Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ESPN 30 for 30 - The Legend of Jimmy the Greek

Running on the treadmill, I watched another excellent ESPN 30 for 30 film. The sixth installment of the 30 for 30 series is titled The Legend of Jimmy the Greek.

It opens with the episode of Jimmy getting into a bar fight with Brent Musburger while they were both on the NFL today. The film goes on to do a great job of providing an overview of his life, including:
  • the murder of his mother and aunt when he was 10;
  • the loss of three children to cystic fibrosis;
  • his years in Las Vegas;
  • his pardon from a gambling conviction by President Ford;
  • his twelve year stretch on the NFL Today on CBS;
  • his combative relationship with Phyllis George;
  • outtakes from commercial appearances at the height of his popularity;
  • his comments on Martin Luther King Day in 1988; and,
  • his subsequent firing from CBS.
It does a great job of mixing old footage with interviews. It also uses some voice over by someone who sounds just like him; I thought that it was actually him until I watched the credits at the end.

You couldn't make up the story of his life. People would think that it was too outlandish.

Right behind Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?, this is my second favorite of the 30 for 30 films so far.

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