Monday, August 27, 2012

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Shorts Episode Guide

ESPN Films has announced the return this fall of the Emmy-nominated documentary series 30 for 30 and is also expanding the brand to include a 30-part digital short film series. The 30 for 30 Shorts will premiere monthly on Grantland.com and each short will be complemented by a written feature and additional material to provide context.

30 for 30 Shorts film topics include:

1. Arnold’s Blueprint - Michael and Jeff Zimbalist - September 26, 2012
Arnold’s Blueprint focuses on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s teenage years in the Austrian Army and is directed by Michael and Jeff Zimbalist, who previously directed the highly-acclaimed 30 for 30 film The Two Escobars. This 10-minute film focuses on the years before he was the “Universe’s Perfect Specimen,” when a young Schwarzenegger seized upon an opportunity to use the sport of bodybuilding to catapult himself to international stardom. The short documentary will show how the young Austrian farm boy’s mandatory military service played a critical role in his journey to international fame.
2. Jake - Jonathan Hock - October 25, 2012
For a generation of young sports fans who found their inspiration on the shelves of the local public library or at school book fairs, Alfred Slote is a name revered and cherished. With novels such as "Hang Tough, Paul Mather," "Stranger on the Ball Club," and "Tony and Me," his unique ability to evoke real empathy for his characters influenced countless adolescent readers. While all of these books are "baseball books" on the surface, Slote's real interest as a storyteller was not the game, but the people, and he elevated the genre of the children's sports book by creating human dramas where the real action was off the field.
3. The Arnold Palmer - Barry Gordon - November 28, 2012
An exploration into the history, mystery and industry surrounding “The Arnold Palmer,” the lemonade-and-iced tea beverage that has become a piece of Americana.
4. Ali: The Mission - Amani Martin - January 16, 2013
This short tells the story of Muhammad Ali's trip to Iraq prior to the Gulf War in 1991 to call for peace and negotiate with Saddam Hussein for the release of U.S. citizens taken hostage after the invasion of Kuwait.
5. Disdain the Mundane - Nelson George - February 13, 2013
Walt "Clyde" Frazier, from time as a New York Knick to his days in the broadcast booth, has been celebrated for his unique panache. "Disdain the Mundane" explores the evolution of his unique style.
6. Holy Grail: The T206 Honus Wagner - Nick and Colin Barnacle - February 27. 2013
The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card is over 100 years old, worth more than 2 million dollars, and has a life story that is a marriage of myth and reality. Only a handful have ever come to market but the wealth and heartbreak created by this two-inch tall piece of paper is unimaginable. The T206 Honus Wagner: equal parts nightmare and fantasy.
7. Silver Reunion - Rory Karpf - March 27, 2013
In Manchester, Tennessee a secret meeting will take place. But this is no ordinary gathering; instead, a monumental decision will be made. Forty years after the USA men’s Olympic basketball team declined their Silver medals after controversially losing the Gold to the Soviet Union, the 12 players from that team will gather together, and like the jury in 12 Angry Men, they will come to a unanimous decision – accept or refuse the medals for a game many of the players believe they never lost.
8. The Irrelevant Giant - Don Lepore and Shaun Silva - April 17, 2013
In 1983, during Bill Parcells' rookie season as head coach of the New York Giants, he came to know a very special athlete. The NFL draft's John Tuggle not only made his team against all odds, he left a lasting impression.
9. Cutthroat - Steven Cantor - May 29, 2013
Clint Malarchuk was the "Cowboy Goalie." He grew up riding horses with a severe childhood OCD problem. He would ultimately go down in hockey history for suffering one of the most gruesome injuries in sports when he severed his carotid artery by an opposing player's skate blade. "Cutthroat," will cover the injury, his remarkable physical recovery in under two weeks and his grueling emotional and mental one.
10. Tommy and Frank - Richie Keen - July 23, 2013
An intimate, funny and compelling take on the unique relationship and shared legacy of Tommy John, the chatty Indiana lefty who won nearly 300 Major League games, and Dr. Frank Jobe, the unassuming L.A. Orthopedist who conceived and performed a revolutionary elbow operation on John in 1974.
11. Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop - Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg - August 14, 2013
In 1954, before his senior year of high school, Wilt Chamberlain took a summer job that would change his life. He worked as a bellhop at Kutsher s Country Club, a Jewish resort in the Catskill Mountains. At night, he played on the Kutsher s basketball team and was coached hard by the resort s athletic director, the soon-to-be legendary Red Auerbach.
12. Arthur & Johnnie - Tate Donovan - August 28, 2013
Johnnie Ashe tells of a personal sacrifice he made to allow his brother Arthur to continue his budding tennis career. When Johnnie completed his first Vietnam War tour with the Marines, it raised the possibility that Arthur, a second lieutenant with the Army, would be deployed. Johnnie volunteered to serve in his brother's place so that Arthur could stay home and keep playing tennis. And the rest, of course, is history: Arthur would go on to win the inaugural U.S. Open in 1968 and enjoy a Hall of Fame career.
13. Collision Course - Billy Corben - September 25, 2013
Don Aronow was a family man who moved to Miami in the '60s after making a fortune in New Jersey construction, but soon his focus turned to building and racing cigarette boats. He became world famous, selling boats and fostering close relationships with some of the most powerful men in the world. But during that time in Miami, the people who needed Aronow's products the most (and some of the only ones who could afford the hefty price tag) were drug smugglers. Aronow's tale would end in a hail of bullets, leaving questions that still haven't been answered.
14. The Schedule Makers - Joseph Garner - November 6, 2013
Each year, everyone from front-office executives to sports-radio callers ridicules the logic of the MLB schedule. Complaints aside, putting this together is a daunting task: 30 teams, 162 games a year, cross-country flights, night games, day games … you name it. So, who manages all of this? For almost a quarter-century it was the husband-and-wife duo of Henry and Holly Stephenson, two math and computer whizzes who did it all with nothing but a pencil and a piece of paper. This film is the story of how the Stephensons landed their first MLB contract and became The Schedule Makers.
15. The Great Imposter - Matt Dilmore - November 20, 2013
In 1979, Barry Bremen was just a novelty-goods salesman who was acting out a dare when he stole some official warm-ups and shot a few baskets at the 1979 NBA All-Star Game. That was just the beginning. From there Bremen would be known as "The Great Imposter," posing as a major leaguer, PGA golfer, NFL referee … even a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. This film tries to answer not only the question of how he did this, but also the more important one: Why?
16. Judging Jewell - Adam Hootnick - January 29, 2014
On Saturday, July 27, 1996, a terrorist’s bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park at the Atlanta Summer Games, killing two and injuring 111. The toll would have been far higher if not for security guard Richard Jewell, who discovered the bag holding the bomb and helped clear the area. Yet within hours, praise of his heroism turned to vicious accusations. Jewell would be hounded for months by investigations and the media. Eventually, the FBI would capture and convict Eric Robert Rudolph for the crime. Judging Jewell revisits the scene in Atlanta where Richard Jewell, a man simply doing his job, lost the one thing he valued most — his honor.
17. The Deal - Nick and Colin Barnicle - February 12, 2014
Just weeks after losing to the New York Yankees in the 2003 ALCS, the Boston Red Sox made it their mission to get the bat they needed to put them over the top. That bat belonged to reigning AL MVP Alex Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers. Deals were offered. Plans were made. Everything was done. Rodriguez was headed to Fenway Park. Until he wasn’t. This is the story of the 36 hours when the best player in the league went from savior of the Red Sox to latest weapon of the Yankees.
18. Untucked - Danny Pudi - March 12, 2014
This documentary explores the iconic "untucked" jersey worn in 1977 when Marquette University won its first and only national college basketball championship. It was designed by one of Marquette's players, Bo Ellis, under the fearless leadership of Coach Al McGuire.
19. From Harlem with Love - Matt Ogens - April 23, 2014
Tensions between the USSR and the United States were high in 1959, with the seemingly constant threat of nuclear war. Then some unlikely ambassadors stepped forward to clear all that away: the Harlem Globetrotters. From Harlem With Love is the story of how a group of barnstorming basketball players traveled to the heart of the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War and bridged a cultural gap many thought would stand forever.
