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GOOD SPORTS: Saturday '30 for 30' marathon on ESPN Classic
July 29, 2010  | By Diane Werts
 
mat_hoffman_big_air.jpg

Though I'm a huge sports fan, there are still athletes and events I don't know anything about -- until I see films about them in ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary series.

The Birth of Big Air just premiered in conjunction with the current X Games, and now I'm fascinated by high-flying BMX innovator Mat Hoffman, who reached astonishing heights in his Oklahoma backyard, but at astonishing cost.

mat_hoffman_daughter.jpg

Intimate gems like this are ESPN's gift to us for its 30th anniversary, distinctive documentaries from smart directors with a passion for subjects both small and epic, and this weekend offers a great chance to catch up. A five-hour 30 for 30 marathon Saturday on ESPN Classic showcases the range and idiosyncrasy of these films, which often tell us as much about other aspects of life as they do about the games people play.

(The Birth of Big Air isn't part of the marathon, but has its own repeat airings Friday night at 3 a.m. ET and Saturday at noon ET on ESPN2, plus Saturday at 1 p.m. ET and Sunday at 8 a.m. on ESPN U.)

Here's Saturday's 30 for 30 marathon, July 31 on ESPN Classic (all times ET):

12 noon -- Run Ricky Run, a preconception-challenging portrait of NFL running back, pothead and independent thinker Ricky Williams.
1 p.m. -- Guru of Go, recalling how coach Paul Westhead perfected a new run-and-gun offensive system with ill-fated college star Hank Gathers.
2 p.m. -- June 17th, 1994, a look back at a confluence of sports and society the night of O.J. Simpson's infamous "slow speed chase."
3 p.m. -- Straight Outta L.A., where director Ice Cube examines the intersection of the NFL Raiders' 1980s move to Los Angeles and the burgeoning of hip hop culture.
4 p.m. -- Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks, tracing how the Indiana Pacers star turned into NYC's greatest sports villain.

 

3 Comments

 

Angela said:

Drat! And that's putting it nicely!
I'm not a sports fan and don't know much about them, sports that is, but you sure make it sound interesting. Especially "The Birth of Big Air."
But I forgot to see what you were writing about until it was to late. :-( And just for the record, it's not because I don't want to see what your writing about, it's my so called life that's the culprit. :P

Thanks for trying to keep us informed. I guess it would help if we actually looked there on a DAILY BASIS. (In caps for me, in hopes that I won't forget again.) ::sigh::

[Diane here: Here's the schedule link for 30 for 30 -- http://30for30.espn.com/schedule.html -- hopefully, you can catch some of the other episodes, and this link updates every day with the most recent additions, encores, etc.]

Michael said:

The Hoffman episode was great. I've watched the X Games since day 1 yet I had no clue about all the he has done to progress the sport until seeing that show. When you can impress Evel Knievel you know you're doing something special.

angela said:

Diane,
Thank you so much for the schedule link. I'm off to check it right now.

You're a peach,
Angela

 
 
 
 
 
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