ESPN Films’ 30 For 30 Returns Tonight

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s hit film series 30 for 30 kicks off a new season tonight.

The network’s award-winning film series kicks off tonight at 7pm with the film Playing for the Mob.  The season’s premiere film/episode examines the role of mobster Henry Hill on a number of Boston College’s basketball games.  Hill once helped to fix many of the university’s basketball games.  The film is narrated by actor Ray Liotta (Goodfellas).  It airs tonight at 9pm ET on ESPN.  This season’s complete schedule of films is listed below.

Tuesday, Oct.7, 9 p.m. – “Playing for the Mob”
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 10 p.m. – “The Day The Series Stopped”
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 9 p.m. – “When The Garden Was Eden”
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 9 p.m. – “Brian and The Boz”
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 9 p.m. – “Brothers in Exile”
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 8 p.m. – “Rand University”
Saturday, Dec. 13, 9 p.m. – “The U Part 2”

More information on this season’s schedule and all of the latest 30 for 30 news and is available online at:

Website: http://www.espn.com/30for30

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

30 For 30: Soccer Stories Kicks Off April 15th

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

April 15th is perhaps the single most hated day of the year every year. It is the deadline to file taxes on time. This year however, ESPN and ESPN Films are giving everyone reason to be happy on April 15th. That’s because ESPN Films will present the latest addition to its award-winning 30 for 30 film series as a reward for enduring tax day.

ESPN Films will present Hillsborough, the first in the 30 for 30: Soccer Stories series, on April 15th at 8pm ET on ESPN.  Hillsborough examines what is the single worst sporting disaster in the history of the United Kingdom. The film examines the events in the years, months, weeks, and days leading up to the tragedy, which left ninety-six people dead and hundreds more injured at an FA Cup Semifinal matchup between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England.

Hillsborough tells the story of the tragedy through first-hand accounts of fans in attendance and from police officers. Many of those that appeared on camera to share their stories did so for the first time since the horrific events of that day a quarter of a century ago. Many of those interviewed for Hillsborough are still seeking justice for their loved ones to this day.

ESPN Films’ 30 for 30: Soccer Stories is a mix of feature-length films and 30-minute long documentary films promoting ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The series of films is presented by an award-winning group of filmmakers. It tells stories from around the world of soccer both from the United States and around the world. The complete schedule of films in ESPN Films’ is available online at http://es.pn/1aOGWre. More information on ESPN Films’ 30 for 30: Soccer Stories is available online at http://espn.go.com/30for30/soccer.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Films’ Latest Release Debuts April 17th

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN Films debuts the latest release in its 30 for 30 series next month.

Bad Boys, the latest film from ESPN Films’ hit series, premieres Thursday, April 17th at 8pm ET on ESPN.  The film was produced by NBA Entertainment and helmed by Zak Levitt.  The film’s story centers on the Detroit Pistons’ heyday of the late 80s and early 90s.  The Pistons of the 80s and 90s was one of those teams that fans either loved or hated.  There was no in between for this squad.  Those that loved the team called it a group of men that wasn’t afraid to work hard and really get in the paint.  It was a team, to those fans, that was afraid of no one.  That same win at all costs mentality is also what led many to despise the team.

The film highlights the highs and lows of the team’s heyday through interviews with the likes of Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman, Adrian Dantley, and Mark Aguirre among others.  The interviews give viewers a more personal look at what made the team one of the league’s most talked about. Also included are personal insights from some of the biggest names to face Detroit during the late 80s and early 90s. Those names include: Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Kevin McHale, Dominique Wilkins, and James Worthy.  Former NBA Commissioner David Stern also shares his thoughts on what made the team such a lightning rod in the league at that time.

The premiere of Bad Boys will be followed immediately by Grantland’s Bad Boys Remix, a special one-hour presentation featuring Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose.  The pair will be joined by Isiah Thomas and Doug Collins to discuss the film.  The pair will also share more thoughts on the highs and lows of the Pistons.  Along with their appearance on Grantland’s Bad Boys Remix, Thomas and Collins will be part of Grantland’s “Detroit Week” package, kicking off April 14th.  Grantland’s “Detroit Week” will include written features about the city of Detroit and its history as well as Detroit-themed podcasts on the Grantland Network.