20. Posterized - Andrew Jenks - May 21, 2014
Shawn Bradley came into the NBA in 1993 as a can’t-miss prospect. The 7-foot-6 center was destined for a career of highlights that would culminate in a spot in the Hall of Fame. It didn’t happen. Not even close. Well, the highlights happened; they just weren’t his. Bradley spent the majority of his career on the wrong end of a lot of epic dunks that ended up as posters. However, once his disappointing NBA career ended, Bradley went on a new quest — to show how a life of success has little to do with what happens on a basketball court.
21. Mecca: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous - Chris James Thompson - June 11, 2014
When the people of Milwaukee had the chance to renovate the Bucks’ basketball court, they chose to do something very avant-garde for a Midwestern city in the 1970s. They decided to use their public funds to commission Robert Indiana, an openly gay artist from Manhattan, to paint the floor of the Mecca. When the Bucks moved to the Bradley Center in 1988, they decided not to take their famous floor with them. So what happened to it? This is the story of how a Bucks fan discovered the floor being sold for scrap and worked with his friends and the artist — and took on serious credit card debt — to bring the iconic work back to life.
22. The High Five - Michael Jacobs - July 23, 2014
When Dusty Baker hit his 30th home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977, the first man to greet him at home plate was his friend and teammate, rookie Glenn Burke. Overcome with happiness, Burke did the first thing that came to mind — he put his hand straight in the air and had Baker slap it. Welcome to the birth of the high five. From there, our short follows Burke’s story as he became a victim of bigotry and then a local hero for social change.
23. Kid Danny - Andrew Cohn - August 12, 2014
In the summer of 2001, the kids from the Bronx were the feel-good story of the Little League World Series. Most of the attention went to their quiet, record-setting ace, Danny Almonte, who had recently moved to New York from the Dominican Republic. They didn’t win the title, but they were the toast of New York, meeting their neighbors the New York Yankees and receiving keys to the city from then-mayor Rudy Giuliani. The problem was, Almonte’s story didn’t hold up. A Sports Illustrated investigation revealed that he was a full two years too old to participate in Little League. The story instantly caught international attention, as Almonte was accused of cheating in the most sacred of all amateur sports. Twelve years later, the reclusive Almonte finally tells the truth about one of the strangest chapters in youth sports history.
24. Fields of Fear - Alex Gibney - September 24, 2014
Mackey Sasser was an exceptional catcher for the New York Mets in the late 1980s and early ’90s. He could hit. He could manage a pitching staff. He could nail you trying to steal second base. But one day, there was something Sasser couldn’t do. He couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher. Suddenly the most basic act for a catcher was next to impossible for Sasser. What happened? This film explores the mental side of the game and shows how a childhood trauma can come back to overwhelm a professional athlete, and how confronting it can lead to recovery.
25. The Great Trade Robbery - Stuart Zicherman - October 8, 2014
In 1989, the storied Dallas Cowboys were a team stuck in mediocrity. They had a brand-new owner in Jerry Jones. They had a brand-new coach (just two years removed a national championship with Miami) in Jimmy Johnson. What they didn’t have was talent. But Dallas did have one asset that stood out: running back Herschel Walker. So Johnson went out to see what he could get for no. 34. Enter the Minnesota Vikings — a team that appeared to be on the cusp of many long playoff runs. All they needed was someone like Walker to put them over the top. They got Walker, but what did they give up? This film breaks down that deal and how the Cowboys’ new front office was able to give away one player and gain a dynasty of its own.
26. Our Tough Guy - Molly Schiot - November 12, 2014
The December 1, 1977, game between the Minnesota North Stars and Boston Bruins started out as just another typical NHL game in the ’70s — no helmets and lots of brawls. One showdown that never actually happened turned this game into one of hockey legend. Shortly after Boston’s John Wensink and Minnesota’s Alex Pirus got untangled from their fight, Wensink famously skated over to the North Stars bench and motioned for the whole team to take him on. They didn’t. Through Wensink’s own words and anecdotes from die-hard fans, family, and fellow NHL players, this film takes us into the mind-set of the Bruins’ most legendary enforcer — and the journey one takes when that life is left behind.
