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30 for 30

Discussion in 'Our Errors are Mistakes: The Media Forum' started by CJM, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. CJM

    CJM Member SoSH Member

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    I'm kind of surprised there hasn't been more chatter about "'30 for 30". Simmons seems genuinely psyched about the whole thing and after watching ESPN's promo clip, I've got to say it looks pretty good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy4ki1CkTgk

    Reading the names of the directors I recognized just a few, but they're a pretty impressive bunch. Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter), Barry Levinson (obvs Diner), Ron Shelton (wrote Bull Durham and White Men Can't Jump), Steve James (Hoop Dreams), John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood).

    A lot of the stories seem fairly compelling too: Iverson's trial, the Steinbrenner family, Muhammed v. Holmes, Reggie v. NY. Of course, there's also the Len Bias story and the 2004 ALCS story.

    I know it's in vogue to shit on ESPN, and a lot of that criticism is warranted. I also know some like to target Simmons. But with their financial clout, if ESPN did give creative freedom to the directors, this could be a fascinating series.

    Thoughts? Hopes? Dreams?
     
  2. Huntington Avenue Grounds

    Huntington Avenue Grounds Member SoSH Member

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    HBO Sports has been the gold standard of documentaries for many years, and it looks like ESPN wants into that club with this "30 for 30". If in fact they were able to peel away the commercialism, sensationalism and self-promotion they have become more renowned for in recent years, they have the money and clout to do some amazing work here. It looks like the pieces are in place and I'm hopeful they manage to come close to that HBO level, which is indeed high praise.

    My gut feeling is that they are not able to fully overcome the corporate politics and spin from outside sources and land some solid work without achieving true greatness.
     
  3. Rocco Graziosa

    Rocco Graziosa owns the lcd soundsystem SoSH Member

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    I have been REALLY looking forward to these, but I must admit I thought the first one was was kind of a dud. Can't really put my finger on it, but it didn't flow, and a lot of the stock footage was awful. Why this guy decided to interview Gretzky on a golf course is anyone's guess.......I found it incredibly distracting. Also how Gretzky and Edmonton did after the trade should have been explained and explored more than just footnotes at the end. Did they every explain how Gretzky's Dad knew the day after the Stanley Cup that he was going to be traded? Because thats kind of a big deal IMO.

    And the guy who made the documentary needs to shave. Worst. Beard. Ever.
     
  4. Senorec

    Senorec Member SoSH Member

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    I agree completely with Rocco's post, down to the golf course thing and the beard. I too have been really looking forward to these. I love a good sports documentary no matter the subject. I was too young to remember the Gretzky trade, but I've always wanted to understand how the hell you trade the Great One. While the question was answered by this doc, it isn't a documentary I'll watch again or recommend to anyone else.

    Ultimately, what sets HBO's sports docs apart from most others, including this one, is that the HBO docs are always able to establish a great narrative. Like Rocco said, this doc just does not flow and there really was no clear narrative. Luckily, there are 29 more to go with some excellent directors and stories.
     
  5. LTF

    LTF Mailboxhead Dope

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    So I very quickly skimmed Simmons' column, but it appears this is his baby, no? Initial reaction: This looks terrific. Even found myself jazzed about episodes I wouldn't think I would be jazzed about (like the one on University of Miami football from the '80s). And the '04 ALCS? Let me step away from the computer and go hump something.
     
  6. BGrif21125

    BGrif21125 Member SoSH Member

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    I liked it more than you guys did, but there was some important info that was completely skipped over by the director.

    How much did Gretzky make as an Oiler? How did that relate to other stars at the time? How much did the Kings agree to pay him? Were the Oilers making or losing money each year? All that info was important, and it could have all been covered easily in a few sentences.
     
  7. ronald47

    ronald47 lurker

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    I wonder if this is something that we'll appreciate more when we see more episodes. Obviously the main hook is having 30 different film makers with differing direction styles tackle some intriguing sports narratives with as much creative freedom as possible. It stands to reason that there would be some episodes that we just plain won't like simply because of how the director did it. Personally I thought this was a very good premiere episode, and although Berg seemed to skim over some important facts of the whole affair, I think he did a really good job portraying what I presume was an incredible emotional roller coaster by all involved. From that perspective, talking about how Gretzky and the Oilers did after the trade was ancillary information given that it had nothing to do with the actual event.

