Thursday, September 29, 2011

ESPN 30 for 30:

Something has to be said about the awesomeness that is this series. If it doesn't clean up at next year Emmy's, the awards should be discontinued. These films do a tremendous job at probing into a specific event in sports history, discussing it from its impact on sports, culture, and the community as a whole. While "The Pony Express" and "Miller Time" were kind of disappointing, "Catching Hell" was pretty solid discussing the Bartman play and paralleling it to Bill Buckner and how we come to make scapegoats out of certain players. Alex Gonzalez and Schiraldi/Stanley certainly deserve plenty of blame as well as their teams for not coming back and winning game 7 like championship teams do. "Four Days in October" was also thoroughly enjoying and satisfying to watch as an avid Yankees-hater.

"The Two Escobars" was definitely the biggest surprise, paralleling the lives and social impact of both the lives and deaths of Pablo and Andres Escobar. From a critical standpoint this was definitely the best one. Every aspect of this story was sufficiently covered, and I have to give the filmmakers a world of credit, as they interviewed people from all sides of this, including several mass murderers. The amount of material they were able to flesh out of their subjects was impressive and their ability to patch these interviews and past footage together to make a compelling story was top notch.

"June 17, 1994" was thoroughly entertaining although it was mostly just a patchwork of old footage: not much original material. Still it was a great reminder of how much really happened that day- one of the greatest and most tragic days in the history of American sports. "The Fab Five" was equally entertaining but really lost steam in the 2nd half kind of like they did against Duke.

But as far as entertainment value is concerned, "The U" is still the undisputed king. Love them or hate them, they changed college football, and their impact on the NFL is unmistakable. Just an awesome documentary, great to see all the old players who were filmed, and some excellent game coverage. Loved the rivalry segments, which no matter who your team one can agree that the greatest thing about college football is rivalries: the bragging rights, the chance to ruin the other's season, and the year-long obsession over hating but in some instances respecting your opponent.

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