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Old 10-13-09, 10:34 AM   #26
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Tonight's Episode: The Band That Wouldn't Die directed by Barry Levinson. For those of you not old enough to remember, you'll see how much of a asshole drunkard Colts owner Bob Irsay was.

Quote:
In late March of 1984, a moving company secretly packed up the Baltimore Colts’ belongings and its fleet of vans snuck off in the darkness of the early morning. Leaving a city of deeply devoted fans in shock and disbelief. What caused owner Robert Irsay to turn his back on a town that was as closely linked to its team as any in the NFL? Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Levinson, himself a long-standing Baltimore Colts fanatic, will probe that question in light of the changing relationship of sports to community. Through the eyes of members of the Colts Marching Band, Levinson will illustrate how a fan base copes with losing the team that it loves.
Really looking forward to this. I can't think of anyone better suited to direct this than Barry Levinson:

Quote:
Personal Statement

When I was growing up in Baltimore, the Colts were not just a team that played in the city. It was part of the city. Football players didn’t make close to the money they make today and most took jobs in the off-season. Some were mechanics, others worked at furniture stores, and you could find them drinking at a neighborhood watering hole.

When Johnny Unitas came to Baltimore from a semi-pro team, he was a perfect fit for the city: a working-class guy, in a working-class town. And when he rose to legendary status, all of us were proud. The Baltimore Colts weren’t just a football team to us. They were our team. Then on one snowy, early spring morning, Robert Irsay shipped the Colts to Indianapolis in Mayflower moving vans, and the team was gone.

When I came across the story of the Baltimore Colts Marching Band, and how it continued to march despite the loss of its team, I found something uniquely Baltimorian about it. Here was a band that played on without a team, marching at civic events, Thanksgiving Day parades, and half-time shows for other NFL teams, keeping football alive in Baltimore. None of them were paid, yet the band held a membership of 150 strong for the 12 years Baltimore didn’t have an NFL team.

They didn’t stop until 1996 when Baltimore got the Cleveland team and renamed them the Ravens, after the Edgar Allan Poe poem. Poe didn’t grow up in Baltimore, but according to folk lore, he died drunk in a gutter there. Baltimore will take its heroes any way it can get them. With the 1990s and the Ravens came the rejuvenation of the city, which continues to grow today. While I can’t say the Ravens hold quite the same place in my heart, the band is perhaps the only bridge from one era to another, connecting us to our former team, and the pride and dedication we have for our city.

Upcoming airings:
Tuesday Oct 13 - 8PM ESPN
Tuesday Oct 13 - 11pm ESPN 2
Thursday Oct 15 - 9pm ESPN 2
Thursday Oct 15 - 11pm ESPN Classic
Monday Oct 19 - 7pm ESPN 2
Wednesday Oct 21 - 8pm ESPN 2
Sunday Oct 25 - 9pm ESPN Classic
Sunday Nov 8 - 9pm ESPN Classic
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Old 10-13-09, 11:47 AM   #27
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Can't wait .
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Old 10-13-09, 07:14 PM   #28
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

I really hope these end up on DVD
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Old 10-13-09, 09:03 PM   #29
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

This really makes you appreciate your hometown teams staying put and not moving. I know in 1985 the Eagles were going to move to Arizona because our Owner was in debt, and the last minute, Norman Braman bought the team and kept them in Philly. I was only 12 at the time, so I wouldn't have realized how big a blow that would have been, but I can imagine now feeling like those Baltimore fans that OUR team was stolen from us.
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Old 10-14-09, 07:18 AM   #30
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

That did an excellent job of capturing the emotions of Baltimore at the time. No other program I've seen has ever done that. Irsay regularly made visits to other cities: Phoenix, Memphis, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville (they showed the visit to Jacksonville where he flew in on a helicopter to a crowd of 50,000 at the Gator Bowl) to really put the pressure on Maryland to pony up. He once fired a coach at halftime of a game and called the plays in the 2nd half himself.

