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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Default ESPN's 30 on 30 Special

    Rather than continue the topic in the NFL thread, I figured on starting a new thread to discuss this special series of documentaries. Like we had been discussing previously, the one that aired most recently on The Colts marching band was especially good. Next weeks episode deals with the short rise and fall of the USFL and another one down the road will be titled Straight Outta LA which is directed by Ice Cube and will talk about the Raiders arrival in LA and the cultural phenominom that followed. It's been good so far and I am personally looking forward to the others that will follow.
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    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    Very interested in the USFL one. I remember the league but don't know shit about the story behind it. Should be a great one.

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    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Yeah, in many ways it was Trump who was responsible for the beginning demise of the league.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onefootoutthedoor View Post
    Yeah, in many ways it was Trump who was responsible for the beginning demise of the league.
    The USFL never had a solid plan financially. There was no cap and the "have-nots" couldn't compete very well with the "haves". It was an arms race for talent and Trump got cocky and tried out-do everyone which would have been fine if the rest of the owners had deep pockets. He ultimately wanted to take the league to the Fall to challenge the NFL which alienated a majority of the owners. There was hope he and other owners could force the NFL to pick up the USFL franchises or adopt it as a "feeder league" (like the UFL is trying to do now). Instead the owners were divided and the NFL crushed them like bugs amidst a desperation anti-trust lawsuit attempt.

    I loved the league. The NFL was stale at the time and the labor shortages were hurting them. They had a chance if the stayed in the Spring and adopted some sort of a cap.

    The USFL was marketed well. Had a solid TV deal (ESPN and ABC). I really liked how the teams drafted from their regions. The only championship football I've seen living here has been courtesy of the Panthers. Stupid Lions!

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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Like I said in the NFL thread, I was disappointed with the first one, yet blown away by the second. This looks to be an interesting series. Here is another link to the official website, with a list of the films completed thus far and their broadcast times.

    ESPN 30 For 30
    Last edited by chefcraig; 10.14.09 at 04:47 PM.
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    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    Like I said in the NFL thread, I was disappointed with the first one, yet blown away by the second. This looks to be an interesting series. Here is another link to the official website, with a list of the films completed thus far and their broadcast times.

    ESPN 30 For 30

    I wish I saw the first one. It sounds like it wasn't as strong as the Colts one but I think I would have liked it a lot.
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    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugs Meanie View Post
    I went to many Philly /Baltimore stars games. I had a blast. Saw lots of future NFL stars. Reggie White, Hershel Walker, Steve Young, Doug Williams and Sam Mills RIP its too bad they folded. You just can't play football in the spring.
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    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    Son of a bitch, I completely forgot this was on tonight. Any reviews of the USFL episode?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Down View Post
    Son of a bitch, I completely forgot this was on tonight. Any reviews of the USFL episode?
    I missed it, but it looked freaking fantastic. I'd love to see a review.
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Saw bits at a time. There was so much old footage from the league that was very cool to see as well. I need to catch the whole thing though. You can't go wrong with Burt Reynolds, a stuffed grizzley with a hat, and guys shooting guns with live ammo at a San Antonio half time show. Must see TV if you ask me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Down View Post
    Son of a bitch, I completely forgot this was on tonight. Any reviews of the USFL episode?
    I thought it was fantastic (but I'm biased as hell). Great analysis from a business/financial standpoint as to why it failed and great old footage and reminders of "what could have been". There were many reminders of the talent the USFL had (3 Heisman winners, Steve Young, Jim Kelly, Anthony Carter, Sam Mills, Doug Williams, Reggie White).

    I'm sure it'll be re-run on Classic and ESPN2 throughout the week if you want to DVR it. It really was well-done.

    The old Saints/Falcons/Michigan Panthers QB Bobby Hebert does sports radio in Louisianna. To this day he swears the Panthers or Philly Stars could have competed against NFL talent and says the only drawback on USFL rosters was depth.

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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Watched the Muhammad and Larry film last evening. It was fascinating to view, while being saddening and morosely depressing at the same time. Some astounding insights about the fight were revealed, including the stunning revelation that Ali was on thyroid medication, which destroyed his muscle tone and reactions.

    Most of the footage came from a documentary filmed leading up to the fight, the result of which made networks at the time not wish to touch it with a ten foot pole. The footage sat on the shelf for nearly thirty years, and was updated with new interviews of sportswriters and Larry Holmes himself.

    Those unfamiliar this fight will be jarred by the calls for it to be stopped by Howard Cosell, an at the time unprecedented gesture from a broadcaster. Equally eye opening is Cosell's interview post-fight with a clearly disturbed Holmes, in tears for what he'd done to Ali.

    Never in history has there been a boxing match from which there was no true winner. Although declared champion, the public never forgave Holmes for destroying Ali. With the inclusion of current interviews, the film makes clear that this is a fact that still haunts Holmes to this very day.

    All in all, a remarkable film, one that sets the bar quite high for all other episodes in this series. Yes, it is very difficult to watch, let alone get through. But it tells one hell of a story, a brutally frank examination of the fall of a world-widely loved, historic figure.
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  14. #14
    Sinner's Swing! Wickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    Watched the Muhammad and Larry film last evening. It was fascinating to view, while being saddening and morosely depressing at the same time. Some astounding insights about the fight were revealed, including the stunning revelation that Ali was on thyroid medication, which destroyed his muscle tone and reactions.

    Most of the footage came from a documentary filmed leading up to the fight, the result of which made networks at the time not wish to touch it with a ten foot pole. The footage sat on the shelf for nearly thirty years, and was updated with new interviews of sportswriters and Larry Holmes himself.

    Those unfamiliar this fight will be jarred by the calls for it to be stopped by Howard Cosell, an at the time unprecedented gesture from a broadcaster. Equally eye opening is Cosell's interview post-fight with a clearly disturbed Holmes, in tears for what he'd done to Ali.

    Never in history has there been a boxing match from which there was no true winner. Although declared champion, the public never forgave Holmes for destroying Ali. With the inclusion of current interviews, the film makes clear that this is a fact that still haunts Holmes to this very day.

    All in all, a remarkable film, one that sets the bar quite high for all other episodes in this series. Yes, it is very difficult to watch, let alone get through. But it tells one hell of a story, a brutally frank examination of the fall of a world-widely loved, historic figure.
    +1. Nothing to add. You said it all. I thought it was great.
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    Very interested in the episode tonight about Len Bias. Hopefully they'll answer the big question I don't think we ever found out - was it a one time thing or was he a regular cocaine user?

    Also hope they do an in-depth look at how it really affected the path of the Celtics from that point on. It was a devistating blow to the franchise as they were transitioning out of the Bird era.
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