Sports Business Daily Panel

I discussed ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries on a panel for Sports Business Daily. Check it out if you’re interested.

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Thoughts on 30 for 30: Small Potatoes, Who Killed the USFL?

Mike Tollin named his first company “Halcyon Days Productions.” The title fits, since that’s precisely how he portrayed the USFL in Small Potatoes. The league was a flashy 80s production, rebellious, zany and fun. It attracted big stars. Most importantly, it was football, as evidenced with repeated, sonorous interludes from Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell. Tollin awakens a forgotten league, a Wikipedia footnote to those of us under 30, but how successfully?

Continued at The Big Lead

Review of “The Band That Wouldn’t Die”

3162247592_9f9f08b016ESPN premiered The Band That Wouldn’t Die last night, the second of their 30 for 30 documentaries.  Barry Levinson, the director of Rain Man, told the story of the Baltimore Colts leaving for Indianapolis through the Baltimore Colts’ Marching Band, who stayed together during the 12-year interim before the Ravens arrived.  The film was compassionate, well-shot and brilliant.

Continued at The Big Lead

ESPN Debuts 30 for 30 With Mixed Success

ESPN debuted its 30 for 30 documentaries project with Peter Berg’s Kings Ransom, the story of the Wayne Gretzky trade. I’m a history nut. I love documentaries. This project excited me. I wasn’t overwhelmed by this first effort, nor was I underwhelmed. I was…whelmed. I found it a bit nebulous.

Continued at The Big Lead

Big Lead Link Dump From Last Week

Wesley_Sneijder_smilingI was traveling the past week, and did not have time to post every Big Lead article.  Here are my posts from last week.

Onion Bag: Man U Frenzy, Brawl at Chelsea’s Training Ground

The Ultimate 11, by Position, with WAGs

Violence Erupts During West Ham-Millwall Soccer Match

Chris Berman Emerges From Lair, Speaks to Greater Southington Chamber of Commerce

Perpetual Victim Lenny Dykstra Now Alleging Insurance Fraud

Five Reasons No One Will Be Watching Baseball in 20 Years

Onion Bag: Sneijder to Inter, Diving and Drunks

Billy Beane’s Bandwagon Is Diminishing

billybeane21In October 2006, Billy Beane’s Oakland Athletics won the first playoff series of his tenure.  Jim Caple wrote, “Amid our ‘You’re Exactly as Smart as This Year’s Winning Precentage’ sports culture, here’s a general manager who annually – and deservedly so – sits atop baseball’s Mensa list: Oakland’s Billy Beane.”

Last Friday, with the A’s mired in a third-straight losing season, Rob Neyer wrote this about Beane’s trade of Matt Holliday.

Continued at The Big Lead

Why is ESPN Reporting The Favre Story At All?

The Brett Favre saga is annoying.  It annoys because no one cares anymore.  It annoys because ESPN reports constant updates on nothing.  We would all argue ESPN should cover the Favre story less, but why is ESPN covering it at all?

There are two possible stories.  Brett Favre comes back.  Brett Favre stays retired.  Once he decides, we will know immediately.  ESPN will dominate the story anyway.  The only difference to not covering it would be that the crawl would not read “Ed Werder reporting.”  It does not seem worth paying to keep people in Hattiesburg, Miss. indefinitely.

Favre controls the scoop.  Rachel Nichols can sit down there all week, but, in the digital age, Favre or Favre’s agent can call Peter King at a Boston Starbucks and King gets the story.  Even then, this is not the Pentagon Papers.  Hearing the information fifteen minutes earlier has no tangible value.

There is no value to the constant reporting from Hattiesburg.  There is no value to any of the reporting from Hattiesburg.  So why does ESPN persist?