Disney has announced that they will be adding ten ESPN 30 For 30 documentaries onto Disney+ in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Friday 14th May.
The title, 30 for 30, derived from the series’ genesis as 30 films in celebration of ESPN’s 30th anniversary in 2009, with an exploration of the biggest stories from ESPN’s first 30 years on-air, through a series of 30 one-hour films by 30 filmmakers.
A number of 30 For 30 documentaries are already available on Disney+ in some countries with “Star”.
The new ESPN documentaries coming to Disney+ in the UK and Ireland include:
Year of the Scab
Two weeks into the 1987 season, the NFL’s players went on strike. For the first time in the history of professional sports in the United States, replacement players would take the field. “No-Names”, “Has-Beens”, and “Never-Would-Be’s” were plucked from obscurity for one last chance at football immortality.
What Carter Lost
There’s high school football, and then there’s Texas high school football. Oddly enough though, one of the greatest teams in state history has been lost to time… and fate. What Carter Lost, directed by Adam Hootnick for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series, is the saga of that team, the 1988 Dallas Carter Cowboys. With 21 players who were offered college scholarships and several who went on to the NFL, Carter took on the best that Texas had to offer – including the Odessa Permian team that inspired Friday Night Lights – as well as the worst, in a racially charged state-wide dispute over one player’s algebra grade and Carter’s legitimacy. Somehow, Carter managed to win it all on the field, and somehow, they threw it all away. Perhaps it was the Dallas police officer and Carter fan who said it best after his actions ended a string of crimes that shocked the Carter faithful to their core: “Why would you do this?” Years later, it is a question that still has no easy answer, but through searing interviews with Carter players, coaches and family members, as well as glimpses of their lives today, this film is ultimately about what Carter found.
Tim Richmond: To The Limit
NASCAR star Tim Richmond lived fast, until it all caught up with him. He was diagnosed with AIDS, leading to his tragic death.
There’s No Place Like Home
On December 10, 2010, Sotheby’s auctioned off what could be considered the most important historical document in sports history — James Naismith’s original rules of basketball. “There’s No Place Like Home” is the story of one man’s fanatical quest to win this seminal American artifact at auction and bring the rules “home” to Lawrence, Kansas, where Naismith coached and taught for over 40 years.
The Good, The Bad, The Hungry
Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi address their long rivalry on their sport’s biggest stage: the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.
“The Dominican Dream” is a portrait of the Dominican immigrants of New York in the ’80s and ’90s, seen through a loving family whose youngest son, Felipe Lopez, became the top ranked high school basketball player in the nation and was hailed as “The Dominican Michael Jordan’. Embraced as an immigrant hero, then cast aside as an American failure, Felipe Lopez would eventually find happiness not as a basketball player, but as the man he was always meant to be
Phi Slama Jama
They were the most popular fraternity on the campus of college basketball in the early 1980s. Led by a Nigerian soccer player named Hakeem Olajuwon and a lightly recruited hometown kid named Clyde Drexler, the University of Houston Cougars not only electrified the NCAA Final Four with three straight appearances (1982-84), but they also helped transform the game itself. In this 30 for 30 film, director Chip Rives (“Brian and The Boz”) brings back the high-flying circus act under ringmaster Guy V. Lewis and spins a tale of true greatness and crushing heartbreak. But while exploring that larger narrative, Rives also focuses on the disappearance of enigmatic role player Benny Anders and the lasting brotherhood that compels teammates and 1981-82 co-captains Eric Davis and Lynden Rose to try and find him after more than two decades of mystery.
Of Miracles and Men
The story of one of the greatest upsets in sports history has been told. Or has it? On a Friday evening in Lake Placid, New York, a plucky band of American collegians stunned the vaunted Soviet national team, 4-3 in the medal round of the 1980 Winter Olympic hockey competition. Americans couldn’t help but believe in miracles that night, and when the members of Team USA won the gold medal two days later, they became a team for the ages.
But there was another, unchronicled side to the “Miracle On Ice.” The so-called bad guys from America’s ideological adversary were in reality good men and outstanding players, forged into the Big Red Machine by the genius and passion of Anatoli Tarasov. There was a reason they seemed unbeatable, especially after routing the Americans in an exhibition the week before the Winter Games began. And there was a certain shame in them having to live the rest of their lives with the results of Feb. 22, 1980.
In the 30 for 30 film “Of Miracles and Men,” director Jonathan Hock (“The Best That Never Was” and “Survive and Advance”) explores the scope of the “Miracle on Ice” through the Soviet lens. His intense focus on the game itself gives it renewed suspense and a fresh perspective. But the journey of the stunned Soviet team didn’t begin — or end — in Lake Placid.
Little Big Men
On August 28, 1982, Cody Webster and a small group of schoolyard friends from Kirkland, Wash., sat anxiously in a dugout waiting to take the field for the championship game of the Little League World Series. Their focus was just about what you’d expect from any 12-year-old: hit the ball, throw strikes, cross your fingers and then maybe — maybe — you’ll win.
Adults in the stands and watching from home saw a much broader field of play. The memories of American hostages and a crippling oil crisis were still fresh; the economic malaise of the late 1970s still lingered; and the new President was recovering from an assassination attempt even while confronting new threats from the Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, back on that tiny baseball field in Williamsport, Penn., where America’s game was celebrated each summer, no American team had won a true international Little League World Series Championship in more than a decade. When the Kirkland players rushed from their dugout that day, they stepped onto a much bigger field than the one they saw. What they did, how they did it, and what happened to each of the players in the years that followed is a multi-faceted story. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Al Szymanski examines what became of a group of childhood teammates when the high point in their lives occurred before their lives had really begun.
Doc and Darryl
When they were good, they were the biggest stars on a team that captured New York City and the 1986 World Series. But when they were bad, Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry broke the hearts of Mets fans. “They were going to be our guys for years,” laments Jon Stewart in this evocative yet searing 30 for 30 documentary directed by Judd Apatow (“Trainwreck”) and Michael Bonfiglio (“You Don’t Know Bo”). Reunited at a diner in Queens, the pitcher and the power hitter look back on the glory days of the mid-’80s and the harrowing nights that turned them from surefire Hall of Famers into prisoners of their own addictions. Listening to Doc talk about missing the parade down the Canyon of Heroes, or Darryl counsel others at his ministry, you can only wish that these two very different men had not followed the same destructive path.
What documentary are you going to be checking out on Disney+?