Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ESPN Films 30 for 30: Elway to Marino

On Saturday night, Sharon and I finally watched Elway to Marino. Studying for finals, Jack wandered in and ended up watching most of it with us. This is the eighth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Vol II. An episode guide for Vol II is here.

In the spring of 1983, six quarterbacks were selected in the first round of the draft; this is still the most ever. The film explores the first round of the draft through the eyes of the players, head coaches, general managers, team owners and agents who participated. Agent Marvin Demoff who represented both John Elway and Dan Marino kept a diary in the months leading up to draft day. Demoff reads from parts of the diary as the story moves along.

Elway was drafted first by the Baltimore colts. This storyline could have almost been a 30 for 30 by itself. Elway and his father were adamant that John was not going to play for the Colts. One of the 30 for 30 Volume I films--The Band That Wouldn't Die--looked at the move of the Colts franchise from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1984. The shots of Colts owner Robert Irsay in this documentary brought back memories of Irsay staggering drunk through the other 30 for 30.

Marino ended up dropping to the next to last pick of the first round. Four other quarterbacks were drafted between Elway and Marino, including Todd Blackledge #7, Jim Kelly #14, Tony Eason #15 and Ken O'Brien #24.

The film walks through each choice in the draft as it falls towards Marino. Some time is spent looking at each draft choice's career.

I was pleasantly surprised by the story; it was not quite what I was expecting. While not my favorite of the current set of 30 for 30s, the film is worth looking for.

Elway to Marino is available on iTunes.

A trailer for the film is here.

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