27. Robbed - Eric Drath - December 3, 2014
In 1976, Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton met inside the ring at Yankee Stadium. The conclusion of the fight would go down as one of the most controversial decisions in boxing. But the civil unrest around Yankee Stadium in the Bronx — and in New York City as a whole — became the story of the evening.
28. Student/Athlete - Ken Jeong - January 7, 2015
Reggie Ho never dreamed of playing football in college. Growing up in Hawaii and of Chinese descent, he always imagined he’d be a doctor like his father. He enrolled at Notre Dame as a premed student and didn’t think much of playing football until he decided he needed a more well-rounded life. He was the placekicker on his high school football team and decided to walk on to Notre Dame’s. At 5-foot-5 and 135 pounds, Ho was one of the smallest players in a major college football program — and suddenly became a celebrity on and off campus. As a walk-on, Ho didn’t receive any financial support from his school: a pure student-athlete. He did it for the love of the game and for the love of Notre Dame. After the 1988 season, the walk-on walked off the field. Ho continued his premed degree, but no longer played football. Yet he was a crucial part in Notre Dame’s only undefeated season.
29. The Sweat Solution - David Beilinson and Neil Amdur - January 21, 2015
The University of Florida football team always seemed to have a heat problem. That tends to happen when you build your football facilities on top of a swamp in a part of the country where the average temperature during the season is over 80 degrees. Players collapsed. They were sent to the infirmary. On good days, they got through it, but just barely. Enter Dr. Robert Cade — artist, musician, horticulturalist, and, most important, world-renowned kidney specialist at the university. In the 1960s, Cade made sports hydration his mission. After a careful series of tests on some of the players, Cade developed a “magic elixir” that would keep the Gators out of the infirmary and on the field. They called it Gatorade.
30. An Immortal Man - Josh Koury and Myles Kane - February 25, 2015
Red Sox legend Ted Williams grew up in front of America during baseball’s golden age. He served his country as an ace fighter pilot in Korea and was the last man to ever hit over .400 for a season. This story isn’t about how he lived, but about the mystery surrounding his world after his death. Williams’s head (yes, his head) is preserved in cryostasis in a facility in Arizona. How this came to be remains a mystery shrouded in claims that his children mistreated him and wrapped in a notorious dirty cocktail napkin.
31. The Billion Dollar Game - Nick Guthe - March 18, 2015
In 1989, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was at a crossroads. Schools from larger conferences like the SEC and Big East didn’t see the need to keep allowing the mid-major teams into the Big Dance. They always lost, so what was the point? When Alonzo Mourning’s no. 1 seed Georgetown Hoyas entered the tournament, they had their eyes set on the Final Four and a national title. Dealing with the likes of Ivy League champion and no. 16 seed Princeton was more of an afterthought. So when these two teams faced off on March 17, 1989, in Providence, Rhode Island, no one, not even Princeton, expected much of a game. They were all wrong. Pete Carril’s Tigers not only played one of the greatest games in college basketball history, they also let the NCAA and the rest of the world know that the mid-majors could play and were here to stay. Without that game, the tournament would not be what it is today — a billion-dollar enterprise that stops America for two weeks each year.
32. Unhittable: Sidd Finch and the Tibetan Fastball - April 1, 2015
In the spring of 1985, Sports Illustrated profiled the latest prospect of the New York Mets farm system: Sidd Finch, a Harvard dropout who spoke 10 languages, played the French horn, wore one hiking boot … and threw 168 mph. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it was. Finch was an elaborate hoax constructed by the late George Plimpton for SI’s April 1 issue. Unhittable brings back all of the people who made this hoax possible, including Joe Berton, the bespectacled middle school teacher who truly brought Sidd to life.
