Sunday, August 12, 2012

ESPN 30 for 30 Volume II Episode Guide

I enjoyed Volume I of the ESPN 30 for 30 series that ran starting in 2009. An episode guide is here. My ranking of those films is here.

In fall of 2011, ESPN ran a series of ESPN Films that continued the spirit of 30 for 30. A list of those film is here.

Films announced for 30 for 30 Volume II include:

1. Broke by Billy Corben - Oct. 2, 2012, 8 p.m. - trailer
Broke explores the roads to fortune in American sports and eventually, the many detours to bankruptcy. Bernie Kosar, Andre Rison and Cliff Floyd are among the athletes who talk openly about the challenges of managing their money in an era when big contracts don’t necessarily support bigger lifestyles. Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders and saddled with medical problems, many pro athletes get shocked by harsh economic realities after years of living the high life. A story of the dark side of success, Broke is an allegory for the financial woes haunting economies and individuals all over the world.
2. 9.79* by Daniel Gordon - Oct. 9, 2012, 8 p.m. - trailer
2012 Toronto International Film Festival Selection - The 100-meter men’s final at the 1988 Seoul Games was the fastest and perhaps most thrilling sprint in Olympic history. But within 48 hours, gold medalist Ben Johnson had tested positive for anabolic steroids, and scandal reigned. This one race still haunts the eight men who took part. But what brought them to the starting line? And what happened to them since?
3. There’s No Place Like Home by Maura Mandt and Josh Swade - Oct. 16, 2012, 8 p.m. - trailer
On December 10, 2010, Sotheby’s auctioned off the most important historical document in sports history—James Naismith’s original rules of basketball. There’s No Place Like Home is the story of one fan’s obsessive quest to win this seminal American artifact at auction and bring the rules “home” to Lawrence, Kansas, where Naismith coached and taught for more than 40 years.
4. Benji by Coodie and Chike - Oct. 23, 2012, 8 p.m. - trailer
In 1984, 17-year-old Ben Wilson was a symbol of everything promising about Chicago: a beloved, sweet-natured youngster from the city’s fabled South Side, and America’s most talented basketball prospect. His senseless murder the day before his senior season sent ripples through Chicago and the nation.
5. Ghosts of Ole Miss by Fritz Mitchell - Oct. 30, 2012, 8 p.m. - trailer
In 1962, the University of Mississippi campus erupted in violence over integration and swelled with pride over an unbeaten football team. Mississippi native Wright Thompson explores the tumultuous events that continue to shape the state 50 years later.
6. You Don’t Know Bo by Michael Bonfiglio - Dec. 8, 2012, 9 p.m. - trailer
Bo Jackson hit 500 ft. home runs, ran over linebackers, and—for a small window—he was the best athlete we had ever seen. You Don’t Know Bo is a close look at the man and marketing campaign that shaped his legacy. Even without winning a Super Bowl or World Series, Bo redefined the role of the athlete in the pop cultural conversation. More than 20 years later, myths and legends still surround Bo Jackson, and his impossible feats still capture our collective imagination.
7. Survive and Advance by Jonathan Hock - March 17, 2013, 9 p.m. - trailer
In 1983, the NC State Wolfpack, coached by Jim Valvano, stayed alive in the postseason through a series of nine overtime and 1-point games, beating the likes of Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins. The unlikely squad made it to the national championship game against No. 1 Houston, aka Phi Slama Jama, a team featuring future NBA Top 50 all-time players Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. NC State was one of the biggest underdogs ever in the final game, one that went down as possibly the best college basketball game in history-ending with one of the most well-known plays of all time.
8. Elway to Marino by NFL Films and Ken Rodgers - April 23, 2013, 9 p.m. - trailer
ESPN teams up with NFL Films and director Ken Rodgers for a glance at the ’83 NFL Draft, which had six QBs taken in the first round, including Pro Football HOFers John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. Debuting two nights before the ’13 Draft -- “Elway to Marino” focuses not only on the star-studded draft class, but also on its impact on a league that was just coming off a player strike and fending off the emerging USFL.
9. Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau by Sam George - October 1, 2013, 8 p.m. - trailer
"Eddie Would Go." It's a phrase that has long carried deep meaning with countless Hawaiians and surfers worldwide. Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau goes beyond those famous three words and chronicles the remarkable life and power of Eddie Aikau, the legendary Hawaiian big wave surfer, pioneering lifeguard and ultimately doomed crew member of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule'a. With a rich combination of archival imagery, contemporary interviews and meticulously researched historical source material, this film is a compelling exploration of the tragic decline and extraordinary re-birth of the Hawaiian culture as personified by a native son whose dynamic life and heroic death served as inspiration to an entire spiritual movement.
