30 for 30 has seen a solid, if not unspectacular fall slate this year with several good documentaries that haven't quite reached the upper echelon of the acclaimed documentary series. With the fall slate finished, our attention looks ahead to what has become the prime timeslot for the series, directly after the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
ESPN has traditionally placed one of their most anticipated 30 for 30s in the lucrative post-Heisman timeslot. They've also all been linked to college football. 2009 saw the debut of The U, 2010 featured Pony Excess, and last year it was You Don't Know Bo. All of them have done well in ratings and reviews.
This year should be no different with what looks to be another excellent 30 for 30 about notable college football figures planned for Saturday night after the Heisman Trophy ceremony. This time, it's the story of two former Ohio State Buckeyes - Maurice Clarett and Jim Tressel. (Side note: thanks ESPN for listening to us.)
The film Youngstown Boys will follow the journeys of both men from the blue-collar northeast Ohio city to the state capital, following their successes and downfalls. What's perhaps most exciting about the project is the return of directors Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, who produced arguably the best 30 for 30 to date, The Two Escobars. From ESPN...no comments
The Keith Olbermann-Mike Francesa feud was great fun, and now we have the icing on the proverbial cake. We were sent this awesome video where the creator did a mashup of Keith Olbermann as Tupac's song "Hit 'Em Up" using clips from his late night ESPN show. It's tremendous.
I know there are plenty of capable, talented Francesa fans in #MongoNation, it's up to you to respond on behalf of the sports pope.
(via Will Schleichert)no comments
Everyone remembers Linsanity, right? That brief month back in February 2012 when Knicks PG Jeremy Lin ruled the sports world and was bigger than Tebow, LeBron, and Kobe combined? Although it was a little over a year and a half ago, it feels like it happened in another lifetime. Linsanity ultimately faded and the guard moved to the Houston Rockets, where he experiences much less fanfare on a nightly basis.
One of the lasting legacies of Linsanity was the trouble some media members stepped into trying to be cute and clever and instead using upsetting racial stereotypes. Jason Whitlock tweeted a terrible, terrible joke and was lucky to escape severe punishment. SportsCenter's Max Bretos used the phrase "chink in the armor" about Lin and was suspended. An ESPN editor was fired for using the same phrase in a headline. It was an ugly time for the sports media as they seemed incapable of respectfully handling a superstar figure of Asian descent.
With Lin travelling back to Madision Square Garden, surely ESPN learned their lesson and made it through the Rockets-Knicks highlight without an anchor having to come back on the air for a forced apology... right?
One of the most memorable plays of this week's 24 hour college hoops marathon had little to do with basketball and everything to do with announcers getting splattered into mush by players flying into the scorers table. That's what happened in the LSU-UMass game, but what makes this clip unique is we have the audio of the announcer that was standing on the tracks when the train came through.
UMass radio play by play man Chris Doherty gets destroyed in one of the more violent player-announcer collisions you'll see. Somehow Doherty, and his equipment, survived the encounter and he continued to broadcast all the way through it. Heck, it even seemed to energize him a little bit. I can totally see Jeff Van Gundy volunteering to do something like this in the future.no comments
Golden State and Oklahoma City played quite the entertaining early season classic on TNT Thursday night. If there's one announcer in the NBA you want calling both teams trading last second shots, it's probably Kevin Harlan. Here's his calls of both Russell Westbrook's 3 pointer that put the Thunder ahead with a couple seconds to go and Andre Iguodala's game winner at the buzzer.no comments
The golden age for sports documentaries continues to get better for sports fans. ESPN, HBO, NBC, CBS, Fox, and others have all produced excellent documentaries over the past couple years telling some of the great stories from the sports world. Some of these stories have been well known and examined in a new way, others have brought to light for the first time to a wider audience.
This Saturday night at 7 PM ET, Big Ten Network enters the realm with their first feature length documentary, Tiebreaker, on the 1973 Ohio State-Michigan.
In the annals of the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, the '73 game is perhaps the most infamous... not so much for what happened on the field, but for what happened in the aftermath.no comments
All Times Eastern
Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
Western Carolina at Virginia Tech -- ESPN3, 7 p.m.
Columbia at Michigan State -- Big Ten Network, 9 p.m.
Hall of Fame Tipoff
Holy Cross at North Carolina -- ESPNU, 8 p.m.
Mount St. Mary's at BYU -- BYUtv, 9:30 p.m.
Wagner at St. John's -- Fox Sports 2, 6 p.m.
Samford at Indiana -- Big Ten Network, 7 p.m.
Morehead State at Xavier -- Fox Sports 2, 8 p.m.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Oklahoma State -- Fox College Sports Pacific, 8 p.m.
Stephen F. Austin at Texas -- Longhorn Network, 8 p.m.
Idaho State at Arizona State -- Pac-12 Networks, 9 p.m.
Oakland at Cal -- Pac-12 Networks, 11 p.m.
UConn at Maryland -- ESPNU, 6 p.m.
In a move proving that the Olympics aren't just a regular run-of-the-mill sporting event, NBC has announced that tennis superstar Maria Sharapova will be "a correspondent offering insight and commentary" on Russia. As you're aware by now, the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, the birthplace of Maria Sharapova.
Now granted, Maria has been living in the United States since 1994, but she remains a Russian citizen having carried the flag for Russia at the 2012 London Olympics. Is she uniquely qualified to discuss Sochi when she's been living in the U.S. for all this time? NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell thinks so: "Maria will offer a unique and personal perspective on a place she knows so well.” Really? She left Sochi when she was six years old! Unless she's been visiting Sochi every year since she's left, does that give her a unique perspective?
This will be the first network television gig for Sharapova. There's no doubt that Sharapova is telegenic, but will she be able to offer compelling insights on the Olympics and Russia? That remains to be seen.
If NBC's past Olympics are any indication, we should not expect any heavy lifting or exposés of corruption during these segments. Expect plenty of human interest stories featuring well known athletes that will speak to the primetime audience that always watches in droves. This should be quite interesting to see how the Peacock employs Sharapova during the 17 Days of Glory.no comments