30 for 30 Episodes

2009, TV Show

30 for 30 Season 3 episodes

The Great Trade Robbery Season 3, Episode 29

A look back at the 1989 Cowboys' trade of Herschel Walker to the Vikings, which yielded draft picks that helped build the Dallas dynasty under Jimmy Johnson. read more

Fields of Fear Season 3, Episode 28

Chronicling former Mets catcher Mackey Sasser's sudden inability to throw the ball back to the pitcher. The mental side of baseball is explored, showing how a childhood trauma can come back to overwhelm a pro athlete. Directed by Alex Gibney. read more

Slaying The Badger Season 3, Episode 27

Greg LeMond looks back at his first Tour de France victory in 1986 and details his rivalry with friend, teammate and mentor Bernard Hinault. Known as "The Badger," Hinault 'promised' to help LeMond to his first win in return for LeMond's support in '85. read more

Here Now and Holy Grail Season 3, Episode 26

A look at Pete Rose in his 70s and his regular role at a sports memorabilia store in Las Vegas. Also, the infamous T206 Honus Wagner baseball card. read more

Kid Danny Season 3, Episode 25

Former Bronx little-league pitcher Danny Almonte looks back on his 2001 World Series experience in Williamsport, which included a perfect game in round-robin play. Almonte was later discovered to be ineligible due to his age, tainting the team's run. read more

White, Blue and White Season 3, Episode 24

Chronicling the late '70s/early '80s soccer success in England of Argentine stars Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa. The pair helped win the 1978 World Cup but were conflicted when Argentine troops descended on the British-ruled Falkland Islands in 1982. read more

The High Five/Schedule Makers Season 3, Episode 23

Featured: origins of the "high five" hand celebration in sports; and the unlikely Major League Baseball schedule-making team of Henry and Holly Stephenson of Staten Island. read more

Mysteries of The Jules Rimet Trophy & Barbosa: The Man Who Made Brazil Cry Season 3, Episode 22

A history of the World Cup trophy focuses on its brush with crime during World War II; and a look at the cruel fate of Brazilian goalkeeper Moacir Barbosa, whose gaffe in the 1950 World Cup let down a nation. read more

The Myth of Garrincha & Ceasefire Massacre Season 3, Episode 21

Celebrating the unheralded career of Brazil's Mané Garrincha, a teammate of Pelé with a legion of followers right up to his death in 1983; the 1994 terrorist shooting in a Northern Ireland bar during the Ireland-Italy World Cup match in New Jersey. read more

Posterized and Jake Season 3, Episode 20

Ex-NBA center Shawn Bradley is the focus of a film about expectations, misconceptions, and promise not entirely unfulfilled. Also: Alfred Slote, author of children's sports books including "Jake," "Hang Tough, Paul Mather," and "Tony and Me." read more

Maradona '86 & The Opposition Season 3, Episode 19

An appreciation of Diego Maradona's dominant 1986 World Cup run with Argentina; and a look at the controversial Chile-Soviet Union World Cup qualifier in 1973, held in Santiago shortly after a military coup by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. read more

Bad Boys Season 3, Episode 18

The distinctive late-'80s Detroit Pistons squad under Chuck Daly is chronicled, featuring core players Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, Rick Mahorn, Joe Dumars and John Salley, as well as top rivals of the era. Directed by Zak Levitt. read more

Hillsborough Season 3, Episode 17

Chronicling the 1989 spectator tragedy at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, that resulted in 96 deaths. Director Daniel Gordon examines the incident and its aftermath, including the exoneration of Liverpool supporters over two decades later. read more

From Harlem With Love Season 3, Episode 16

Chronicling the Harlem Globetrotters' historic 1959 trip into the heart of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. read more

Requiem for the Big East Season 3, Episode 15

Chronicling the origin of the Big East Conference and its rapid 1980s rise under commissioner Dave Gavitt and iconic basketball coaches including John Thompson, Lou Carnesecca and Jim Boeheim. Director Ezra Edelman also examines the conference's new era as a non-football league. read more

