ESPN 30 for 30

Sports and movies have long been two of my favorite hobbies. Just like with movies, there is hardly a sport I haven’t played, seen, or enjoyed. While I love so many, some sports, like baseball, are simply my favorite. In 2009, sports network ESPN began a documentary film series to honor the network’s 30th anniversary. They initially released 30 films which covered some of the most interesting sports stories of the previous 30 years. Since then, ESPN has continued the series in many forms, and to much critical acclaim.

Because sports and movies are two of my favorite things, the 30 for 30 documentary series is also one of my favorite things. Enjoy my reviews of the films, and feel free to join in on the discussion!

See also:
30 for 30 Shorts
Nine for IX
Soccer Stories
It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports by Errol Morris

Volume I

  1. Kings Ransom (Peter Berg)
  2. The Band that Wouldn’t Die (Barry Levinson)
  3. Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? (Mike Tollin)
  4. Muhammad and Larry (Albert Maysles & Bradley Kaplan)
  5. Without Bias (Kirk Fraser)
  6. The Legend of Jimmy the Greek (Fritz Mitchell)
  7. The U (Billy Corben)
  8. Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks (Dan Klores)
  9. Guru of Go (Bill Couturie)
  10. No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (Steve James)
  11. Silly Little Game (Lucas Jansen & Adam Kurland)
  12. Run Ricky Run (Sean Pamphilon & Royce Toni)
  13. The 16th Man (Cliff Bestall)
  14. Straight Outta L.A. (Ice Cube)
  15. June 17th, 1994 (Brett Morgen)
  16. The Two Escobars (Jeff & Michael Zimbalist)
  17. The Birth of Big Air (Jeff Tremaine)
  18. Jordan Rides the Bus (Ron Shelton)
  19. Little Big Men (Al Szymanski)
  20. One Night in Vegas (Reggie “Rock” Bythewood)
  21. Unmatched (Lisa Lax & Nancy Stern)
  22. The House of Steinbrenner (Barbara Kopple)
  23. Into the Wind (Steve Nash & Ezra Holland)
  24. Four Days in October (Gary Waksman)
  25. Once Brothers (Michael Tolajian)
  26. Tim Richmond: To the Limit (Rory Karpf)
  27. Fernando Nation (Cruz Angeles)
  28. Marion Jones: Press Pause (John Singleton)
  29. The Best that Never Was (Jonathan Hock)
  30. Pony Excess (Thaddeus D. Matula)

Volume II

  1. Broke (Billy Corben)
  2. 9.79* (Daniel Gordon)
  3. There’s No Place Like Home (Maura Mandt & Josh Swade)
  4. Benji (Coodie & Chike)
  5. Ghosts of Ole Miss (Fritz Mitchell)
  6. You Don’t Know Bo (Michael Bonfiglio)
  7. Survive and Advance (Jonathan Hock)
  8. Elway to Marino (Ken Rodgers)
  9. Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau (Sam George)
  10. Free Spirits (Daniel H. Forer)
  11. No Mas (Eric Drath)
  12. Big Shot (Kevin Connolly)
  13. This is What They Want (Brian Koppleman & Brian Levien)
  14. Bernie and Ernie (Jason Hehir)
  15. Youngstown Boys (Jeff & Michael Zimbalist)
  16. The Price of Gold (Nanette Burstein)
  17. Requiem for the Big East (Ezra Edelman)
  18. Bad Boys (Zak Levitt)
  19. Slaying the Badger (John Dower)
  20. Playing for the Mob (Joe Lavine & Cayman Grant)
  21. The Day the Series Stopped (Ryan Fleck)
  22. When the Garden was Eden (Michael Rapaport)
  23. Brian and the Boz (Thaddeus D. Matula)
  24. Brothers in Exile (Mario Diaz)
  25. Rand University (Marquis Daisy)
  26. The U: Part 2 (Billy Corben)
  27. Of Miracles and Men (Jonathan Hock)
  28. I Hate Christian Laettner (Rory Karpf)
  29. Sole Man (Jon Weinbach & Dan Marks)
  30. Angry Sky (Jeff Tremaine)

Volume III

  1. Trojan War (Aaron Rashaan Thomas)
  2. The Prince of Pennsylvania (Jesse Vile)
  3. The Gospel According to Mac (Jim Podhoretz)
  4. Chasing Tyson (Steven Cantor)
  5. Four Falls of Buffalo (Ken Rodgers)
  6. The ’85 Bears (Jason Hehir)
  7. Fantastic Lies (Marina Zenovich)
  8. This Magic Moment (Erin Leyden & Gentry Kirby)
  9. Believeland (Andy Billman)
  10. O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman) [mini-series]
  11. Doc & Darryl (Judd Apatow & Michael Bonfiglio)
  12. Phi Slama Jama (Chip Rives)
  13. Hit It Hard (Gabe Spitzer & David Terry Fine)
  14. Catholics vs. Convicts (Patrick Creadon)
  15. This Was the XFL (Charlie Ebersol)
  16. One and Not Done (Jonathan Hock)
  17. Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies (Jim Podhoretz)
  18. Mike and the Mad Dog (Daniel H. Forer)
  19. George Best: All By HimselfGeorge Best: All By Himself (Daniel Gordon)
  20. What Carter Lost (Adam Hootnick)
  21. Year of the Scab (John Dorsey)
  22. Tommy (Gentry Kirby & Erin Leyden)
  23. Nature Boy (Rory Karpf)

ESPN Films Presents

  1. The Fab Five (Jason Hehir)
  2. Catching Hell (Alex Gibney)
  3. Renee (Eric Drath)
  4. The Dotted Line (Morgan Spurlock)
  5. Charismatic (Steven Michaels)
  6. The Real Rocky (Jeff Feuerzeig)
  7. Unguarded (Jonathan Hock)
  8. Roll Tide/War Eagle (Martin Khodabakhshian)
  9. The Marinovich Project (Andrew Stephan & John Dorsey)
  10. Goose (Kevin Shaw)
  11. The Announcement (Nelson George)
  12. 26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story (Jose Morales)
  13. Right to Play (Frank Marshall) [Unavailable]
  14. Baltimore Boys (Marquis Daisy & Sheldon Candis)
  15. Morningside 5 (Mike Tollin)
  16. World Beaters (Jonathan Hock)