    Or I could just be looking at it too closely, but overall, I thought it was great.
     
  8. Rocco Graziosa

    Rocco Graziosa owns the lcd soundsystem SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (BGrif21125 @ Oct 6 2009, 11:46 PM)
    I liked it more than you guys did, but there was some important info that was completely skipped over by the director.

    How much did Gretzky make as an Oiler? How did that relate to other stars at the time? How much did the Kings agree to pay him? Were the Oilers making or losing money each year? All that info was important, and it could have all been covered easily in a few sentences.


    My god I agree 100%. The documentary left me asking for more.........and you articulated a few that seemed to be hanging over the entire program. The owner of the Oilers (or maybe the filmaker) did a HORRIBLE job of educating us on WHY Gretzky needed to be traded. "If you were in my financial situation you would have done the same thing" was an atrocious cop out and shame on the guy with the horrible HORRIBLE beard for not pressing this issue. Hell, as you said, they didn't even document how much Gretzky made when he became a King, when the contract was signed, and how long it was for. (nevermind the fact that IIRC Gretzky was eventually traded from the Kings) For christ sake thats literally all this was about.

    The more I'm sitting on this the more I'm thinking this was a horrible documentary.

    Edit: Can anyone explain to me why Gretzky was interviewed while hitting golf balls on a driving range? It gave the impression he couldn't care less about this documentary or the questions being posed. Completely bizzare and distracting.

    Edit 2: Anyone want to take a guess as to how Wayne Gretzky's FATHER would have gained knowledge that his son was being shopped around to the highest bidder 2 days after winning the Stanley Cup and before either Wayne himself or his agent knew? I think that was kinda pertinent to this documentary.
     
  9. Mystic Merlin

    Mystic Merlin Member SoSH Member

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    I missed the first showing tonight, and it appears I was fortunate to have done so.

    This sounds like a GREAT concept that simply suffered from shoddy execution. Hopefully future iterations of the series don't suffer the same apparent fate.
     
  10. SeanBerry

    SeanBerry Knows about the CBA. SoSH Member

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    I loved it.

    Then again, this is right in my wheelhouse. I am something of a hockey retard so I learned a ton watching this and I am a fan of Peter Berg (C'mon Rocco. Guy with the beard? Berg's a really talented guy who has done a lot of good/great stuff)'s style.

    And this had Berg written all over it with the abrubt jump cuts to open and and settles you into the story.

    Were things left out? Oh, of course. Fuck, you could have made this just about the owners and that would have been a story of itself.

    The reason Gretzky was shown hitting golf balls to was to present a casual environment. You were meant to be there listening in and I think it worked because Gretzky was totally honest and unflinching in answering the questions. Admitting he could have won 4 more Stanley Cups is a great example of this.

    I'm hooked. Then again, I love sports. I love documentaries. I love the idea of different filmmakers and different looks at major stories.

    I was really capitivated and bummed out when it was over. This is exactly the kind of shit ESPN should be doing more of.
     
  11. Rocco Graziosa

    Rocco Graziosa owns the lcd soundsystem SoSH Member

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    QUOTE
    I'm hooked. Then again, I love sports. I love documentaries. I love the idea of different filmmakers and different looks at major stories.

    I was really capitivated and bummed out when it was over. This is exactly the kind of shit ESPN should be doing more of.


    I'm right with you. (one of the problems ESPN is going to run into, is that HBO has been doing this shit for years, and doing it WELL. Its a high standard to live up to) This one just had way too many holes in it. You mentioned you were "bummed when it was over".........one of the reasons is that an hour is too short to tell this story right. I'm afraid that might be the case with several of the stories.

    For those, like me, that didn't like this particular one, the bright side is the next one will be by a totally different film maker with a totally different style. I look forward to watching next week.
     
  12. JohntheBaptist

    JohntheBaptist Member SoSH Member

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    Anyone know where these are viewable online?
     
  13. chester

    chester lurker

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    QUOTE (Rocco Graziosa @ Oct 6 2009, 08:06 PM)
    I have been REALLY looking forward to these, but I must admit I thought the first one was was kind of a dud. Can't really put my finger on it, but it didn't flow, and a lot of the stock footage was awful. Why this guy decided to interview Gretzky on a golf course is anyone's guess.......I found it incredibly distracting. Also how Gretzky and Edmonton did after the trade should have been explained and explored more than just footnotes at the end. Did they every explain how Gretzky's Dad knew the day after the Stanley Cup that he was going to be traded? Because thats kind of a big deal IMO.

