By Travis Stahl
I watch a lot of TV. Not as much as I used to, but still enough to satisfy my addiction. With kids in the house it takes up a lot of TV time because I have to share which means I get to see The Freshbeat Band and Olivia about every day. There are few shows I go out of my way to watch on a regular basis but I always tried to watch the new episodes of 30 for 30 when they came on ESPN. In the fall I might have to move back the girls’ bedtime because it was announced this week that ESPN is going to release the next installment of 30 for 30 documentaries.
For those of you unfamiliar with 30 for 30 I will clue you in real quick but then it is your responsibility to go straight home and watch every episode non-stop. ESPN celebrated its 30 years of existence by featuring 30 documentaries from noted filmmakers about varies sports subjects. Each film introduced viewers to subjects often overlooked or unknown and gave new meaning to topics we thought we understood. These documentaries are often so good you will want to re-watch most of them several times.
Among the subjects of the first phase of the 30 for 30 series were Reggie Miller versus the New York Knicks, the story of Oklahoma running back Marcus Dupree and a look at the history of the Raiders in Los Angeles as told by Ice Cube. 30 films with 30 equally entertaining stories and ESPN has so many networks the documentaries are on all the time. I was at a party and Christian Heriter and I got on the topic of 30 for 30 and ran through nearly every film talking about how great it was.
For the upcoming season, ESPN has introduced shorter stories as well. Apparently there will be several 12-18 minute mini-documentaries about some subjects instead of the hour to hour and a half range of the first set. This new format could have some merit depending on the subject matter. In the first season the story of Ricky Williams could have easily been told in a half hour. It was a great story, just a little long. The first short features Pete Rose which is awesome.
Americans love TV, especially good TV. The 30 for 30 series is a great collection of stories everybody needs to see to believe. The first set of documentaries was so good I’m still watching them every chance I get. ESPN does such a great job or producing sports films I’m sure the second set of movies is going to be just as good. When it comes out I’ll have to devise a plan to get the girls to stop watching Barbie movies for a while so I can settle in and enjoy.