ESPN 30 for 30

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Black Hat
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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#101 Post by Black Hat » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:00 pm

Are innovative camera angles really enough for a two hour documentary? And nobody is going to get excited about Tommy Maddox, now if Kurt Warner had come out of there instead of there instead of the arena league you'd have something. Personally I think the arena league and the cfl are each far more compelling than the xfl but you guys are right about Simmons being a huge WWF guy.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#102 Post by Black Hat » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:04 pm

dx23 wrote:McMahon feels that he has been burned by news outlets and shows
I think a lot of this dates back to the now mostly forgotten but the time controversial Costas interview on HBO, man was that funny.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#103 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:13 pm

Oh it goes way before that, I'm sure. Maybe back to the more infamous John Stossel incident where he was punched by one of Vince's wrestlers on a 20/20 segment about whether or not pro wrestling was fake.

For a long time it seemed ESPN had WWE on their shitlist, doing some pretty negative pieces on pro wrestling in general. Probably a by-product of the ridicule they get for being a "fake" sport, but more likely because for awhile wrestling was beating everything on Monday nights, including football. Now it seems there's a more of a simpatico between them, Vince has done a piece for E:60 and there are writers like Bill Simmons who grew up with wrestling and cover it for their websites on occasion. Even one of the anchors on Sportscenter, Jonathan Coachman, got his start working as an on-air talent for WWE.
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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#104 Post by Andre Jurieu » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:16 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Oh it goes way before that, I'm sure. Maybe back to the more infamous John Stossel incident where he was punched by one of Vince's wrestlers on a 20/20 segment about whether or not pro wrestling was fake.
Yeah, but who hasn't wanted to punch John Stossel at some point? Can't really fault that dude for just performing a public service.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#105 Post by Black Hat » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:18 pm

Oh man I totally forgot about the Stossel thing. I remember seeing that again was one of the first things that made me realize how awesome youtube was going to be.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#106 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:24 pm


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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#107 Post by dx23 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:45 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Oh it goes way before that, I'm sure. Maybe back to the more infamous John Stossel incident where he was punched by one of Vince's wrestlers on a 20/20 segment about whether or not pro wrestling was fake.

For a long time it seemed ESPN had WWE on their shitlist, doing some pretty negative pieces on pro wrestling in general. Probably a by-product of the ridicule they get for being a "fake" sport, but more likely because for awhile wrestling was beating everything on Monday nights, including football. Now it seems there's a more of a simpatico between them, Vince has done a piece for E:60 and there are writers like Bill Simmons who grew up with wrestling and cover it for their websites on occasion. Even one of the anchors on Sportscenter, Jonathan Coachman, got his start working as an on-air talent for WWE.
Not only Coach works there but also Todd Grisham, who was also another WWE announcer. And yes, ESPN was pressured by Disney and ABC when wrestling was beating Monday Night Football, so they were shitting on both WWF and WCW around the Attitude era when wrestling ratings were at an all-time high. Things changed when ESPN took over MNF and WWE changed their product to PG and started doing the Wellness Program. WWE has now collaborated with ESPN in a lot of stuff, including in the highly disturbing Scott Hall pieces that aired on E:60, showing how bad he had fallen from grace. There's also current anchors like Robert Flores who are also big wrestling fans and incorporate wrestling stuff into their newscast every now and then.
Black Hat wrote:Are innovative camera angles really enough for a two hour documentary? And nobody is going to get excited about Tommy Maddox, now if Kurt Warner had come out of there instead of there instead of the arena league you'd have something. Personally I think the arena league and the cfl are each far more compelling than the xfl but you guys are right about Simmons being a huge WWF guy.
I think there's a story because the league had a lot of promotion and hype behind it when WWF was at their top of their game. And I also think Bill Simmons saw some potential in it and it would be cool to see the reasons as to why it failed. The obvious one was that the players were not that good but there was some potential on the league becoming something.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#108 Post by Black Hat » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:48 pm

Yeah the backstory leading up to the league is a lot more interesting to the league itself. If you remember this was NBC's response to losing the NFL and they threw all their weight behind it. I think the first game did well but once it became clear it was an inferior product by a wide margin it was a wrap for the XFL.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#109 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:57 pm

It really was so inferior. I was the right age to try to support it wholesale, as a football fan who could never suspend disbelief to enjoy wrestling but loved the idea of my own generation's USFL. Instead, games tended to be low scoring slogs through mediocrity, the announcing was horrible, and the constant retooling was exhausting.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#110 Post by Andre Jurieu » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:04 pm

I really enjoyed that the first televised moment for the league was a scramble for a loose ball, which was substituting for the coin flip, resulting in a star-player (I believe that was "He Hate Me") getting injured. Brilliant! You really got the sense this was a serious league focused on sports.