    And the guy who made the documentary needs to shave. Worst. Beard. Ever.


    I agree with everything you just said. I can't exactly point out why I didn't like it and it was probably due to a lot of things that added up. I actually thought the interviews with the owners and coaches were good, but like you said it was a mishmash of stock footage. I guess maybe they thought too much, so they had those actors who threw on 99 garb for those cutaways. It certainly didn't flow.

    I think the point of the doc was to focus as much on the trade as possible, but I would have liked to see a little bit of the story be the resulting team performances instead of just a few lines in the end.

    One thing the director did get was the insinuation of some regret from Gretzky but then he said he'd do it all over again.


    edit: this may be a dumb question but there was no salary cap in 88? right?
     
  14. BannedbyNYYFans.com

    BannedbyNYYFans.com Member SoSH Member

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    I'm probably in the minority but I thought it was very boring and mediocre. I love documentaries and I was really looking forward to this one (and the entire series) but I've got to give it a C- at best. I didn't learn anything at all. Canadians hated the deal...people blamed his wife...Wayne had mixed feelings...etc. C'mon, I really learned nothing and felt I had no insight to the deal that I didn't know back in the late 80s.

    I'll be there for the next 30/30 because I love the premise and I think they have some great storylines coming up. But I just didn't enjoy The Gretzky One as much as I thought I would.
     
  15. Jody Reeds Well

    Jody Reeds Well Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The program definitely left me wanting more. It probably would have benefited from another half hour.

    One of the most annoying things for me was when before a commercial they showed Berg saying that getting into the specifics of the transaction was very interesting. That was something I thought needed more attention. Yea, they mentioned the number of draft picks and players, but how does that negotiation go? Why did they settle on the package they did? They said that this was the best deal for Wayne and the organ-eye-zation. Why was this a better deal for both parties?

    The golf course was a bad idea. It was distracting seeing Gretzky develop skin cancer while talking to Drama.

    The best piece of information was the King's owner describing the phone call with the Oiler's owner while Gretzky was sitting in his office.
     
  16. kenneycb

    kenneycb Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (chester @ Oct 7 2009, 03:07 AM)
    edit: this may be a dumb question but there was no salary cap in 88? right?

    Not until the most recent lockout.
     
  17. Phil Plantier

    Phil Plantier Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I love Peter Berg, and I love documentaries in general (don't get me started about the Maysles brothers) but I only made it 10 minutes into this one. I hope the others are more interesting.

    It makes me wonder if, being the Executive Producer for Friday Night Lights and Trauma, he decided to phone this one in.
     
  18. FungosWithJimy

    FungosWithJimy Member SoSH Member

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    Haven't seen the first one yet, but are these documentaries being shown with a full slate of commercials? Because, in that case, I doubt they can offer much substance in 40 minutes. It almost seems more like a quick summary than a true documentary (HBO style).
     
  19. Senorec

    Senorec Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (FungosWithJimy @ Oct 7 2009, 11:02 AM)
    Haven't seen the first one yet, but are these documentaries being shown with a full slate of commercials? Because, in that case, I doubt they can offer much substance in 40 minutes. It almost seems more like a quick summary than a true documentary (HBO style).

    There were actually only a couple of commercial breaks with the first one coming after 20 minutes into the doc.
     
  20. John Marzano Olympic Hero

    John Marzano Olympic Hero has fancy plans, and pants to match Dope

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    I've seen the first 30 minutes of this (JMOH needs his sleepy) but I have to say that so far, so good. Although the first five minutes was boring, someone needs to tell Berg that he doesn't have to build up tension or drama. This story is more than 20 years old, we all know exactly what happens. No tension or drama is needed. What we're trying to find out is why it happened.

    And judging from some of your posts, it doesn't seem that we get that question asked. That sucks.
     