I'd add a couple footnotes since I lived through this all. The mood of Baltimore really dipped and turned cynical against the NFL after several events. First, the failed attempt to land the Cardinals in '87 (who really flirted with Baltimore but opted for Arizona - a bad mood for them in hindsight given that they waited 20 years for a new stadium). Bidwill really played Baltimore and it turned out for nothing since he didn't get what he was looking for from Arizona.

Second, the '93 expansion derby - it was mentioned but it's worth adding that most of the experts agreed that Baltimore had the best package (ownership, stadium, fan support), but Tagliabue and Jack Kent Cooke conspired to keep Baltimore from winning that and opted for Jacksonville (Jacksonville? - look at that decision in hindsight). Shorty after that expansion derby, Jack Kent Cooke announced that he was building his new stadium in Laurel, MD - equidistant between Baltimore and Washington. He could not have done this had Baltimore landed a team. There was so much hostility toward those plans in Maryland that it never got off the ground. Tagliabue remained one of the most hated figures in Baltimore through his tenure.

Third, the NFL ridiculously suing to prevent the CFL team from using the nickname 'Colts.' Sheesh, talk about kicking a city in the nads.

Fourth, the NFL really forcing the Redskins down the throats of Baltimore. They really tried to make Baltimore a Redskins market, but it had the opposite effect. The fans, particularly older ones only hated the Redskins more (something you still see today - when they announce out-of-town scores at Ravens games, when the Redskins are losing, that gets the biggest cheer). Baltimore has a huge inferiority complex (touched on last night) and that only made that complex worse. Now I took to the Redskins, but I was young and one of the exceptions.

Then even after getting the Ravens, what stung people in Baltimore worse was the national and NFL reaction toward the Browns leaving Cleveland. Everyone pouring their hearts out and saying what a tragedy it was. The NFL almost immediately guaranteed a team for Cleveland 3 years later. Baltimoreans wondered: where was that love for us? The NFL left us high and dry for 12 years and did nothing. Thanks, assholes.
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Last edited by Red Dog; 10-14-09 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 10-14-09, 08:18 AM   #31
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

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That did an excellent job of capturing the emotions of Baltimore at the time. No other program I've seen has ever done that. ... Thanks, assholes.
Red Dog, everything you said above brother, everything you said.

I cried several times throughout. A lot of Ravens fans and season ticket holders have forgiven or forgotten, I have not and I won't. Art and David gave a very nice offer to the Irsay family to purchase the colors and history back, again it was the Irsays that said screw Baltimore. It will never happen now since Indy won a Super Bowl.

Two things missing or of concern in the doc. last evening.

First, the USFL Stars leaving Philly and coming to Baltimore, although it was mentioned by one of the band members of winning a USFL championship, there were no images or other discussion of it - from the NFL to the CFL to the NFL, no USFL. Did the band play for the Stars, maybe that's why it wasn't mentioned? I don't recall other than we went to a few games the first season a Byrd Stadium over at U of M. I guess the O's had games a Memorial on those days.

The second was it showed Jimmy Irsay as some caring individual about poor Baltimore. As stated above, he didn't then and doesn't now give a crap about Baltimore or the Baltimore Colts ... hell he even threatend to move the team out of Indy several years back, he's no different than his old man Robert.
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Old 10-14-09, 08:22 AM   #32
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

The problem with the Stars is that it never really felt like a Baltimore team. I rooted for them but because they played in College Park, it just seemed weird. I don't think the band played for the Stars.

That's all true about Jim Irsay, but unlike his old man, from a football operations perspective, he is an ideal owner.

And you're right about the names/colors, I had forgotten about that.
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Old 10-14-09, 09:10 AM   #33
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Man, it takes me like two hours to watch these things - I just keep rewinding certain parts over and over again and rewatching, especially any time old footage is shown. I'm such a sucker for sports documentaries. I even freezeframed the DVR when they showed the Baltimore Sun so I could read the articles on the Sports front page. Anyway, despite having no sentimental ties to the Colts whatsoever, this episode made me sad, especially when they talked about the guy showing up to Memorial Stadium and sitting there alone while the Colts were playing their first game in Indy hundreds of miles away. That was sad to hear them talk about that. Tagliabue came off as a giant ass as usual, which was funny to me.