Other highlights included in-between-play video segments where they had players explain rules to the TV audience. I remember one started off with a cut to a cheerleader in the locker room telling us the QB really knew "how to score", then she passed a football off to the QB, who - after wiping a grin (that would make a 13 year-old boy proud) off his face - then explained some weird scoring system for TDs (or some other unnecessary rule change). I also enjoyed that over the course of the season they kept trying to get their on-field reporters to goad some coaches into a WWE-style war-of-words with Jess Ventura, who was doing color-commentary for some games. I guess they were hoping their coaches would be able to perform a wrestling worked-shoot, with Ventura serving as the heal, but I don't think their coaches were ever interested in engaging Ventura or the "reporters".

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#111 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:16 pm

That's what I'd love to see the most out of a documentary about the league - interviews with former players and coaches about the absurdity of participating in this. About what went on in the locker room or on the practice field when you had to sell your team on the merits of "Los Angeles Xtreme" football, or whatever. It's got to have been a pretty low moment for everybody, and I'm sure there are mind-boggling anecdotes.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#112 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:22 pm

I'll always associate the XFL with the depressed XFL Superfan from the Best Show on WFMU-- Shame we never got the promised Seattle Grunge and Western Maine Crabmen expansion teams! :P

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#113 Post by Black Hat » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:28 pm

Yeah the announcing I remember being especially bad. The other thing that's struck me about it since was two fold, one that the only nickname anybody remembers is He Hate Me and the only player anyone remembers from that league is also He Hate Me (nobody remembers Tommy Maddox). I wonder why? For all of Vince's marketing skill they really fell flat on their marketing their players.

I think an upstart league would have a much better chance of succeeding today. Partly because they could ride the back of one Tim Tebow but also because the talent pool now is deeper and the college game is a lot bigger than it used to be with plenty of stars who never live to see a day in the NFL. The trickiest part about an upstart league is figuring out the quarterback position which would I think require significant innovation of the rules to make that position viable.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#114 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:51 pm

Judging Jewell, the short film that's been gathering quite a bit of acclaim recently, and may have lead to a feature film version of the events following the Atlanta '96 bombing.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#115 Post by Polybius » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:42 am

Hopefully concluding with John Ashcroft giving a terrorist a sweetheart deal.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#116 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:31 pm

Bad Boys was really good. Again not a sports fan but any stories about the NBA in the 80's will always captivate me if it's told good. This was a nice counter to the Larry Bird/Magic Johnson doc HBO did some years ago.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#117 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:21 am

It was really well made, and it made me realize how Isiah Thomas keeps getting high profile NBA jobs, he's almost hypnotizingly sweet when he speaks. The stuff about Dumars' father choked me up within a matter of moments, and I don't doubt that it was because Thomas delivered the knockout blow. Really compelling doc all around.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#118 Post by Polybius » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:32 am

Reaction to it has been uniformly positive. I loved it as well, but I'm quite biased. I loved that team completely and unreservedly. This was a great reminder of why.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#119 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:27 pm

Hillsborough is on my DVR, and I've heard wonderful things about that one too.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#120 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:06 pm

And indeed Hillsborough is a brilliant, yet utterly distressing picture of a gov't and it's media tagging along to cover incompetence on a disturbingly high level. For as little as I know about Soccer and nothing about the incident in particular, this was quite engaging from the first minutes onwards.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#121 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:19 pm

Has anyone checked out the recent films?