  21. Bdanahy14

    Bdanahy14 Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (Rocco Graziosa @ Oct 7 2009, 12:00 AM)
    My god I agree 100%. The documentary left me asking for more.........and you articulated a few that seemed to be hanging over the entire program. The owner of the Oilers (or maybe the filmaker) did a HORRIBLE job of educating us on WHY Gretzky needed to be traded. "If you were in my financial situation you would have done the same thing" was an atrocious cop out and shame on the guy with the horrible HORRIBLE beard for not pressing this issue. Hell, as you said, they didn't even document how much Gretzky made when he became a King, when the contract was signed, and how long it was for. (nevermind the fact that IIRC Gretzky was eventually traded from the Kings) For christ sake thats literally all this was about.



    Sorta on the same page. I think there needed to be 4 things covered in this thing - and think they over did 2, half touched one one and completely biffed on the third:

    1) What the trade meant to the fans of Edmonton and LA - They over did what it meant at that moment, and maybe that was the only intention - but it would have been nice to look and see how the "Gretzky Effect" panned out after a few years...

    2) How the media portrayed the deal - I think they drove this home to much, we get it.

    3) What this meant to Wanye Gretzky - they touched on it, but only got a politicians answer. It would have been great to see some other players talk about this, to look at his statistics and how they were effected, etc. IMHO they danced around this.

    4) What were the reasons and mechanics of the trade and the deal that Wayne ended up getting - You guys touched on it, but this was a complete miss. Why were the Oilers so financially beat down... they spent half the episode showing non stop sell outs and people posting newspaper ads for $5k tickets. What did the players and the money received in return net long term? Who were the draft picks? I would have liked to get a better feeling of those discussions, both initially and after Wayne made up his mind.

    It wasn't bad, it was cool to watch and better than most things ESPN has done in a long while. The good news, is I don't think it was ESPN's hand that sort of left me wanting - it was just the execution. I have a feeling some directors are going to kill it.
     
  22. Dollar

    Dollar Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (JohntheBaptist @ Oct 7 2009, 01:30 AM)
    Anyone know where these are viewable online?

    I was wondering the same thing, since the program I DVR'ed turned out to be the end of the MTSU-Troy football game. Damn you, ESPN2.
     
  23. DLew On Roids

    DLew On Roids guilty of being sex Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (Rocco Graziosa @ Oct 7 2009, 12:00 AM)
    Edit: Can anyone explain to me why Gretzky was interviewed while hitting golf balls on a driving range? It gave the impression he couldn't care less about this documentary or the questions being posed. Completely bizzare and distracting.


    This came up in a 30 For 30 podcast where Simmons interviewed Berg. Berg said that he felt the studio interview concept was kind of dry and unoriginal. I can't attack or defend the idea (King's Ransom awaits, unwatched, on my DVR), but that was his thinking.
     
  24. Tizzolator

    Tizzolator Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (DLew On Roids @ Oct 7 2009, 03:41 PM)
    This came up in a 30 For 30 podcast where Simmons interviewed Berg. Berg said that he felt the studio interview concept was kind of dry and unoriginal. I can't attack or defend the idea (King's Ransom awaits, unwatched, on my DVR), but that was his thinking.


    This is correct, DLew, having watched the doc earlier today and then having listened to the podcast, but Berg goes further on the podcast - he intimates that he wasn't 100% certain that the whole thing would be at the driving range, but once Wayne started going, everything flowed quickly and they just kept it rolling.

    I liked the documentary - I'm a big fan of Berg's. But, the piece could have benefited with another 20 minutes of solid of content.
     
  25. MoGator71

    MoGator71 Member SoSH Member

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    I haven't seen this yet, but I've seen a couple of doco's about the Gretzky trade. My understanding has always been that the Oilers weren't losing money, but owner Peter Pocklington was, so he sold Wayne to cover some debts. There's one called "Ultimate Gretzky" that NHLNetwork shows, and a short one on only the trade in a series that I think they call "Day That Changed the Game"...there's the Gretzky one, and another about Jacques Plante putting a mask on. Good stuff.

    I've got this set to DVR tonight I think, I forget if it's on ESPN or the Deuce. I'll see how it is...but I'm probably going to watch all of these regardless.
     
  26. FungosWithJimy

    FungosWithJimy Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (MoGator71 @ Oct 7 2009, 04:57 PM)
    I've got this set to DVR tonight I think, I forget if it's on ESPN or the Deuce.


    It's on ESPN. 10pm.
     