33. The Anti-Mascot - Colin Hanks - May 20, 2015
The mid-’80s were a terrible time for the San Francisco Giants. In 1984, the team lost 96 games and finished in last place — but no one on the roster had as horrible an experience as Wayne Doba. That season, the 33-year-old actor was selected to play the Giants’ first mascot. Well, not really a mascot, but an anti-mascot. The “Crazy Crab” was conceived as a satire of the mascot craze of the late ’70s that produced now-iconic characters like the Phillie Phanatic. The Giants’ Crab was not impressive to look at, and that was on purpose (they intentionally gave him a shabby foam costume and even went so far as to film a commercial in which then-manager Frank Robinson attempted to strangle him). When the Crab made his debut at Candlestick Park, the PA announcer would encourage fans to boo. It was an experiment unlike anything in professional sports.
34. Ted Turner's Greatest Race - Gary Jobson - June 3, 2015
When Ted Turner entered his yacht Tenacious in the famed Fastnet Race in 1979, he did not need to prove himself. Turner already had the following on his résumé: founder of a television network, owner of the Atlanta Hawks and Braves, and, most appropriate here, winner of the 1977 America’s Cup. Still, he loved to sail and loved to race with his crew of carefully selected mates. This race would prove to be like no other Turner had ever entered when a freak storm turned the Celtic Sea into chaos. When the winds stopped and the race was over, many of the 303 entrants hadn’t even finished and, tragically, 15 sailors had lost their lives. The victorious crew of the Tenacious relive the voyage, of which Turner famously said: “I was more afraid of losing than I was of dying."
35. Spyball - Christina Burchard and Daniel Newman - July 8, 2015
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once told the head of the Office of Strategic Services (precursor to the CIA), “Give my regards to the catcher.” The catcher was Moe Berg, who spent 15 seasons in the majors before taking up espionage for the government. Spyball tells the extraordinary story of Berg, a linguist/Ivy-educated lawyer/.243 lifetime hitter whom manager Casey Stengel called “the strangest man to ever play the game of baseball.” Berg walked in eclectic circles, counting Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein, and the Marx Brothers among his friends, but it was his service to his country that truly distinguished him. His surreptitious filming of Tokyo during a 1934 baseball tour helped develop strategies for the eventual bombing of the city during World War II, and his cloak-and-dagger mind games involving a German scientist helped prove that the Nazis were failing in their attempts to develop an atomic bomb.
36. Brave in the Attempt - Fritz Mitchell - July 28, 2015
The oath that athletes take at the Special Olympics is “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” This ethos has come to embody the movement started by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1962 with a summer camp in her Maryland backyard. Now, the Special Olympics is made up of more than 4.5 million athletes from all parts of the globe. Fritz Mitchell’s exploration into Shriver’s mission and relentless drive shows how this world-changing social-action initiative was born.
37. Delaney - Grant Curtis - August 19, 2015
Some people manage to live a lifetime in just a few years. Kansas City running back Joe Delaney was one of those people. This film brings Joe back to life 32 years after his tragic death. You will see him in all of his glory, as an electrifying wide receiver in high school, as a tailback at Northwestern State, and as the Chiefs’ hope for the future. The fastest running back in the NFL, he was also quick to lend a helping hand, and as his teammates, coaches, and family attest, he was as wonderful off the field as he was on it. But on June 29, 1983, he went to try to save three boys from drowning in a pond in Monroe, Louisiana — even though he could not swim. He was always giving all he could.
38. First Pitch - Angus Wall - September 11, 2015
On the night of Oct. 30, 2001, President George W. Bush stepped onto the mound at Yankee Stadium to throw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series, just six weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. With New York City and the entire country still trying to heal, the ceremonial first pitch that night meant more than "play ball." ESPN Films' new 30 for 30 Short "First Pitch" looks at how important that famous pitch was to the nation, and how baseball became a part of the recovery after 9/11.
39. The Pittsburgh Drug Trials - Michael Jacobs - September 23, 2015
Pittsburgh was the center of the sports world in 1979, home to the Super Bowl champion Steelers and the World Series champion Pirates. The Pirates and their rallying cry of “We Are Family” brought a renewed sense of pride to the city. But as it turned out, the family was dangerously dysfunctional, with many members succumbing to the temptation of cocaine and dragging baseball into a nationwide scandal. This film revisits that era and paints a picture of how, by 1985, easy drugs and fast nights brought the national pastime from the diamond to a federal courtroom.
