huge sports fan most of them are about obscure aspects of sports that only vaguely interest me.

They are simply great documentaries. If you are capable of being surprised how watchable something is without having any vested interest then you’ll like most off them.

The episode which deals with millionaire athletes and bankruptcy was brilliant.

Ill always believe that ESPN and its parent Disney are a criminal orginization because they force anyone who wants cable to pay a $5 a month tribute whether they want the network or not. Where is the outrage on the left that ordinary people have to pay $60 a year to a network that makes millionaires and billionaires richer?

As a huge Reggie Miller fan, the episode Winning Time: Miller vs The Knicks was a favorite of mine. My all-time favorite NBA player.

As someone who has grown up in the area of the University of Louisville/University of Kentucky rivalry, but hates both teams, I took particular enjoyment from I Hate Christian Laettner. My dislike for UK is so intense, in fact, that I was actually banned from my girlfriend’s house during March Madness.

I also thought that the Steve Bartman/Cubs game made onto an episode, but a quick scan down the titles doesn’t ring any bells.

As a Pacers fan, I also recommend Winning Time: Miller vs. the Knicks. That’s the only 30 for 30 program I’ve watched, I believe.

Why are you wary of ESPN?

I’ve only seen the ep with Tonya Harding, but I thought it was pretty good at showing what drove her, then and now.

Check out 9 for 9, too. Venus vs. is very good and was directed by Ava DuVernay. The 99ers is a good look at the WWC winning team. All of the other suggestions are very good as well.

Because they hire people like Chris Broussard (he’d talk on live TV about what his “sources” were telling him but then you’d be able to clearly see that he was on Twitter). The Decision was incredibly stupid too. Mainly just Chris Broussard though. Oh, and Chad Ford ( ESPN's Chad Ford Has Been Retroactively Editing Draft Boards For Years ).
In other words, their personnel choices are highly suspect.

Catching Hell, Directed by Alex Gibney of Going Clear fame. It’s pretty good, really shows how Bartman was unjustly screwed by circumstance and the media.

Here’s a ranking of the first 51 episodes.

The A.V. Club also rates every episode.

Some are very well done, others less so. They’re still all worth watching. My two Original 30 favorites were Pony Exce$$, about SMU and the Death Penalty they got hit with in 1986, and Without Bias, about Len Bias, his death, and the aftermath. My favorite follow-on was Hillsborough, even though it’s hard to get through without a tear or two (or more, in my case).

Well, because everybody has the choice whether to pay for cable or not. ESPN/Disney is not alone in this regard. My local cable company dropped all the Viacom channels a year or so ago (MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, etc) because they were demanding too much money. If a cable company determines they can stay viable without the ESPN channels, they have the ability to drop them.

Anyway, back on topic, a lot of the 30 for 30s are really, really good. My wife isn’t much of a sports fan, but she loves to watch these. Pony Excess, Bo Jackson, Christian Laettner, Who Killed the USFL?, The Best That Never Was, and on and on. They’re definitely worth a watch. I particularly like 4 Days In October, which is just great to watch as a baseball fan (even as a Cardinals fan, knowing the next step the Sox took that season was thumping the Birds).

They are absolutley fantastic. Anyones trying to do documentaries should learn from them. The director/producres/interviewer almost never appears during the segments, only in the introduction.

I’ve seen five or ten of them and enjoyed every one that I’ve seen.

My absolute favorite is “The Best that Never Was” about Marcus DuPree.

“Broke” (about all the athletes that have lost their money) is one that everyone should watch especially aspiring athletes. Scroll slowly through the list at the end of the athletes that have gone broke or have serious financial problems. Some of the names will surprise you. It’s not just football and basketball players.

I don’t feel like the series has much at all to do with ESPN influence since it is 30 different topics done by 30 different directors.

I have not seen a bad one of these. My fave is, as a New York Islanders fan, Big Shot. A nobody from Dallas agrees to by the Islanders for some ridiculous amount of money and, in the end, he’s virtually broke and never had the money or anything resembling the money from the beginning. Set the Islanders back for years and they are just now starting to come out of it.

I also enjoyed Once Brothers alot. The story of the reltiaonship between Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac. Two really close friends who dreamed of playing in the NBA while growing up in Czechoslovakia and being torn apart by being Serb (Divac) and Croat (Petrovic).