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#122 Post by barryconvex » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:11 am

i've seen "when the garden was eden", "the boz", and "playing for the mob". "....the garden..." about the Knicks two championship teams in the early 70s is the weakest of the three i watched and is one of the weakest of the entire series. willis reed, willis reed, clyde frazier was kool, willis reed is a hero blah blah blah, absolutely nothing new...i've always had a soft spot for brian bosworth so i enjoyed the entry dealing with his later life and youthful regrets while he and his son rummage through an old storage space where bosworth keeps his memorabilia..."playing...." is a great piece of filmmaking though-digging up all the central figures in the boston college point shaving scandal of the early 70s that was organized by Henry Hill. in a perfect world it would be a supplement on the blu ray pressing of Goodfellas as it further cements Hill's legacy as biggest scumbag/most fascinating person in the room regardless...

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#123 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:00 am

I watched Barry Levinson's The Band That Wouldn't Die most recently, about the Baltimore Colts Marching Band and their efforts to get an NFL team back in their city after the Colts literally vanished into the night. I never knew a whole lot about how such an iconic team wound up in Indianapolis, as I was born less than a year before their first season here (and as my dad was a Joe Montana fan, everything was more centered around the 49'ers here). So it was interesting to see what led to that chain of events, and quite sad to a degree too.

I think it was this movie, more than any other in the 30 For 30 series, that kind of reminded me why I'm not a sports fan as I can't relate too much to why the city basically did everything but beg the NFL for a new team, especially when they still had the Orioles (though maybe they worried about them flying from the nest too as a result). The "why" is obvious of course, but the mayor and later governor of Maryland seemed to take it personally about how they left. I can relate of course to why the fans of Baltimore (and indeed Cleveland later on, who some would argue became a victim of their martyrdom) had such despair about it.

I'd like to see a deeper profile on Robert Irsay, as his son painted a more sympathetic picture that contrasted the image of the greedy owner the people of Baltimore painted him as. Just seemed to me like he was a very flawed and distant guy by that time.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#124 Post by wattsup32 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:57 am

barryconvex wrote:...i've always had a soft spot for brian bosworth so i enjoyed the entry dealing with his later life and youthful regrets while he and his son rummage through an old storage space where bosworth keeps his memorabilia...
I watched "Brian and the Boz" just a couple of days ago and really enjoyed it, though by indoctrination of youth, was a big Boz fan. I found the format the most compelling part. It was really three generations of Bozworth in that storage shed: Bozworth's father, not physically present, but the figure that loomed over the entire film and the person whose storage shed Brian Bozworth was scavenging; Brian Bozworth, himself, seeing, for the first time, all of the memorabilia his father kept on his son; and, Brian Bozworth's son, getting a glimpse of the relationship between his father and grandfather through the stuff his grandfather stored and his father's in the moment emotional reaction to what he found.

Then I watched the Bo Jackson film and felt like a kid again because I idolized him to an unhealthy degree. I was happy to see that he was a much better person through it all than I recall him being portrayed as at the time.

Here, the format was really compelling, too. Lots of cut in animated sequences drawn in superhero comic style. It was a bit of a stroke of genius because nothing could capture the way he was perceived better than a superhero comic could, and then to see the animation juxtaposed with the live action footage was perfect. Because, as it turned out, the real footage and the superhero animation weren't all that different.

I especially loved the take away point: we are lucky to have gotten him when we did because had he hit the scene a decade later we wouldn't have gotten to marvel at his ability. We would all have assumed he was on steroids.

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Re: ESPN 30 for 30

#125 Post by barryconvex » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:54 am

I think it was this movie, more than any other in the 30 For 30 series, that kind of reminded me why I'm not a sports fan...
You should be proud. Sports in this country is the biggest waste of time...I mean, in the end-what do you get out of being a fan? Bragging rights? Don't get me wrong-watching pro athletes in action can be a fun way to spend a few hours. It's entertainment like anything else but people in Baltimore would've dragged Irsay through the streets if they had the opportunity...that goes double for the Browns owner Art Modell a few years later...and that had nothing to do with civic economics it was, "what the hell are we supposed to do now?"

i love american football, i think it's a great game but i despise the culture of the NFL to the point where i can't even watch it anymore. The people who sacrifice their lives for 6 months every year-to say nothing of the endless, myriad commercial breaks on television, or the commentators from palookaville-it all reminds me of a Grateful Dead tour with copious amounts of alcohol and meat instead of drugs and incense...I'm almost there now but I will be insanely happy when my life is 100% sports free...

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