Refresh my memory on how the NFL treats the record books/team histories. The NFL decided the current Browns records would go with the former Browns records, correct? Are the Indy Colts linked to the Baltimore Colts? And the Ravens aren't linked to either team, they are treated as a new team?
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Old 10-14-09, 09:36 AM   #34
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Oh, and they mentioned Bert Jones!! This of course triggered my memory of one of my favorite commercials of all time:



To this day, I still use "C'mon Bert!' when someone is physically struggling with something.
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Old 10-14-09, 09:38 AM   #35
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Daryl -
Art decided that the "Browns" would stay in Cleveland; history, colors, records, etc, would be there if and when they got a team. So Cleveland history is treated as one franchise with the same city but just a few years of inactivity. The Colts history is also treated as one franchise, but as Indy. Manning just passed Johnny U as the all-time Colts record holder in wins, the first game of the season I believe, it may have been a TD record or yardage record I forget. The Colts SB wins are counted as combined, not as Indy Colts 1, Baltimore Colts 1, just Colts 2. Ravens are new since 1996; no Colts records are mixed in with the Ravens stuff. That's how the NFL views it.

Now ask a Baltimorian how they view it, you saw some of that last night if you watched it. We view it as the Baltimore Colts and Baltimore Ravens as a hybrid/half-brothers/mixed breed and we don't give a shit what Manning and company do in Indy.

Art and David tried to purchase everything COLTS from the Irsay family when they moved to Baltimore in 1996, to which the Irsay's gave a firm F'U. Just for some quick notes, Bombers and Crabs were some of the other names in the running for the team. The first Ravens logo was, in court, judged to be stolen from an individual in MD who designed something very similar. They changed the logo after the court ruling and I believe that individual did receive some financial compensation after the legal proceedings.

It will be interesting to see how the first Baltimore Raven is placed in the HOF. I would expect that the be J. Ogden since he'll be retired at least 3 or 4 years before R. Lewis retires.

Yes, I'm bitter even with a NFL team back in Baltimore. You have to remember not only did the Colts leave in the "middle of the night", but during a snow storm which had most Baltimore and surrounding areas schools closed for the day. I had to sit at home that day and watch it all live on the local networks as it unfolded. I still get pissed if I see a Mayflower moving truck in the area.

Finally, man has William Donald aged in the past 2 years ...
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Old 10-14-09, 09:46 AM   #36
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Hey Red Dog, we also forgot that Texas got a team pretty quickly after the Oilers left! So there's another time it got rubbed in our face.

Now if they would just do one on other forgotten teams of Balitmore, like the Bullets, Skipjacks, Bandits, Blast, Spirit, Thunder (Box Lacrosse). I'd be happy to have those memories in a way to share them with my kids.
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Old 10-14-09, 09:52 AM   #37
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

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Originally Posted by catchawave View Post
Hey Red Dog, we also forgot that Texas got a team pretty quickly after the Oilers left! So there's another time it got rubbed in our face.

Now if they would just do one on other forgotten teams of Balitmore, like the Bullets, Skipjacks, Bandits, Blast, Spirit, Thunder (Box Lacrosse). I'd be happy to have those memories in a way to share them with my kids.
Don't forget about the Clippers and the Blades, but if you want to remember the Blast. The home opener is Nov 13th go to the game. Indoor soccer never left if my memory severs me right, it went blast to the spirt the back to the blast.

Last edited by Me007gold; 10-14-09 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 10-14-09, 09:55 AM   #38
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

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Originally Posted by catchawave View Post
Daryl -
Art decided that the "Browns" would stay in Cleveland; history, colors, records, etc, would be there if and when they got a team. So Cleveland history is treated as one franchise with the same city but just a few years of inactivity. The Colts history is also treated as one franchise, but as Indy. Manning just passed Johnny U as the all-time Colts record holder in wins, the first game of the season I believe, it may have been a TD record or yardage record I forget. The Colts SB wins are counted as combined, not as Indy Colts 1, Baltimore Colts 1, just Colts 2. Ravens are new since 1996; no Colts records are mixed in with the Ravens stuff. That's how the NFL views it.