  27. SteveCrawford

    SteveCrawford Member SoSH Member

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    Wow from overall comments would think this was a trainwreck. Watched so far seems good even the golfing segments. But I guess this is "what we do" as is said often when disagreeing with any critical analysis of these things. Seems an enjoyable watch but maybe I'm missing much I should call out which has been pointed out.
     
  28. Doc32

    Doc32 lurker

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    I haven't seen the documentary, but does anyone think it be better if Peter Berg was actually a hockey fan and understood the game and its history more? From his podcast with Simmons, it sounded as he didn't know that much about the game at all. I know he's a giant Gretzky fan though.
     
  29. John Marzano Olympic Hero

    John Marzano Olympic Hero has fancy plans, and pants to match Dope

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    I finished watching the doc last night and it seems to me that Berg understands hockey very well. It really isn't that difficult a game to get. Seeing as how you haven't had the time to watch the broadcast, what makes you think that Berg doesn't understand hockey and its history?
     
  30. JuniorWells

    JuniorWells lurker

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    Count me in as someone who was really excited about the 30/30 concept, but I only made it through about 25 minutes of Berg's effort. Superficial and dry with no insights into what the real motivations were. Since I gave up, I don't know: Did the doc even get into the fact that McCall spent six years in prison for white collar crime? That Pocklington was broke and basically sold his best asset to keep his other businesses afloat? That Gretzky might have won a half a dozen more cups with the Oilers, but that he was basically a sideshow after the trade, never playing on a real good team again?

    The trade of Wayne Gretzky to LA does down in sports history alongside the sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees as one of the all-time sports blunders. Stephen Brunt's new book "Gretzky's Tears" just came out, and it is a wonderful read, every bit as good as Brunt's last effort ("Searching for Bobby Orr"). The book tells the REAL story of the trade.
     
  31. Doc32

    Doc32 lurker

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  32. John Dopson

    John Dopson Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (Bdanahy14 @ Oct 7 2009, 01:41 PM)
    4) What were the reasons and mechanics of the trade and the deal that Wayne ended up getting - You guys touched on it, but this was a complete miss. Why were the Oilers so financially beat down... they spent half the episode showing non stop sell outs and people posting newspaper ads for $5k tickets. What did the players and the money received in return net long term? Who were the draft picks? I would have liked to get a better feeling of those discussions, both initially and after Wayne made up his mind.


    Your 4th point is the most glaring reason why I thought the documentary was mediocre at best. It was 60 minutes on the Wayne Gretzky trade and not once did they mention what the Oilers received in return for Wayne Gretzky. I guess I wanted something more specific than $15m, some picks, couple of players. When I finished I had to go to Wikipedia to get the player names.
     
  33. MoGator71

    MoGator71 Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (John Dopson @ Oct 10 2009, 02:37 PM)
    Your 4th point is the most glaring reason why I thought the documentary was mediocre at best. It was 60 minutes on the Wayne Gretzky trade and not once did they mention what the Oilers received in return for Wayne Gretzky. I guess I wanted something more specific than $15m, some picks, couple of players. When I finished I had to go to Wikipedia to get the player names.


    They did mention what Edmonton got, though I'd have liked to see some mention of who the picks turned out to be...what wasn't mentioned was the guys who went with Gretzky to LA (McSorely and Krushelnyski).

    I thought it was OK. I got the sense Berg was trying to capture the "feel" of the trade and reaction to it, rather than specifics. That was fine for me as I'd seen various pieces on the trade...but if I hadn't I'd probably feel like there were big holes, and things he should have covered and didn't.

    I thought he was very fair to Peter Pocklington. Of course he got killed by the fans and media at the time, but Gretzky had made it clear he was testing the FA market; I'm not sure you can blame him for not wanting to let Wayne walk for nothing. But he did take back cash, rather than asking for more talent-wise...and of the Kings' 2 good young players (Luc Robitaille and Jimmy Carson) he got the wrong one.
     
  34. John Dopson

    John Dopson Member SoSH Member

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    No, I don't think Gelinas and Carson were mentioned by name.
     
  35. Rocco Graziosa

    Rocco Graziosa owns the lcd soundsystem SoSH Member

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    I thought this one was MUCH better than the Gretzky one. I have zero interest in marching bands, but the main subject was the NFL fans of Baltimore and I thought the story was told well. Of course the irony of Baltimore pulling the same stunt Indianapolis did on them to the city of Cleveland was real hard to ignore throughout, but at least the participants said it was "bittersweet".

