ESPN 30 for 30 Docos – Part 3

Posted: July 3, 2014 in Sport

June 17, 1994

Quick-cut archival footage captures the various US sporting events on the day in question and the emotions they generated, including but not limited to the opening of the World Cup soccer tournament, the Knicks/Rockets battle in the NBA Finals, Arnold Palmer’s last round in the U.S. Open, and the New York Rangers’ celebration of their Stanley Cup victory — all of which are overshadowed by O. J. Simpson’s run from the police.

Naturally the OJ story dominates and reminds you of the bizarre nature of it all – which must have been surreal at the time in the city. The constant pleas of the police to soothe OJ down and prevent a tragedy do them proud. One cant help but think of Seinfeld though with the glove trial (6’54”)and the Kramer/Gendason car chase. Arnie was of particular interest to moi and as so often happens in these cases ends with a whimper not a bang – or in this case a 3 putt.

Run Ricky Run

A profile of Ricky Williams focuses on his brief 2004 departure from the NFL, when he sought self-redemption amidst media criticism and fresh rumors of marijuana use.

Odd story about one cool dude. A rare talent that struggled with many issues but eventually found peace, it would appear, through yoga, weed and the love of a good woman. Once again a creepy Dad is in the background whose impact is difficult to fully assess but no doubt significant. No doubt the yoga etc maintained his physical ability beyond that normally associated with a man his age in a brutal sport. Or maybe he was still stoned

Fernando Nation

The euphoria created by Fernando Valenzuela’s 1981 arrival with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As with majority of these “sports” docos there is much more to the story. In this case the new Dodgers stadium was built on previous Mexican housing projects Chavez Ravine thus causing massive social upheaval – and pissing off the Mexican “fans” . The call went out for a “Mexican Pitcher” and they hit the mother lode with a chubby unassuming youngster Valenzuela. The “fans” came back in droves as Fernandomania was born in an historic 1981 season – Rookie of the Year/Cy Young/World Series championship

Tim Richmond: To the Limit

The career of NASCAR driver Tim Richmond, his flamboyant lifestyle, and his 1989 death from AIDS.

Nascar doesnt float my boat but it was clear this guy was a talent. He liked to party too and had charisma to burn. Then he started to cough a lot and was generally unwell. The story kept being rolled out was Pneumonia and then a relapse. The rumours started of course but continually denied. It was 1991 that Magic Johnson informed the world he was HIV positive. It wasnt going to happen in 89 in a “real man’s sport”. As with Johnson it was contracted through sampling many ladies at different times. Or at the same time. Where he loses any sympathy with this viewer was his continued exploits with ladies when he knew he was infected .

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