ESPN 30 for 30 Sport Docos – Part 1

Posted: June 30, 2014 in Sport

Ok I may be the only person who watches these but as a service to the ignorant will provide synopsis and comments as work my way through. Their basketball docos are simply superb and you dont have to be a sports nut to enjoy them. I wont rate them as all invariably 5/5 trust me

The Two Escobars

The lives of soccer player Andrés Escobar and drug lord Pablo Escobar; the intertwining of crime and soccer in their native Colombia; and the connections between the murders of both men. (2 hours in length)

Colombia have just made it through to the last 16 in current World Cup. In the 1994 WC in USA they were the favorites after stunning lead up form based on a local structure built up over a few years supported by drug money. The fate of Pablo eventually impacted on Andres in a way that is difficult to accept but easy to understand in the prevailing society at the time. Thank me I live in Aussie land – we dont win soccer matches but I can walk down the street rather comfortably anytime of day

The Fab Five

The story of the 1991 Michigan men’s basketball recruiting class, called the Fab Five, one of whom (Chris Webber) was later involved in a notorious pay-for-play scandal. (95 mins)

The Freshman roster known as the Fab Five included Webber, King, Howard, Jackson and Rose. They were black and cocky , loved hip hop and wore baggy shorts – all before this was commonplace in NBA. Did not take long before they were the starting five – unheard of in College basketball. Went through to successive NCAA but there was no fairytale and of course the infamous Webber timeout. Then the payment scandal broke. Sadly Webber would not be interviewed but does not take away from an enthralling story. There is a great relationship running throughout the story between the white coach and these supreme black athletes.

The Real Rocky

A profile of Chuck Wepner, the original inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa character, and how the glory of Rocky eluded Wepner as he took several strange turns in an effort to stay in the spotlight.

Could just be another story about a Joe Palooka who could bleed at the weigh in apart from a) interaction with Ali and b) continual tie ins with Stallone movies and characters. It portrays Ali in a rather poor light ( he actually appears in Fab Five doco as well!) as the influence of Don King pervades world boxing as well but Stallone comes out a lot worse. Eventually they settled out of court for undisclosed sum. Chuck actually speaks better now than either Ali or Stallone but his face still looks like Playdough experiment gone wrong

Kings Ransom

The 1988 trade of Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings and the effect it had on Gretzky, the fans in Edmonton, and the popularity of hockey in Southern California.

Ice Hockey is also a popular topic for these docos and there was no bigger player than Gretzky. The story mostly revolves around the reality of economics of running a sporting franchise and the need to make trades much to the chagrin of the loyal fans. Interesting tie in much like Colombia soccer – Gretzky could not deliver a championship in the several years with them but the seed was planted and they are now 2014 Stanley Cup Champions

There are over 2 seasons of docos and a series of shorts and webispodes. Luckily I have no life

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