10. Free Spirits by Daniel H. Forer - October 8, 2013, 8 p.m. - trailer
When the NBA merged with the American Basketball Association in 1976, four ABA franchises joined the more established league - the Nets, Nuggets, Pacers and Spurs. But one of the odd teams out found a different way to secure its future. Free Spirits tells the colorful story of the Spirits of St. Louis - an entertaining and at times controversial team featuring stars like Marvin "Bad News" Barnes and James "Fly" Williams with an upstart sportscaster named Bob Costas calling the play-by-play. The Spirits managed to pull off a stunning playoff upset of the defending champions in their first season, and then, on their way to franchise extinction, co-owners Daniel and Ozzie Silna managed to negotiate a contract that has allowed the team to continue to exist in the most unusual fashion.
11. No Mas by Eric Drath - October 15, 2013, 8 p.m. - trailer
In the midst of boxing's contemporary golden age - the 1980's - stood two fighters who established a captivating rivalry. Their pair of bouts within a span of just over 5 months in 1980 had all the trappings of instant classics. Sugar Ray Leonard, an American hero, who had become a household name after a Gold Medal-winning performance at the 1976 Summer Olympics that led to numerous corporate sponsorships, versus the Latino champion, Roberto Duran, the toughest - some said meanest - fighter of all time. It was not just the drama and action of these fights that would endure, but those two words uttered in the second of their clashes, which would create a sense of mystery, bewilderment and intrigue to the present day. No Mas unveils for the first time what really happened, going behind the scenes of these two showdowns with the help of boxing experts, family members and the two fighters themselves.
12. Big Shot by Kevin Connolly - October 22, 2013, 8 p.m. - trailer - youtube
In 1996, the once-dominant New York Islanders were in serious trouble. Lousy performance and poor management were driving away the hockey franchise's loyal fan base. The team hit bottom. Then along came a Dallas businessman named John Spano, who swooped in and agreed to buy the team for 165 million dollars. Things began to look up for the Islanders - way up. But it was all smoke and mirrors. Big Shot goes inside an extraordinary scandal that engulfed the Islanders. Featuring the only interview Spano has ever given about the Islanders deal, this film is an unforgettable tale of a dream that became a lie - and how a scam of such epic proportions initially went undetected.
13. This is What They Want by Brian Koppelman and David Levien - October 29, 2013, 8 p.m. - trailer
When Jimmy Connors arrived in New York for the 1991 U.S. Open, the one-time tennis superstar was 8 years removed from his last Grand Slam singles title, ranked 174th in the world and approaching his 39th birthday. Not exactly a recipe for success. But on the verge of a quick first-round exit, Connors suddenly and unexpectedly re-captured the magic, embarking on a stirring and extraordinary run than included an epic contest with Aaron Krickstein on his way to the semifinals. This is What They Want not only illuminates this highly improbably march past a series of talented and youthful adversaries, it also explores how Connors became a polarizing and provocative personality who helped make tennis a high-octane spectator sport.
14. Bernie and Ernie - November 5, 2013, 8 p.m. - trailer
When basketball fans mention Bernard King, we conjure the same image -- prolific scorer, fierce competitor and NBA legend. But few among us are aware of what made King the man he is today. One of those who has known him best through the years is college and pro teammate Ernie Grunfeld. "Bernie and Ernie" is the story of two men who had vastly different backgrounds and experiences and seemingly shared nothing in common except the game of basketball, yet forged a close friendship that has lasted four decades.
15. Youngstown Boys - December 15, 2013, 8 p.m. - trailer
The interconnected journey and evolving relationship of two former Ohio State stars -- RB Maurice Clarett and coach Jim Tressel.
16. The Price of Gold by Nanette Burstein - January 16, 2014, 9 p.m. - trailer
American hopes for a gold medal in women's figure skating at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway rested on two very different but equally fascinating personalities: Nancy Kerrigan, the elegant brunette from Massachusetts, and Tonya Harding, the fiery blonde from Oregon. On January 6, 1994, after a practice session at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Kerrigan was stunningly clubbed on the right knee by an unknown assailant and left wailing, "Why, why, why?" As the bizarre "why" mystery unraveled, it was revealed that Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, had plotted the attack with his misfit friends to literally eliminate Kerrigan from the competition. Now two decades later, Tonya and Nancy takes a fresh look through revealing new interviews with the Harding and Kerrigan camps at a unique worldwide spectacle.
17. Requiem For The Big East by Ezra Edelman - Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET - trailer
