If you haven’t seen ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, then stop reading, pretend to choke on your coffee and go home and watch some of them. Or maybe just wait on that plan a couple months: the acclaimed sports documentary series returns on Tuesday, October 2 at 8 p.m. It will run for five consecutive Tuesdays at that time, then will conclude with one on Saturday, December 8, immediately following the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
The lineup was released last week, and here it is, via IndieWire.
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m. – Broke (Billy Corben)
Broke explores the roads to fortune in American sports and eventually, the many detours to bankruptcy. Bernie Kosar, Andre Rison and Cliff Floyd are among the athletes who talk openly about the challenges of managing their money in an era when big contracts don’t necessarily support bigger lifestyles. Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders and saddled with medical problems, many pro athletes get shocked by harsh economic realities after years of living the high life. A story of the dark side of success, Broke is an allegory for the financial woes haunting economies and individuals all over the world.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 8 p.m. – 9.79* (Daniel Gordon)
The 100-meter men’s final at the 1988 Seoul Games was the fastest and perhaps most thrilling sprint in Olympic history. But within 48 hours, gold medalist Ben Johnson had tested positive for anabolic steroids, and scandal reigned. This one race still haunts the eight men who took part. But what brought them to the starting line? And what happened to them since?
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8 pm. – There’s No Place Like Home (Maura Mandt and Josh Swade)
On December 10, 2010, Sotheby’s auctioned off the most important historical document in sports history—James Naismith’s original rules of basketball.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 fan’s obsessive quest to win this seminal American artifact at auction and bring the rules “home” to Lawrence, Kansas, where Naismith coached and taught for more than 40 years.
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m. – Benji (Coodie and Chike)
In 1984, 17-year-old Ben Wilson was a symbol of everything promising about Chicago: a beloved, sweet-natured youngster from the city’s fabled South Side, and America’s most talented basketball prospect. His senseless murder the day before his senior season sent ripples through Chicago and the nation.
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m. – Ghosts of Ole Miss (Fritz Mitchell)
In 1962, the University of Mississippi campus erupted in violence over integration and swelled with pride over an unbeaten football team. Mississippi native Wright Thompson explores the tumultuous events that continue to shape the state 50 years later.
Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 p.m. – You Don’t Know Bo (Michael Bonfiglio)
Bo Jackson hit 500 ft. home runs, ran over linebackers, and—for a small window—he was the best athlete we had ever seen. You Don’t Know Bo is a close look at the man and marketing campaign that shaped his legacy. Even without winning a Super Bowl or World Series, Bo redefined the role of the athlete in the pop cultural conversation. More than 20 years later, myths and legends still surround Bo Jackson, and his impossible feats still capture our collective imagination.
They have a lot to live up to, but they all seem pretty promising. All the films will be on iTunes after airing, so if you’re one of those people I hear about who actually purchases things from said application, you’ll have the opportunity to do so.
Here’s the trailer. Try to keep it in your pants.