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30 for 30

30 for 30

Thirty_for_thirty_241x208
Photo Credit:  ESPN
  • Premiered: 
    October 6, 2009
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ESPN
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags:

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  • 9.79*
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  • Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?
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Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

In honor of its 30th anniversary, ESPN commissioned 30 filmmakers to make one-hour documentaries about any topics from the past 30 years in sports. Shown weekly, this documentary series lets veterans and up-and-comers use their own visions and voices to tell their favorite, touching, and important sports stories. Here's a sample: John Singleton tells the story of Marion Jones; Barry Levinson recaps the 1984 defection of the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in "The Band That Wouldn't Die"; Steve James presents "The Trial of Allen Iverson"; Peter Berg tells about the impact of The Great One in "The Kings Ransom"; Ice Cube gives us "Straight Outta LA". In October 2012, 30 FOR 30 VOL. II hit the airwaves, with: "Broke," about American athletes who often end up filing for bankruptcy; "9.79*," about Ben Johnson in the 100-meter final at the 1988 Seoul Games; "There's No Place Like Home," the story of one fan's obsessive quest to win an auction or James Naismith's original rules of basketball; "Benji," highlighting the murder of 17-year-old Ben Wilson in 1984 Chicago; "Ghosts of Ole Miss," featuring the violence and unbeaten football team at the University of Mississippi in 1962; "You Don't Know Bo," about the myths and legends of Bo Jackson; and more. 30 FOR 30 returned with new episodes in the second part of Season 2 on October 1, 2013 on ESPN, showcasing new films each Tuesday through the beginning of November. In the first episode, "Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau" (directed by Sam George), the life of the legendary Hawaiian big wave surfer and pioneering lifeguard is chronicled. Other episodes in Fall 2013 included: "Free Spirts" (directed by Daniel H. Forer), which chronicle the story of the Spirits of St. Louis, one of the ABA basketball teams that didn't join the NBA in 1976 as part of the merger; "No Mas" (directed by Eric Drath), which reveals what really happened in the second fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Robert Duran; "Big Shot" (directed by Kevin Connolly), exploring how John Spano purchased the New York Islanders in 1996 for $165 million -- without having the assets; "This Is What They Want" (directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien), chronicling a 39-year-old Jimmy Connors playing at the US Open when he unforgettably looked at the courtside camera to say "This is what they come for. This is what they want."; and "Tonya and Nancy" (directed by Nanette Burstein), taking a fresh look at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games incident when Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the right knee after a practice session on January 6, 1994. Volume III of 30 FOR 30 premiered on Tuesday, October 13 2015 at 9pm ET/6pm PT on ESPN, with a new episode each Tuesday for five consecutive weeks. Film topics include the rise and fall of USC football under head coach Pete Carroll, a city and its mayor fighting against the odds to keep the Kings in Sacramento, the ultimately tragic story of the turbulent relationship between Olympic wrestling stars Mark and Dave Schultz and multimillionaire John du Pont, an exploration of Bill McCartney and his controversial approach running the University of Colorado football program on the way to a national championship, and Evander Holyfield's years of waiting to fight the famed Mike Tyson and make history. The season opener, "Trojan War," picks up when Pete Carroll took over the football program at USC after the 2000 season, the once-great Trojans were under siege. But thanks to his football knowledge, upbeat personality and recruiting skills, Southern Cal was soon back atop the college football world as home attendance skyrocketed, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush won Heismans and the Trojans put together a 34-game winning streak. As it would be later discovered, though, the program was committing sins that would result in lost scholarships, victories and one of those Heismans. But those revelations didn't come until after the national championship game in the 2006 Rose Bowl between USC and the University of Texas. Featuring interviews with Carroll, Leinart and others inside the USC program at the time, "Trojan War" looks at Carroll's nine-year USC reign through the prism of that game, considered one of the greatest in college football history. It was also the beginning of the end.
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Volume III of 30 FOR 30 continues on Thursday, February 4, 2016 with four new films, including these two documentaries:

Feb. 4: THE '85 BEARS (Director: Jason Hehir): Thirty years after dominating Super Bowl XX, the 1985 Chicago Bears are considered one of the greatest NFL teams ever assembled. A legendary cast of characters including head coach Mike Ditka, quarterback Jim McMahon and the inimitable William "The Refrigerator" Perry made this team as riveting off the field as they were on it. But decades after their dominance, the team has splintered in several directions. Untimely deaths, deep depression and financial woes have ravaged their legacy, causing many to question whether the price of NFL glory was worth it.

Mar. 13: FANTASTIC LIES (Director: Marina Zenovich): The story behind the 2006 Duke University lacrosse rape scandal exactly ten years to the day of the party that started it all. With the help of key participants -- many talking for the first time -- we reveal what really happened at the team party that went terribly wrong and we deconstruct the incredible events of that years that changed the lives of the participants forever. Why did this story touch such a raw nerve? What does it tell us about attitudes toward race, sex, privilege, sports and money in America?

Production & Distribution

  • Some episodes produced by Asylum Entertainment