It explores the meteoric ascension of the Big East Conference and how, in less than a decade under the innovative leadership of founder and commissioner Dave Gavitt, it became the most successful college sports league in America.
18. Bad Boys by Dion Cocoros - Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET - trailer
A documentary on the notorious Pistons squads that won two world titles and battled for Eastern Conference supremacy in the late 1980s and early 90s.
19. Slaying the Badger by John Dower - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET - trailer
Before Lance Armstrong, there was Greg LeMond, who is now the first and only American to win the Tour de France. In this engrossing documentary, LeMond looks back at the pivotal 1986 Tour, and his increasingly vicious rivalry with friend, teammate and mentor Bernard Hinault. The reigning Tour champion and brutal competitor known as "The Badger," Hinault "promised" to help LeMond to his first victory, in return for LeMond supporting him in the previous year. But in a sport that purports to reward teamwork, it's really every man for himself.
20. Playing for the Mob by Joe Lavine & Cayman Grant - Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET
What happens when you combine “Goodfellas” with college basketball? You get “Playing for the Mob,” the story of how mobster Henry Hill — played by Ray Liotta in the 1990 Martin Scorsese classic — helped orchestrate the fixing of Boston College basketball games in the 1978-79 season. The details of that point-shaving scandal are revealed for the first time on film through the testimony of the players, the federal investigators and the actual fixers, including Hill, who died shortly after he was interviewed. “Playing for the Mob” may be set in the seemingly golden world of college basketball but, like “Goodfellas,” this is a tale of greed, betrayal and reckoning. Ultimately, they both share the same message: With that much money at stake, you can’t trust anybody.
21. The Day The Series Stopped - by Ryan Fleck - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 10 p.m. ET - trailer
On October 17, 1989, at 5:04 p.m. PT, soon after Al Michaels and Tim McCarver started the ABC telecast for Game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, the ground began to shake beneath Candlestick Park. Even before that moment, this had promised to be a memorable match-up: the first in 33 years between teams from the same metropolitan area, a battle featuring larger-than-life characters and equally colorful fan bases. But after the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake rolled through, bringing death and destruction, the Bay Area pulled together and baseball took a backseat. Through archival footage, previously untold stories from players, officials, San Francisco and Oakland citizens affected by the earthquake, and a scientific look back at what happened below the earth, “The Day The Series Stopped” will revisit that night 25 years ago. The record book shows that the A’s swept the Giants, but that’s become a footnote to the larger story of the 1989 World Series.
22. When The Garden Was Eden by Michael Rapaport - Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET
In the early 1970s, America was being torn apart by the war in Vietnam, with racial unrest in the streets and a distrust of the White House. But there was a happier place where men of different backgrounds showed people what could happen when you worked together: Madison Square Garden. “When The Garden Was Eden” (based on the book by Harvey Araton) explores the only championship years of the New York Knicks, when they made the NBA Finals in three out of four seasons, winning two titles. Stitched together by Red Holzman, the previously mediocre Knicks might have seemed an odd collection of characters: a forward from the rarefied air of Princeton (Bill Bradley), two players from the Jim Crow South (Willis Reed and Walt Frazier), a blue-collar guy from Detroit (Dave DeBusschere), a pair of inner-city guards (Earl Monroe and Dick Barnett), even a mountain man from Deer Lodge, Montana (Phil Jackson). But by embracing their differences and utilizing their strengths, they showed the NBA and the world what it was like to play as a team. That they did it on the stage New York City provided made it all that much sweeter.
23. Brian and The Boz by Thaddeus D. Matula - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET
In some ways, Barry Switzer and Brian Bosworth were made for each other. The Oklahoma coach and the linebacker he recruited to play for him were both outsized personalities who delighted in thumbing their noses at the establishment. And in their three seasons together (1984-86), the unique father-son dynamic resulted in 31 wins and two Orange Bowl victories, including a national championship, as Bosworth was awarded the first two Butkus Awards. But Bosworth’s alter ego – “The Boz” – was taking over. Eventually, he went on a downward spiral and became known as an NFL bust. In “Brian and The Boz,” the dual identities of Brian Bosworth are examined as he looks back on his life and passes on the lessons he’s learned to his son.
24. Brothers in Exile by Mario Diaz - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET
