ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: The Irrelevant Giant (2013)

Directed by Don Lepore & Shaun Silva

The marketing team of the ESPN 30 for 30 series knows what it is doing. They released the Jim Valvano/NC State Cinderella story documentary Survive and Advance on the eve of the NCAA tournament. They have now released their next short, a story about Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick in the NFL Draft, just before the 2013 edition of the draft (In addition, the latest full length 30 for 30 release will likewise be released prior to the draft and feature a story from the famed 1983 draft class that included John Elway, Dan Marino, and 5 other future HOFers). But this short is not a highlight of the idea of Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL Draft. It is a much more personal story about a man who found himself with that dubious distinction, and was still able to make a sizable impact.

The New York Giant in question is John Tuggle, a RB out of California selected last in the 1983 draft. I don’t want to give away too much about his story, I recommend you spend the 11 minutes to watch the film and find out anyway. But what makes this short work, and makes it interesting are the questions and topics it seems to raise with the example of Tuggle. It doesn’t necessarily seek the answers to these questions, or even ask them directly, but while watching the film, I was able to contemplate some real existential thoughts; thoughts of the meaning of a human life, and the impact we can have on others, as small or as big, and as known or unknown to us. Each life can have meaning if we strive for it, and for some of us, tragedy might befall us, but that moment of doubt need not slow us down or diminish our ability to interact with others, be a part of a community, and make a true impact in this world in which we live. As small an insignificant as we may think we are, that impact could go well beyond we think it might, and touch more than we ever thought possible.

*** – Very Good


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