Now ask a Baltimorian how they view it, you saw some of that last night if you watched it. We view it as the Baltimore Colts and Baltimore Ravens as a hybrid/half-brothers/mixed breed and we don't give a shit what Manning and company do in Indy.

Art and David tried to purchase everything COLTS from the Irsay family when they moved to Baltimore in 1996, to which the Irsay's gave a firm F'U. Just for some quick notes, Bombers and Crabs were some of the other names in the running for the team. The first Ravens logo was, in court, judged to be stolen from an individual in MD who designed something very similar. They changed the logo after the court ruling and I believe that individual did receive some financial compensation after the legal proceedings.

It will be interesting to see how the first Baltimore Raven is placed in the HOF. I would expect that the be J. Ogden since he'll be retired at least 3 or 4 years before R. Lewis retires.

Yes, I'm bitter even with a NFL team back in Baltimore. You have to remember not only did the Colts leave in the "middle of the night", but during a snow storm which had most Baltimore and surrounding areas schools closed for the day. I had to sit at home that day and watch it all live on the local networks as it unfolded. I still get pissed if I see a Mayflower moving truck in the area.

Finally, man has William Donald aged in the past 2 years ...



Just at the bolded.
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Old 10-14-09, 02:54 PM   #39
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

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Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post


Just at the bolded.
Ok, let me change that to SOMEONE made the decision.
Depending on whom you ask, one of four individuals or groups made the decision for everything BROWNS to stay in Cleveland.

There was the lawsuit because of breaking the lease to the stadium in Cleveland and somewhere in that process the real truth is likely hiding.

1. Art and David, have been quoted many times as saying they made the decision without any influences.
2. The League has said they made Art leave everything.
3. City of Cleveland sued Art and pretty much anyone involved with the move to Baltimore, on either Art's side or actually in Maryland and Baltimore.
4. A Judge made them leave it.

Whatever really made the name, history, colors, records, etc stay in Cleveland, I don't really know ... but it all stayed in Cleveland.
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Old 10-14-09, 03:05 PM   #40
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Really loving this series. I was mildly interested in last night's episode, but after watching for a few minutes, I got engrossed and really felt the sadness, like someone mentioned above, without having an attachment to the area/team.

I really like how they are getting directors that are personally afffected/emtionally attached to the subject as that really comes through in the production and storytelling.
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Old 10-17-09, 07:17 PM   #41
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Just saw the preview for the next one....USFL...looks great.
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Old 10-20-09, 08:18 AM   #42
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Another trip back to the 80s.

Tonight's episode: Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? directed by Mike Tollin.

Quote:
In 1983 the upstart United States Football League (USFL) had the audacity to challenge the almighty NFL. The new league did the unthinkable by playing in the spring and plucked three straight Heisman Trophy winners away from the NFL. The 12-team USFL played before crowds that averaged 25,000, and started off with respectable TV ratings. But with success came expansion and new owners, including a certain high profile and impatient real estate baron whose vision was at odds with the league’s founders. Soon, the USFL was reduced to waging a desperate anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL, which yielded an ironic verdict that effectively forced the league out of business. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, Academy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning director Mike Tollin, himself once a chronicler of the league, will showcase the remarkable influence of those three years on football history and attempt to answer the question, “Who Killed the USFL?”

I was a fan of the USFL, particularly its 3rd year when Baltimore (at least in name) had a team. There was a lot of talent in the league. It was a great fit for ABC on spring Sundays and particularly ESPN. But even I, at 13, could see that they were killing themselves with overexpansion and spreading too thin. I believe if they stayed the course: held the league at 12 franchises, compete in mostly non-NFL markets (particularly their Sun Belt markets like Memphis, Jacksonville, San Antonio and Birmingham), and stayed in the spring for several more years, they could have forced some form of merger with the NFL. I don't think it could have been a AFL/NFL type of merger, but I think it could have resembled the ABA/NBA merger - something like 4-6 teams getting merged in.