Judging Jewell Season 3, Episode 14

The story of falsely-accused security guard Richard Jewell following the terrorist bomb explosion at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Director Adam Hootnick examines Jewell's legacy and his heroism in the incident, for which the true bomber was convicted. read more

Untucked/Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop Season 3, Episode 13

Featured: Marquette basketball's unique 1970s uniforms; Wilt Chamberlain's 1954 summer job in the Catskills while playing for Red Auerbach. Directors: Danny Pudi; Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg. read more

The Imposter/Silver Reunion Season 3, Episode 12

Sports imposter Barry Bremen and the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team are featured. Bremen was an expert at infiltrating pro-sports locker rooms in the early '80s. Doug Collins and the Olympic team discuss their unwanted silver medals 40 years later. read more

Cutthroat/Tommy and Frank Season 3, Episode 11

Featured: Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk's recovery from a gruesome 1989 injury; and the story of pitcher Tommy John, Dr. Frank Jobe and a revolutionary elbow procedure in 1974. read more

The Deal Season 3, Episode 10

Chronicling the 2003-04 off-season pursuit of Rangers slugger Alex Rodriguez by the Red Sox and Yankees. General managers John Hart, Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman are among those interviewed. Directed by Colin and Nick Barnicle. read more

The Irrelevant Giant/Arthur and Johnnie Season 3, Episode 9

The stories of former New York Giants player John Tuggle, the last pick of the 1983 NFL Draft, and of tennis great Arthur Ashe's brother Johnnie, a U.S. Marine who returned to the Vietnam War in Arthur's place. read more

The Price of Gold Season 3, Episode 8

Chronicling the 1994 figure-skating scandal involving U.S. Olympic hopefuls Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. Interviewees include Harding herself, plus Kerrigan's husband; the skaters' coaches; and various media members. Directed by Nanette Burstein. read more

Youngstown Boys Season 3, Episode 7

Chronicling Youngstown (Pa.) natives Jim Tressel and Maurice Clarett, who both made inglorious exits from Ohio State football following on-field success. Jim Brown and ex-Buckeyes QB Craig Krenzel are featured. Directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist. read more

Bernie and Ernie Season 3, Episode 6

Chronicling the basketball lives of Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld, who established themselves as a high-scoring tandem at the University of Tennessee, where they were dubbed the "Bernie and Ernie Show." Directed by Jason Hehir. read more

This Is What They Want Season 3, Episode 5

Chronicling Jimmy Connors' stirring run at the 1991 U.S. Open, an improbable march to the semifinals at age 39. Also explored is how Connors became a polarizing and provocative personality who helped make tennis a high-octane spectator sport. Directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien. read more

Big Shot Season 3, Episode 4

Chronicling former New York Islanders owner John Spano and the scandal that engulfed the franchise in the late '90s. The Dallas businessman comments on his $165 million purchase of the team and the ensuing scam that initially went undetected. Directed by Kevin Connolly. read more

No Mas Season 3, Episode 3

Chronicling the Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran fights of 1980, with commentary from both fighters, family members and boxing experts. Duran won the first welterweight bout in Montreal before Leonard took the New Orleans rematch. Directed by Eric Drath. read more

Free Spirits Season 3, Episode 2

The colorful story of the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis, who featured stars Marvin "Bad News" Barnes and James "Fly" Williams, plus upstart play-by-play man Bob Costas. The owners negotiated a unique contract that has allowed the team to continue to exist. Directed by Daniel H. Forer. read more

Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau Season 3, Episode 1

The story of big-wave surfer Eddie Aikau is told by director Sam George, whose images, interviews and research delve into the dynamic life and heroic death of a native Hawaiian and pioneering lifeguard who inspired an entire spiritual movement. read more

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Premiered: October 06, 2009
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Premise: A series of (originally just 30) documentary films on sports stories from ESPN's first 30 years (1979-2009). Subjects were selected by top filmmakers, including Barry Levinson, Morgan Freeman, Ron Shelton, Albert Maysles, Frank Marshall and Ice Cube.


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