For the past 30 years, ESPN has been the golden standard for 24/7 sports coverage on cable television. Long before instant updates that come to your smartphone, ESPN provided continuing coverage for all major sporting events, breaking news and scores, and a behind the scenes look with players and coaches. With such success, ESPN.com columnist and Grantland.com founder, Bill Simmons, pushed the network to feature filmmakers that wanted to retell the untold side of some of sports’ largest moments.
The result was the beginning of the 30 for 30 film series. To date, it has had over 80 episodes; ranging from sport shorts that last under 30 minutes to longer documentaries that are almost two hours long. Since being aired in 2009, the groundbreaking sports documentary series has won several key awards, including the 2010 Peabody Award for distinguished achievement and public service done by a television or radio station and the 2010 International Documentary Association's "Distinguished Continuing Series" award.
With celebrity directors such as Ice Cube, NBA superstar Steve Nash, and Morgan Spurlock, the 30 for 30 series has caught the attention of millions of fans and film enthusiasts around the world. Here is a list of the most talked about 30 for 30 films and their impact on sports beyond the field of play.
10 The U- December 12, 2009
9 Into the Wind- September 28, 2010
8 Unguarded- November 8, 2011
7 The Marinovich Project- December 10, 2011
6 Survive and Advance- March 17, 2013
5 The Fab Five- March 13, 2011
4 Once Brothers- October 12, 2010
3 Without Bias- November 3, 2009
2 June 17, 1994- June 16, 2010
1 The Two Escobars- June 22, 2010
As the drug wars of the 1980s tore apart Columbia, the country’s Men’s National futbol team was quickly becoming one of the greatest teams in the history of the sport. The Two Escobars is the story of Pablo Escobar, the drug cartel big shot, and the life of Andres Escobar, a defenseman for the Columbia National team. Less than 10 days after scoring on his own net against the United States, Andres was gunned down in Columbia with over 12 bullet holes in his body. Some say that Pablo Escobar was the reason for the meteoric rise of the national team’s success on the global scale, due to the amount of money and influence he could have had on the sport. Others say that Andres’ death was just a coincidence and despite the loss of thousands of dollars from that game, it was an isolated incident. By interviewing cartel hitmen and shot callers from the underworld, The Two Escobars is hands down one of the best sports documentaries in recent memory and has received the most praise by fans across continents.
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