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ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Old 10-05-09, 01:35 PM
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ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

http://30for30.espn.com/

I wouldn't usually be inclined to promote anything on ESPN outside of PTI, but this "30 for 30" documentary series looks very interesting. It focuses on a lot of subjects that aren't typical ESPN-fare.

Here's the synopsis of the series:

Inspired by ESPN’s anniversary, ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 is an unprecedented documentary series featuring thirty films from some of today’s finest storytellers. Each filmmaker will bring their passion and personal point of view to their film detailing the issues, trends, athletes, teams, rivalries, games and events that transformed the sports landscape from 1979 to 2009.
It premieres Tuesday, October 6 at 8 p.m. with "Kings Ransom"

On August 9, 1988, the NHL was forever changed with the single stroke of a pen. The Edmonton Oilers, fresh off their fourth Stanley Cup victory in five years, signed a deal that sent Wayne Gretzky, a Canadian national treasure and the greatest hockey player ever to play the game, to the Los Angeles Kings in a multi-player, multi-million dollar deal. As bewildered Oiler fans struggled to make sense of the unthinkable, fans in Los Angeles were rushing to purchase season tickets at a rate so fast it overwhelmed the Kings box office. Overnight, a franchise largely overlooked in its 21-year existence was suddenly playing to sellout crowds and standing ovations, and a league often relegated to “little brother” status exploded from 21 teams to 30 in less than a decade. Acclaimed director Peter Berg presents the captivating story of the trade that knocked the wind out of an entire country, and placed a star-studded city right at the humble feet of a 27-year-old kid, known simply as “The Great One.”


I'm really looking forward to next week's episode: "The Band That Wouldn't Die" by Barry Levinson, which covers a topic near and dear to my heart: the Colts flight from Baltimore.
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Old 10-05-09, 03:20 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

I'm really looking forward for this series too. Still, I'm surprised that Steve Nash is directing a piece.
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Old 10-05-09, 03:42 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

How long are the films? And were they all made specially for the series?
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Old 10-05-09, 04:05 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
How long are the films? And were they all made specially for the series?
Not sure. Yes.
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Old 10-05-09, 04:25 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

I can't wait for these to start, right up my alley. What stinks is some I'm really high on aren't airing until well into 2010. I want to see them all, but of the ones announced so far, a few stand out for me:

Without Bias
The U
No Crossover
Guru of Go
Straight Outta LA (directed by Ice Cube)
the Band that Wouldn't Die
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Old 10-05-09, 05:37 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
How long are the films? And were they all made specially for the series?
One hour. Yes.
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Old 10-06-09, 12:38 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

I'm super excited as well for the whole series, but you all know which one I'm most looking forward to .
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Old 10-06-09, 05:54 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Just a quick bump, this starts tonight and I'm very interested in seeing tonight's episode as I am a huge Gretz and hockey fan, thanks for making a thread about this or I would've totally missed it. DVR all set to record the series.
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Old 10-06-09, 06:31 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Went and looked through a list of the docs that are upcoming; there are quite a few of them that look great (including tonight's)! Really looking forward to the Jimmy the Greek and the Al Davis ones.
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Old 10-06-09, 10:45 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

This has the potential to be the best thing ESPN has done. I remember their 25th Anniversary stuff was all self-congratulating where this looks to actually have some merit.
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Old 10-06-09, 11:02 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

This is really a great idea.
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Old 10-06-09, 11:24 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

I agree, great idea. I can't wait for the Reggie Miller/NY Knicks episode, and the OJ Simpson chase.
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Old 10-07-09, 12:34 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Great episode. I'm really looking forward to the entire series. All the episodes look interesting, particularly the eps about the downfall of the USFL and the birth of rotisserie baseball.
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Old 10-07-09, 01:42 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Liked that Gretzky one. I had forgotten how earth shattering the trade was for Edmonton and how hard it was on the Great One. I was in L.A. at the time and we were all just so pleasantly surprised by the whole thing.

I had a hard time getting over how puffy Wayne looks now. I hope his health is okay. His wife has that scary plastic-surgery gone awry look. My wife thought the most depressing thing about the doc was how even the really, really rich can't get good plastic surgery.
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Old 10-07-09, 07:28 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

That was really good. I was 17 at the time; wasn't much of a hockey fan then but I remember being absolutely stunned that the greatest player of all time in his prime could be traded. Didn't really think much else about it though.

It's also amazing to see how Gretzky was basically royalty in Canada.
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Old 10-07-09, 09:04 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

I remember the day before the story broke, there was a small article in the sports section about how Wayne Gretzky was rumored to be traded. I was in shock! I do remember that summer the finger pointing between the Pocklington and Gretzky camp, as one side said that Gretzky's wife was Yoko Ono and she wanted to continue acting and that is why they picked LA.

