Last Friday night I had the opportunity to watch another of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series documentary. This series is a real treasure for any sports fan. The stories are so compelling and so well told, it’s a real treat to watch.
Specifically about Friday night, I watched one called “Bernie and Ernie” that chronicles the history of Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld, two basketball players from New York that met for the first time at University Of Tennessee. They developed such a great chemistry that they were called “The Bernie and Ernie” show.
They went their separate ways when they finished college, but met again some years later playing for the New York Knicks and remained friends until today. Through all their history we are presented with the drinking and racism problems faced by Bernie and how he kept all to himself, keeping it even from his best friend. It’s a beautiful story of friendship, struggles, bigotry, overcoming and highest level basketball.
However, my intention in writing this post is not to talk only about “Bernie and Ernie”, but about the whole 30 for 30 series.
I’d like to talk about some episodes that I really loved: “The Trade”, “Jordan Rides the Bus”, “New York City Against Reggie Miller”, “Big Shot”, “Four Days In October”, “The Announcement”, “Once Brothers”, “Roll Tide, War Eagle” and “You Don’t’ Know Bo”.
“The Trade” shows all backlash that surrounded Wayne Gretzky trade from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings and the lasting impact he had on California hockey. The scenes of the Oilers fans burning puppets of the team’s owner on the streets after the trade are worth watching alone.
“Jordan Rides the Bus” is about Michael Jordan time playing baseball. Very interesting to see how through hard work he almost became a major leaguer.
“New York City Against Reggie Miller” is maybe the most entertaining of all. The images of Reggie feuding with Spike Lee in those playoff games are priceless, specially because they are great friends until this day.
“Big Shot” is unbelievable. It shows how a prime-time crook managed to fool everybody and actually becomes the New York Islanders owner. Brilliant!
“Four Days In October” is my personal favorite, showing everything the Boston Red Sox went through on the 2004 ALCS top beat the Yankees 4-3 after they were losing 3-0. The greatest comeback in the history of sports.
“The Announcement” shows everything that surrounded Magic Johnson’s HIV positive, well, announcement. Wonderful to see how Pat Riley remained his friend and how his rivals supported him.
“Once Brothers” is tear inducing. The story of Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic trajectory from Yugoslavia to the NBA and Petrovic’s terrible demise in a car accident.
“Roll Tide, War Eagle” is also funny. It shows the rivalry between to Alabama universities, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers. There are some really great stories about this rivalry.
“You Don’t Know Bo” chronicles the story of Bo Jackson, maybe the most complete athlete ever. He was an All-Star in the NFL and MLB, but was plagued by a terrible knee injury that cut his career short.
There are other films, but those are my favorite. If you ever have the chance to see them, don’t miss.
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Listening: Rush – all the records. (except the first one which doesn’t have Neil Peart drumming).