    The overall moral of the story? If you want to have the NFL in your city, you better damn well do what the fuck they say with regards to building a stadium. Its not your right to own an NFL team. Which of course is a debate for a different forum.
     
  36. SteveCrawford

    SteveCrawford Member SoSH Member

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    I had no idea a marching band for an nfl team could be such a big deal. Ohio State, Grambling etc.. sure but was ignorant of the NFL connection. Maybe it was just Baltimore and the time. Watched out of loyalty to Homicide and The Wire. When they had the CFL team Homicide did some ridiculous episode intro with it.
     
  37. SeanBerry

    SeanBerry Knows about the CBA. SoSH Member

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    I liked the Gretzky one more but I liked the first half hour of this one more...if that makes sense.

    The second half focused too much on the band and I thought that was insane considering they already showed us this amazng character of Jim Irsay. I was almost begging from my living room to show more about how that deal went down.

    I knew it was going to down the path of the band, if only because of Levinson's love with Baltimore and him wanted to show the city as having a happy ending.

    But I thought even the interview with the Mayflower Guy was far better then hearing about how they needed new drum heads.
     
  38. BannedbyNYYFans.com

    BannedbyNYYFans.com Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (SeanBerry @ Oct 14 2009, 04:36 PM)
    I liked the Gretzky one more but I liked the first half hour of this one more...if that makes sense.

    The second half focused too much on the band and I thought that was insane considering they already showed us this amazng character of Jim Irsay. I was almost begging from my living room to show more about how that deal went down.

    I knew it was going to down the path of the band, if only because of Levinson's love with Baltimore and him wanted to show the city as having a happy ending.

    But I thought even the interview with the Mayflower Guy was far better then hearing about how they needed new drum heads.


    I liked this one much more than the Berg's Gretzky piece but I definitely agree with your overall point. My biggest complaint was that I wished Levinson dealt more with the specifics of the departure. Obviously they left because of money, but was it just about a new stadium? Were they asking outrageous demands or did Baltimore drop the ball? I had no idea that Irsay was such an angry, imcompetent drunk in his later years either. Irsay vs the Baltimore should have been dealt with a little more deeply. That said I realize that the band was the centerpiece so Levinson was going for the feelgood story more than the history of the actual move.
     
  39. Phil Plantier

    Phil Plantier Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I thought the Colts Band episode was brilliant, and I'm surprised they didn't lead with it. It had much more pacing, excitement, interest, characters, cinematography, just better done all around.

    I also have high hopes for the next one, about the USFL.
     
  40. JohnnyTheBone

    JohnnyTheBone Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (SeanBerry @ Oct 14 2009, 07:36 PM)
    The second half focused too much on the band and I thought that was insane considering they already showed us this amazng character of Jim Irsay. I was almost begging from my living room to show more about how that deal went down.

    I think you mean Bob Irsay, the hard-drinking father. Jim's his son, and it's unlikely that he's the one you found amazing.
     
  41. 8slim

    8slim Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (JohnnyTheBone @ Oct 14 2009, 10:16 PM)
    I think you mean Bob Irsay, the hard-drinking father. Jim's his son, and it's unlikely that he's the one you found amazing.


    Jim reminds me of every cheesy sales VP I've ever known.
     
  42. Tizzolator

    Tizzolator Member SoSH Member

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    QUOTE (8slim @ Oct 14 2009, 10:40 PM)
    Jim reminds me of every cheesy sales VP I've ever known.


    How dare you. I'm actually not a sales VP, I'm generally defensive.

    This was much better than the Wayne doc, and I liked that one. Lots of intrigued, Irsay as a character ... it was awesome. I had NO idea that the band was that important to Baltimore.
     
  43. Mirabelli28

    Mirabelli28 lurker

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    What I found to be interesting about this episode was that the first NFL owner to invite the band to play at an NFL stadium other than Baltimore was Art Modell. Years later, the Modell family's relationship with the band turned out to be an important element in them carrying on and being retained as the Ravens band. This film was much better than the Gretzky piece.
     
  44. Rocco Graziosa

    Rocco Graziosa owns the lcd soundsystem SoSH Member

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    Ok, THATS what I was thinking this 30 for 30 was all about. An interesting topic, well produced and directed, with focus and a beginning and end. A good hour of television.
     