I do think Pocklington is a total fraud because he essentially pocketed the 15 million dollars and never put a dime into that team after. If he traded Gretzky, in fear of losing him to free agency, and then resigned Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Tikkanen, Steve Smith, and Kevin Lowe they could have still been great for another 5 years, as they did win the Cup without Gretzky in 1990.

But by 1992, all of those Hall of Famers were gone by trade or free agency, and Pocklington sold the team in 1998. Those Oilers team could have won as many as Bill Russells Celtics teams if they stayed intact. I think that was the first glimpse of how money has really ruined sports in many ways.
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Old 10-07-09, 09:10 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Originally Posted by coli View Post
I think that was the first glimpse of how money has really ruined sports in many ways.
I wouldn't say it was the first (that probably started with baseball free agency in 1976), but it did provide the first glimpse of how big American money impacted the small market Canadian NHL franchises.
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Old 10-07-09, 09:28 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
His wife has that scary plastic-surgery gone awry look.
No shit! I didn't see the episode, just the trailer, but I thought the same thing.
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Old 10-07-09, 11:19 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Great episode, that trade was the biggest thing to ever happen when I was playing hockey as a kid. Our team even changed from our old black and gray colored jersey to black and white jerseys that looked like the Kings jerseys. I thought it was a great look at the behind the scenes of the trade and got the facts straight from the people involved.

It was nice to see all angles of the trade, how it was devestating for the fans in Edmonton, but I think it was good overall, as it got many people into hockey that hadn't even known about the sport prior to the trade and definitely increased the popularity of the sport in the U.S.
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Old 10-07-09, 11:39 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Originally Posted by Duh Vuh Duh View Post

It was nice to see all angles of the trade, how it was devestating for the fans in Edmonton, but I think it was good overall, as it got many people into hockey that hadn't even known about the sport prior to the trade and definitely increased the popularity of the sport in the U.S.
Unfortunately the next 2 steps by the NHL (to try to take advantage of that increased popularity) were devastating: 1) the SCA TV contract and 2) massive/rapid expansion.

Last edited by Red Dog; 10-07-09 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 10-07-09, 12:19 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Unfortunately the next 2 steps by the NHL (to try to take advantage of that increased popularity) were devastating: 1) the SCA TV contract and 2) massive/rapid expansion.
Agreed, too much/too fast, mismanagement and bad marketing have been the achillies heal of the nhl for a while now, but for getting people into the sport and more kids wanting to play the game in the U.S., just his trade alone did a lot to help that.
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Old 10-08-09, 12:31 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Even though most of the information was a rehash of what I already knew due to being a Detroit Red Wings and Wayne Gretzky fan, I enjoyed the doc if just to hear the principal players involved discussed what went down over 20 years ago.

The most surprising info to me was the fact that Jerry Buss, the owner of the Kings in 1985, asked Peter Pocklington about a trade for Gretzky. I had always thought that once Pocklington saw that Gretzky wanted to wait until the end of the 1989-1990 season to negotiate a new contract, that was when the trade talks started with Bruce McNall.

I wonder why they didn't go into more detail the money problems that Peter Pocklington was having. I'm pretty sure I read years ago that Pocklington was in dire financial straits due to some business investments that had gone sour on him.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. If the rest are of high quality, hopefully a DVD of the docs will be released.
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Old 10-08-09, 08:26 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Originally Posted by zekeburger1979 View Post
Even though most of the information was a rehash of what I already knew due to being a Detroit Red Wings and Wayne Gretzky fan, I enjoyed the doc if just to hear the principal players involved discussed what went down over 20 years ago.

.
There was a great documentary on this subject on the NHL Channel last year, and Gretzky said that he was originally going to chose Detroit or NY to be traded to at first. But his dad talked to him about going to LA as that would be more a challenge since they weren't a Hockey town like Detroit and NY.

Can you imagine Gretzky and Yzerman in 1988 playing together?
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Old 10-08-09, 11:52 AM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

The original link provided indicates the "premiere date" for these shows. I'm guessing that means they will be re-aired at some point...I was out of town and missed the first one.
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Old 10-08-09, 12:33 PM
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Re: ESPN's 30 For 30 Documentary Series

Originally Posted by cardsfan111 View Post
The original link provided indicates the "premiere date" for these shows. I'm guessing that means they will be re-aired at some point...I was out of town and missed the first one.
Somewhere on that page you can click and get a full schedule, including re-airs.
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