I remember being so pissed with their empty victory lawsuit since that was Baltimore's best chance to get back to the NFL at the time.
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Old 10-20-09, 08:54 AM   #43
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

I loved the USFL because I could get my football fix in the summer. I was about 11 years old when it first debuted, as we had a great team, The Philadelphia Stars. They lost in the Championship in '83, won it in '84, but moved to Baltimore in '85. I remember when they tried to move the league the Fall, even as a kid I thought it was a stupid move.

I think this documentary will reveal that Trump just wanted to merge with the NFL and become an owner, and that was the reason he pushed for the fall schedule.
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Old 10-20-09, 07:52 PM   #44
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Did anyone else see Nate Newton wearing orange and go and check to see if he was back in prison?
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Old 10-20-09, 09:16 PM   #45
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

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Did anyone else see Nate Newton wearing orange and go and check to see if he was back in prison?
Not funny dude.
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Old 10-21-09, 07:32 AM   #46
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

It was great seeing that footage and they snagged some really good interviews for this. The minute I saw him pull the envelope from the safety deposit box, I knew that would be the $3 check.

Trump really fucked up a good thing.
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Old 10-21-09, 10:36 AM   #47
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

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Trump really fucked up a good thing.
Agreed, another solid episode, instead of bullying and trying to move to the fall to compete with the NFL he could've just been patient and tried to get an NFL team later, which he basically admits is all he wanted anyway.

BTW, check out E:60 that airs right before this series, also some real good stories and not necessarily the fluff that espn usually shows.
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Old 10-27-09, 12:51 PM   #48
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Tonight's episode: Muhammad and Larry directed by Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan

Quote:
In October of 1980 Muhammad Ali was preparing to fight for an unprecedented fourth heavyweight title against his friend and former sparring partner Larry Holmes. To say that the great Ali was in the twilight of his career would be generous; most of his admiring fans, friends and fight scribes considered his bravado delusional. What was left for him to prove? In the weeks of training before the fight, documentarians Albert and David Maysles took an intimate look at Ali trying to convince the world and perhaps himself, that he was still “The Greatest.” At the same time, they documented the mild-mannered and undervalued champion Holmes as he confidently prepared to put an end to the career of a man for whom he had an abiding and deep affection. In the raw moments after Ali’s humbling in this one-sided fight, it was not fully comprehended what the Maysles brothers had actually captured on film and, due to unexpected circumstances, the Maysles footage never received a public screening or airing. However, in the intervening years, the magnitude of this footage is now clear. An era ended when the braggadocio and confidence were stripped away in the ring, and the world’s greatest hero was revealed to be a man. Here for the first time is the unseen filmed build up to that fight, accompanied by freshly shot interviews by Albert Maysles with members from both the Ali and Holmes camps, as well as others who were prime witnesses to this poignant foolhardy attempt at courage.
I was 9 at the time. I vaguely remember this fight.

Airings:
Tuesday Oct 27 8PM ESPN
Tuesday Oct 27 11pm ESPN 2
Thursday Oct 29 9pm ESPN 2
Thursday Oct 29 10pm ESPN Classic
Monday Nov 2 7pm ESPN 2
Thursday Nov 5 10:30pm ESPN 2
Sunday Nov 29 8pm ESPN Classic
Sunday Dec 6 11pm ESPN Classic
Friday Dec 25 7pm ESPN Classic
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Old 10-27-09, 01:17 PM   #49
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Really looking forward to seeing this, as I was 8 years old when this fight took place. I started watching boxing in '82 with the Cooney/Holmes fight, so I have never really seen this with all the interviews, etc.

I am actually interested to see how Ali talks in 1980, and if you can see the start of his parkinson disease that eventually made him the man he is today.

Really love these documentaries
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Old 10-27-09, 05:14 PM   #50
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Looking forward to the Muhammad and Larry since Larry is a local. I've seen him at a bar before, he really liked my female friend's chest...
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