  45. Vinho Tinto

    Vinho Tinto Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,428
    QUOTE (Rocco Graziosa @ Oct 20 2009, 08:59 PM)
    Ok, THATS what I was thinking this 30 for 30 was all about. An interesting topic, well produced and directed, with focus and a beginning and end. A good hour of television.


    Agreed. The USFL episode was far and away the best. Loved that Trump gladly played into the role of the heel.
     
  46. Jody Reeds Well

    Jody Reeds Well Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    1,073
    I was born 5 days after the USFL was launched so I really didn't know that much about the league. This documentary really told the story from begining to end. I got a great feel for the key players, the great things about the league, and the reasons why it didn't work out. Considering all the talent they had, it really is a shame that they couldn't keep the league going.

    I loved the story about Steve Young's mom yelling at the fans that Young's $40 million was an annuity.

    The only thing I questioned was the claim that the USFL invented the 2pt conversion. The conversion was used in college, in the AFL in the 60s, and in the CFL. The NFL didn't adopt the conversion roughly until 10 years after the USFL ended.
     
  47. Vinho Tinto

    Vinho Tinto Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,428
    QUOTE (Jody Reeds Well @ Oct 21 2009, 08:44 AM)
    I was born 5 days after the USFL was launched so I really didn't know that much about the league. This documentary really told the story from begining to end. I got a great feel for the key players, the great things about the league, and the reasons why it didn't work out. Considering all the talent they had, it really is a shame that they couldn't keep the league going.

    I loved the story about Steve Young's mom yelling at the fans that Young's $40 million was an annuity.

    The only thing I questioned was the claim that the USFL invented the 2pt conversion. The conversion was used in college, in the AFL in the 60s, and in the CFL. The NFL didn't adopt the conversion roughly until 10 years after the USFL ended.


    I think the bigger thing they underplayed was the long term viability of the league. I was a little kid when they played, but was already a sports junkie. I remember watching games on ESPN and they would routinely play in front of MLS size crowds. MLS has eaten losses and tried to grow slowly with the idea of being the only soccer league in the US, but that obviously could never be an end game for USFL. Portraying the owners who sided with Trump as bozos looking for a quick fix was too convenient for me.

    I think their best case scenario was to keep it running until they could have been bought out by the NFL.
     
  48. loshjott

    loshjott Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,716
    I had no idea the USFL had replay officials and the red challenge flag. And I was around when they played and paid at least a little bit of attention to it. I guess I wasn't paying that much attention, just like the rest of America.

    Hilarious seeing the official on the field picking up an old school dial phone talking to the official upstairs.
     
  49. Cuzittt

    Cuzittt Bouncing with Anger Dope

    Messages:
    20,209
    QUOTE (Vinho Tinto @ Oct 21 2009, 09:31 AM)
    Portraying the owners who sided with Trump as bozos looking for a quick fix was too convenient for me.

    I think their best case scenario was to keep it running until they could have been bought out by the NFL.


    Sure... but the league was never going to be a viable entity as a Fall League. So, the fact that Trump (most prominently) wanted to move the league to the fall was a big issue.

    The USFL did a couple of stupid things. The first was the quick expansion from 12 teams to 18 teams. You don't want to dilute an already diluted league. The second was throwing really big money around. Some of the moves that established the USFL were givens... Walker wasn't going to go to the NFL because of their rules regarding underclassmen. They could have continued to exploit that problem with the NFL rules barring underclassmen by continuing to sign College Juniors. The third issue was trying to move to the fall. Trump certainly was a big proponent of the third instance, and he certainly spent money (although Walker is not his signing). I have no idea whether he played a part in the expansion.

    But, the bigger issue... there was no upside to a merge. The vast majority of teams were already playing in NFL cities. As a spring league, they could do that (and even play in the same NFL stadiums). Can't do that if you go to the fall.
     
  50. Clears Cleaver

    Clears Cleaver Lil' Bill SoSH Member

    Messages:
    11,051
    I loved when they gave Trump the original check for $3.76 (interest!!!)

    Great piece. Jim Kelly and Steve young were additive. the ex-commish was a disaster, in a way showing a problem the league had. Good hour of TV and informative.
     

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