40. #BringBackSungWoo - Josh Swade and Josh Shelov - October 7, 2015
The Kansas City Royals’ odyssey to the 2014 World Series ran parallel with the equally improbable journey of SungWoo Lee. A die-hard Royals fan who lived in Seoul, SungWoo had not only charmed the faithful in a visit to Kansas City in the summer of 2014, but he also seemed to spark the team to the run that took it to the postseason. This film takes us from Kansas City to South Korea and back again on the eve of the World Series as our filmmakers try to convince SungWoo’s bosses to let him come to the Fall Classic. It’s a tale of two cultures linked by social media, but more than that, #BringBackSungWoo is a moving tribute to a game that shrinks the world. As one of SungWoo’s Kansas City friends says, “He’s one of us with a different address.”
41. Every Day - Gabe Spitzer - October 29, 2015
At 86, Joy Johnson was the oldest woman to run the 2013 New York City Marathon. The story of an inspiring athlete with an uncommon passion for her sport, and for life.
42. Tose: The Movie - Tom Tollin - November 12, 2015
The late Leonard Tose was a genius and a fool, a saint and a sinner, but most of all the former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles was the man who took his team from the depths of the NFL all the way to the Super Bowl.
43. Thicker Than Water - Jennifer Arnold - December 1, 2015
As Greg Louganis prepared for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul he had not only the pressure of winning an unprecedented second gold medal on his mind, but also the weight on his recently discovered HIV status on his shoulders.
44. Friedman's Shoes - Danny Lee - February 9, 2016
Before the Internet, what did you do if you were a six-foot-something athlete in need of some really big (think size 22), really expensive shoes? You did whatever you could to get to Atlanta and see the guys at Friedman's
45. Slick, Nancy and the Telethon - Michael Husain - February 17, 2016
When the Pacers were on the brink of extinction in Indiana, the state's first couple of basketball stood up, rallied the fans and took to the airwaves to saved their beloved team.
46. The Bad Boy of Bowling - Bryan Storkel - February 23, 2016
Dick Weber was the matinee idol of bowling, the guy who made the sport appointment watching on TV. But times changed and people started to move on until a rebel took to the lanes to claim the new throne: Dick's son Pete.
47. I Am Yup'ik - Daniele Anastasion and Nathan Golon - March 1, 2016
The All-Native District Basketball Tournament isn't a big a stage as the Final Four, but to the high school teams on Alaska's Bering Sea coast it's even bigger.
48. No Kin to Me - Marc Kinderman - March 8, 2016
Hours after President Reagan was shot, LSU and Virginia played in the now-defunct Final Four consolation game. After the game, LSU's star Rudy Jacklin made a comment regarding the president that would put him on a fight to restore his honor.
49. Tiger Hood - Directed by Christopher Andre Marks - April 12, 2016
You won’t find the name Patrick Q.F. Barr on any leaderboard. But he is a golfer worth knowing nonetheless. His course is lower Manhattan, his clubs are borrowed and his balls are… well, they’re milk cartons stuffed with newspapers. In this 30 for 30 Short directed by Christopher Andre’ Marks, you’ll hear the story of “Tiger Hood” in his own words—about how golf saved him from despair and helped people recognize his other talent, photography. Truer words were never spoken than when Patrick says, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.”
50. When The King Held Court - Directed by Palmer Holton - April 19, 2016
The name Elvis Presley evokes a lot of memories: the music, the hips, the hair, the screaming fans. But one thing about “The King of Rock and Roll” that few commoners saw was his passion for racquetball. In this 30 for 30 Short laced with animation and interviews, viewers will learn why the legendary entertainer got involved in the sport, how he almost rescued it with a chain of Presley’s Center Courts and what the elaborate court he had built at Graceland looked like. “The King” died on August 16, 1977, but perhaps he died happy. He had been playing racquetball that morning.
