In October 2009 ESPN ran the first in a series of documentaries celebrating the first 30 years of sports coverage at ESPN. Â The documentaries were produced by filmmakers like Ice Cube and Barry Levinson. Â Some of the documentaries were good, but others were captivating. Â In my opinion ESPN was robbed of either a Primetime Emmy or a Grammy for best documentary.
Today ESPN announced it is kicking off a new 30 for 30 series this fall and winter. Â I can’t wait to see what the next set of documentaries is going to cover.
Here are my top 5 favorite documentaries from the first 30 movies produced by ESPN:
5. Â Â “The Band That Would Not Die” – My dad grew up in Baltimore and was a huge Baltimore Colts fan. Â Watching the Colts slip out of Baltimore in the middle of the night was heartbreaking to him and other Colt fans. Â In this film, we are introduced to the Baltimore Colts Band and how they never lost faith in bringing a team to Baltimore.
4. Â Â “The U” – Lots of people, including myself, forgot how University of Miami went from an afterthought in football to winning multiple national titles. Â The Hurricanes won with moxie and let everyone know it.
3. Â Â “Catching Hell” – I am cheating a little since this film was not part of the 30 for 30 series, though originally it was. Â Getting into the exact details of what happens when an innocent Chicago Cubs fan gets in the way of a Cubs’ outfielder catching a foul ball costing the Cubs a chance at returning to the their first World Series since 1945.
2. Â Â “Once Brothers” – This story moved me the most. Â Vlade Divac, the former LA Laker and Serbian goes back home to try and find closure over his broken friendship with former NBA star and Croatian Drazen Petrovic. Â Their relationship was similar to brothers, but was torn apart when civil war broke out between Serbia and Croatia in the 1990s. Â Unfortunately, Drazen Petrovic died in a car accident before the friendship could be repaired. Â We should never take for granted the relationships we have in life.
1. Â Â “The Two Escobars” – This should have been made into a full length movie. Â “The Two Escobars” shown the spotlight on the lives of two men with the same last name, Escobar who’s lives inexplicably collided. Â The first Escobar, Andres was a star soccer player in Columbia who accidentally scored an own goal that caused Columbia to lose to the US in the 1990 World Cup. Â The second Escobar, Pablo, was the drug kingpin from Columbia who controlled almost all the cocaine in world. Â Where the worlds collide is that both Pablo and Andres were from Medellin and it was there Pablo, who was a huge soccer fan, funded the Columbian soccer team. Â Unfortunately it was the same cartel that ended Andres’ life in 1994 for retribution of that own goal in the 1990 World Cup.