Major League Baseball has been transformed by the influx of Cuban players like Aroldis Chapman, Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu. But a special debt of gratitude is owed to two half-brothers whose courage two decades ago paved the way for their stardom. “Brothers in Exile” tells the incredible story of Livan and Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who risked their lives to get off the island. Livan left first, banking on his status as the hottest young prospect in Cuba, to defect via Mexico and sign with the Florida Marlins, for whom he soon became one of the youngest World Series MVPs in history in 1997. Staying behind was Orlando, who was banned from professional baseball in Cuba for life because he was suspected of having helped Livan escape. Then, on Christmas 1997, an increasingly frustrated and harassed Orlando left Cuba in a small boat. He was stranded on a deserted island for days before being picked up by the U.S. C0ast Guard. Less than a year later, “El Duque” was helping pitch the New York Yankees to a world championship, completing a most unlikely journey for two brothers who rode their arms to freedom and triumph.
25. Rand University by Marquis Daisy - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET
Randy Moss has long been an enigma known for his brilliance on the football field and his problems off it. “Rand University” gets to the intersection of those aspects of Moss by going back to where he came from – Rand, West Virginia – and exploring what almost derailed him before he ever became nationally known for his extraordinary abilities as a wide receiver. After overcoming troubles with the law, losing the opportunities to play at Notre Dame and Florida State and then reviving his enormously promising football career at Marshall University, all that was good and troubling about Randy Moss materialized on the day of the 1998 NFL Draft. Twenty picks were made before the Minnesota Vikings selected him in the first round. Based on what unfolded throughout Moss’s NFL career, the teams that passed on him may have had a mixture of regret and relief.
26. The U Part 2 by Billy Corben - Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET
Produced in 2009 for the 30 for 30 series, “The U” took a look at all that was good and bad about the rise of the University of Miami’s football program in the 1980s. But that wasn’t the end of the story. “The U Part 2″ picks up where the original film left off, with the program trying to recover from the devastation left by NCAA sanctions and scandals that had some calling for the school to drop football. The Hurricanes rose from those ashes to win another national championship, only to face new controversies when a booster used a Ponzi scheme to win favor with the program.
27. Of Miracles and Men by Jonathan Hock - February 9, 2015
In a podcast with Bill Simmons, Hock talked about his next 30 for 30 project. It is a documentary about the 1980 Soviet Hockey, the team that lost to the Americans at Lake Placid in the Miracle on Ice. It was one of the greatest hockey team every assembled and had a profound effect on how the game is played today. It was supposed to air February during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Connor Schell mentions this 30 for 30 again in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
28. I Hate Christian Laettner by Rory Karpf - Sunday, March 15, at 9 p.m. ET
He made perhaps the most dramatic shot in the history of the NCAA basketball tournament. He’s the only player to start in four consecutive Final Fours, and was instrumental in Duke winning two national championships. He had looks, smarts and game. So why has Christian Laettner been disliked so intensely by so many for so long? Maybe it was the time he stomped on the chest of a downed player, or the battles he had with his teammates, or a perceived sense of entitlement. But sometimes, perception isn’t reality.
29. Sole Man by Jon Weinbach and Dan Marks - April 16, 2015
A definitive, first-hand and unflinching account of how Sonny Vaccaro rose from humble Pennsylvania steel-town roots to become the most valuable marketing asset in the $13 billion athletic-shoe industry.

30 for 30 “Sole Man” To Premiere April 6 as Digital Series on - ESPN MediaZone ESPN MediaZone
30. Angry Sky by Jeff Tremaine - July 30, 2015
In 1965, a truck driver and exotic pet dealer from New Jersey decided that he could join an elite group of men who had been to the final frontier -- space.

8/3/2012 - ESPN Films Announces Fall Schedule for 30 for 30 Vol. II

1/25/2013 - Next Slate Of ESPN "30 For 30" Films To Include Jimmy V's Title Run, '83 NFL Draft

7/24/2013 - ESPN Announces Fall Slate of '30 for 30' Documentaries

9/15/2014 - Fall Slate Announced for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 as Fifth Anniversary of Series Approaches

11/18/2014 - New 30 for 30 Documentary “I Hate Christian Laettner” To Premiere in 2015

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait for the new season of 30 For 30...the last season was great, especially the ones about Todd Marinovich and Chuck Wepner. I'm especially psyched to see the upcoming Bo Jackson, Ben Wilson and Jim Valvano/NC State.

    The trailer really has me psyched - love the use of "Midnight City" by M83, that song really gets the blood flowing....we're only a couple weeks away from the first one