51. Gonzo @ The Derby - Directed by Michael Ratner - May 3, 2016
The lasting legacy of the 1970 Kentucky Derby has nothing to do with the winner, Dust Commander. Its true impact came from the assignment that Scanlan’s magazine gave to a 32-year-old writer from Louisville named Hunter S. Thompson. Director Michael D. Ratner revisits that story in this 30 for 30 Short, talking with the late journalist’s editors and friends and the actor who tried to revive what is known as “gonzo journalism,” Sean Penn. The piece that Thompson turned in—fantastical, riotous and, by the way, late—opened so many eyes that “gonzo journalism” became an art form. As Thompson’s partner in crime, illustrator Ralph Steadman, says, “We were the face of the crowd we’d gone there to find.”
52. A.C. Green: Iron Virgin - Directed by Isaac Feder; Narrated by Will Ferrell and Executive Produced by Oscar winner Adam McKay - May 10, 2016
He played in a record 1,192 consecutive NBA games. As a power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, he won two NBA championships. But what made A.C. Green even more distinctive was the courage of his convictions. As this ESPN 30 for 30 Short points out, Green was a devout Christian who says he maintained his virginity throughout his 16 years in the NBA, nine of them spent in the tempting, hedonistic atmosphere of LA. That didn’t stop him from being a fierce, passionate competitor on the court. It just meant that he was someone who, as teammate James Worthy says, “could stay strong and not be broken.” It was only after he retired after the 2000-01 season that Green got married.
53. The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere - Directed by Mickey Duzyj - May 17, 2016
In Japanese, Haru Urara means “Glorious Spring.” But as this 30 for 30 Short, directed by Mickey Duzyj, makes delightfully clear, the name means a great deal more to the Japanese people. Haru Urara was a thoroughbred mare who never won a race. She first came to the public’s attention after her 88th straight loss at troubled Kochi Racetrack, then picked up more and more supporters with each defeat. With her pink Hello Kitty patches, she became a symbol of hope in Japan. And though she never did win, Haru Urawa did accomplish something greater: she saved the racetrack.
54. We Are - Directed by Jay Buldger and Joshua Shelov - May 24, 2016
"We Are" chronicles Penn State's path from the 2011 scandal that resulted in the removal of a statue of legendary coach Joe Paterno to the design of its community-encompassing replacement. Sculptor Jonathan Cramer, a Penn State alum, drew inspiration for its creation from the 1948 PSU football team that overcame racial adversity with the still-used mantra "We Are Penn State."
55. The Guerrilla Fighter - Directed by Gaspar Gonzalez - July 26, 2016
Alexis Arguello is considered by many to be the greatest junior lightweight of the 20th century and arguably the biggest hero Nicaragua has ever had. There was a lot more to his life than just boxing. When the communist Sandinistas took control of the Nicaraguan government, Arguello went back to fight for his country. After an ironic turn where he ended up campaigning with the Sandinistas, one thing remained clear: Arguello was always concerned first with helping his people.
56. What the Hell Happened to Jai Alai - Directed by Ryan Suffern - August 2, 2016
Back in the day, jai-alai players were celebrities that would ceremoniously march out to salute crowds of 15,000 fans, but after a disastrous 1988 strike the game became nothing more than a cultural afterthought.
57. The Throwback - directed by Erin Leyden - December 3, 2016
When Gordie Lockbaum brought his talents to Division I-AA Holy Cross, his coaches decided to turn back the clock. In this 30 for 30 Short, produced and directed by Erin Leyden, Lockbaum and witnesses look back on the heady days when he might play in 143 of the Crusaders' 170 plays, attracted national attention, and became a finalist for the Heisman Trophy -- twice.
XX. The Other Side - Vanessa Roth
When 18 children – nine from Palestine and nine from Israel – come together to form a kids soccer team, they come face-to-face with the other side for the first time in their lives. United by the common goals of teamwork and dedication to a shared purpose, they confront generations of fear head on. Is peace through sports really possible, or is it hopelessly naive to think that a handful of 12-year-old soccer players can begin to change their world?

A preview of the 30 for 30 Shorts series featured:

Here Now - Eric Drath - May 15, 2012
Spend eight minutes in Pete Rose's current life.

8/3/2012 - ESPN Films Launches 30 for 30 Shorts on Grantland.com

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