More information on ESPN Films and its hit 30 for 30 series is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30, http://twitter.com/30for30, and http://www.espn.com/30for30.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Championship Week Presented By Dick’s Sporting Goods Tips Off This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Things are heating up in the world of NCAA basketball.  And as things start to get hot, so is ESPN’s coverage of college basketball.  Beginning Friday, March 7th, ESPN’s Championship Week Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods will present ninety-two men’s college basketball conference tournament games from twenty-three conferences across the ESPN family of networks.

ESPN’s Championship Week Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods starts Friday, March 7th with nine games from the Big South, Ohio Valley, and Southern Conference tournaments.  Those games will be broadcast online on ESPNU and ESPN3.   It all winds down on Sunday, March 16th with the title games for the ACC, Sun Belt, and SEC Championships.  The ACC Championship will air on ESPN, while the Sun Belt and SEC Championship games will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN respectively at 1pm ET and 3:15pm ET.

As an added bonus for fans, ESPN Films will debut the latest addition to its 30 for 30 series Requiem for the BIG EAST Sunday, March 16th at 9pm ET.  The film, directed by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ezra Edelman, follows the rise and eventual move of the Big East conference.  The story is told thanks in large part to interviews with Big East coaches such as Jim Boeheim, Lou Carnesecca, Rick Pitino and John Thompson, former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese, and former Big East standouts Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin and Ed Pinckney.

Along with the new 30 for 30 film, the ESPN family of networks will also offer special coverage on ESPN Radio, WatchESPN, and ESPN.com.  ESPN’s SportsCenter will also offer a special two-hour broadcast of its special Bracketology Presented by Staples at 7pm ET and again at 9pm ET on ESPN following the conclusion of the SEC Championship.

The complete schedule for ESPN’s Championship Week Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods is listed below.

                                    Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods Schedule

Date Network Time (ET) Game / Commentators Site
Fri 3/7 ESPN3 11 a.m. Southern Conference Tournament: First Round

Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender

Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 Noon Big South Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1

Matt Hogue & Nate Ross

Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN3 1:30 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: First Round

Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender

Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 2 p.m. Big South Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2

Matt Hogue & Nate Ross

Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN3 4:30 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: First Round

Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender

Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 6 p.m. Big South Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3

Patrick Kinas & Ralph Patterson

Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPNU 7:30 p.m. Ohio Valley Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1

Rich Hollenberg & Adrian Branch

Nashville, Tenn.
ESPN3 8 p.m. Big South Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4

Patrick Kinas & Ralph Patterson

Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPNU 9:30 p.m. Ohio Valley Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2

Rich Hollenberg & Adrian Branch

Nashville, Tenn.
Sat, 3/8 ESPN3 Noon Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1

Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy

Springfield, Mass.
ESPN3 Noon America East Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1

Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan

Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 Noon Big South Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1

Patrick Kinas & Ralph Patterson

Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN3 Noon Southern Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1

Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender

Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 2 p.m. Big South Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2

Patrick Kinas & Ralph Patterson

Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN3 2 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2

Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan

Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 2:30 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2

Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender

Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 2:30 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2

Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy

Springfield, Mass.
ESPN3 6 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3

Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender

Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 6 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3

Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan

Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 6:30 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3

Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy

Springfield, Mass.
ESPN2 7 p.m. Ohio Valley Conference: Championship

Rich Hollenberg & Adrian Branch

Nashville, Tenn.
ESPN3 7 p.m. Horizon League Tournament: Semifinal #1 *

Jim Barbar & Malcolm Huckaby

Green Bay, Wis.
ESPN3 8 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4

Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan

Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 8:30 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4

Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender

Asheville, N.C.
ESPN2 9 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3

Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham

Las Vegas, Nev.
ESPN3 9 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4

Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy

Springfield, Mass.
ESPNU 9:30 p.m. Horizon League Tournament: Semifinal #2

Jim Barbar & Malcolm Huckaby

Green Bay, Wis.
ESPN2 11 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4

Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham

Las Vegas, Nev.
Sun 3/9 ESPN2 Noon Big South Tournament: Championship

Roy Philpott & Paul Biancardi

Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN2 2 p.m. Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament: Championship

Jason Benetti & Cory Alexander

TBD
ESPN3 4:30 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1

Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy

Springfield, Mass.
ESPN3 5 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1

Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan

Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 7 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2

Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy

Springfield, Mass.
ESPN3 7:30 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2

Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan

Albany, N.Y.
Mon 3/10 ESPN2 7 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Championship

Doug Sherman & Tim Welsh

Springfield, Mass.
ESPN 9 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1

Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham

Las Vegas, Nev.
ESPN2 9 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: Championship

Adam Amin & Mark Adams

Asheville, N.C.
ESPN2 11:30 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2

Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham

Las Vegas, Nev.
Tue 3/11 ESPN 7 p.m. Horizon League Tournament: Championship

Bob Wischusen & TBD

TBD
ESPN2 7 p.m. Northeast Conference Tournament: Championship

Mike Crispino & Miles Simon

TBD
ESPN 9 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Championship

Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham

Las Vegas, Nev.
ESPN2 9 p.m. Summit League Tournament: Championship

Clay Matvick & Darrin Horn

Sioux Falls, S.D.
Wed 3/12 ESPN2 1 p.m. ACC Tournament: First Round #1

Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 3 p.m. ACC Tournament: First Round #2

Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 7 p.m. ACC Tournament: First Round #3

Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 7 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: First Round #1

Mike Patrick & Len Elmore

Memphis, Tenn.
ESPN2 9:30 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: First Round #2

Dave O’Brien & Doris Burke

Memphis, Tenn.
Thu 3/13 ESPN Noon ACC Tournament: Second Round #1

Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 12:30 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Quarterfinal #1

Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe

Kansas City, Mo.
ESPNU 1 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Quarterfinal #1

Mike Patrick, Len Elmore & Andy Katz

Memphis, Tenn.
ESPN 2 p.m. ACC Tournament: Second Round #2

Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 2:30 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Quarterfinal #2

Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe

Kansas City, Mo.
ESPNU 3 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Quarterfinal #2

Mike Patrick, Len Elmore & Andy Katz

Memphis, Tenn.
ESPN2 6:30 p.m. Big Ten Conference Tournament: First Round #3

Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Allison Williams

Indianapolis, Ind.
ESPN 7 p.m. ACC Tournament: Second Round #3

Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 7 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Quarterfinal #3

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz

Memphis, Tenn.
ESPN2 8:30 p.m. Big Ten Conference Tournament: First Round #4

Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Allison Williams

Indianapolis, Ind.
ESPN 9 p.m. ACC Tournament: Second Round #4

Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 9 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Quarterfinal #4

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz

Memphis, Tenn.
Fri 3/14 ESPN or ESPN2 Noon Big Ten Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1

Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Allison Williams

Indianapolis, Ind.
ESPN or ESPN2 Noon ACC Tournament: Quarterfinal #1

Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 1 p.m. SEC Tournament: Quarterfinal #1

Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake

Atlanta, Ga.
ESPN or ESPN2 2:30 p.m. Big Ten Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2

Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Allison Williams

Indianapolis, Ind.
ESPN or ESPN2 2:30 p.m. ACC Tournament: Quarterfinal #2

Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 3 p.m. SEC Tournament: Quarterfinal #2

Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake

Atlanta, Ga.
ESPN3 6 p.m. Southland Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1 Katy, Texas
ESPN or ESPN2 7 p.m. ACC Tournament: Quarterfinal #3

Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN or ESPN2 7 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Semifinal #1

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz

Memphis, Tenn.
ESPNU ^ 7 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Semifinal #1

Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe

Kansas City, Mo.
ESPN3 8:30 p.m. Southland Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2 Katy, Texas
ESPN or ESPN2 9:30 p.m. ACC Tournament: Quarterfinal #4

Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN or ESPN2 9:30 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Semifinal #2

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz

Memphis, Tenn.
ESPNU ^ 9:30 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Semifinal #2

Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe

Kansas City, Mo.
Sat 3/15 ESPNU 12 a.m. Big West Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2

Mark Jones & Miles Simon

Anaheim, Calif.
ESPNU 2 a.m. Big West Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1 **

Mark Jones & Miles Simon

Anaheim, Calif.
ESPN2 11:30 a.m. America East Conference Tournament: Championship

Bob Picozzi & Tim Welsh

TBD
ESPN 1 p.m. ACC Tournament: Semifinal #1

Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale or Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ABC 1 p.m. SEC Tournament: Semifinal #1

Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake

Atlanta, Ga.
ESPN 3 p.m. ACC Tournament: Semifinal #2

Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale or Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ABC 3 p.m. SEC Tournament: Semifinal #2

Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake

Atlanta, Ga.
ESPN2 4:30 p.m. Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament: Championship

Mark Neely & Jarron Collins

Houston, Texas
ESPN 6 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Championship

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz

Memphis, Tenn.
ESPNU 6 p.m. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament: Championship

Tom Hart & Stan Lewter

Norfolk, Va.
ESPN2 6:30 p.m. Mid-American Conference Tournament: Championship

Bob Wischusen & LaPhonso Ellis

Cleveland, Ohio
ESPNU 8 p.m. Big Sky Conference Tournament: Championship

Roxy Bernstein & Corey Williams

Ogden, Texas
ESPN2 8:30 p.m. Southland Conference Tournament: Championship

Carter Blackburn & Stephen Howard

Katy, Texas
ESPN 9 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Championship

Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe

Kansas City, Mo.
ESPNU 10 p.m. Western Athletic Conference Tournament: Championship

Steve Quis & Jon Crispin

Las Vegas, Nev.
ESPN2 10:30 p.m. Big West Conference Tournament: Championship

Mark Jones & Miles Simon

Anaheim, Calif.
Sun 3/16 ESPN 1 p.m. ACC Tournament: Championship

Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale & Jeannine Edwards

Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 1 p.m. Sun Belt Conference Tournament: Championship

Rich Hollenberg & Mark Adams

New Orleans, La.
ESPN 3:15 p.m. SEC Tournament: Championship

Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake

Atlanta, Ga.

More information on Championship Week Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods is available online at http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Films Debuts Latest Addition To ’30 for 30 Shorts’ Series

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

New York Yankees star Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez recently announced to the world that he was dropping his lawsuit against Major League Baseball linked his suspension from Major League Baseball.  Now, he is the focus of the latest installment in ESPN’s 30 for 30 Shorts series.

Rodriguez is the focal point of the new 30 for 30 short The Deal.  The latest short from ESPN Films’ series of shorts examines “A-Rod’s” trade from the Texas Rangers and how he almost ended up in red and grey instead of pinstripes.  The new short debuted this week at Grantland.com.  It can be viewed now via Grantland.com at http://grantland.com/features/30-for-30-shorts-the-deal/.  It was produced and directed by Nick and Colin Barnicle.  The pair incorporated interviews with the likes of Larry Lucchino, Brian Cashman, John Hart and Theo Epstein to illustrate the story.  It shows how much changed over the course of less than two days for not just Rodriguez, but also for both the Red Sox and Yankees.

Along with its online showing, The Deal will also be broadcast this Sunday night, Feb. 16th at 8pm on ESPN.  The broadcast comes on the tenth anniversary of the still discussed trade deal.  Other films in the 30 for 30 shorts are available for viewing online now at http://grantland.com/contributors/espn-films/.

More information on ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts and 30 for 30 is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and http://www.espn.com/30for30.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Films’ Latest 30 For 30 Installment Deserves Its Own Medal

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Price of Gold, ESPN Film’s latest release in its award-winning 30 for 30 series, is an interesting look at the events leading up to and after the now infamous attack on figure skating star Nancy Kerrigan.  The film, directed by Nanette Burstein, will keep viewers fully engaged throughout its near ninety-minute run time.  That is because of its central story.  The central story is one of Harding as an underdog that came from nothing to surprise everyone in what was essentially a world reserved for those in the upper class only to lose it all at the height of her career.  Along the way, Harding pleads her case, claiming that she had nothing to do with ex-husband Jeff Gillooly’s attack on Nancy Kerrigan.  She claims in her argument that she was just as much a victim as Kerrigan, denying she had any involvement in the scandal.  The story itself is so gripping that even those that might not be figure skating fans will want to listen to this polarizing figure tell her story.  This is the center of what makes The Price of Gold well worth the watch.  The classic footage culled to flesh out the story makes the presentation all the richer.  Vintage newscasts, interviews with a younger Tonya Harding, and footage of both Harding and Kerrigan throughout the scandal help to bring the story even more full circle.  Interviews with those closest to the scandal bring everything full circle.  Interestingly enough, the one person that audiences would want to hear from—Kerrigan—don’t hear from.  That’s because she turned down requests to be interviewed for the film.  But her husband and those close to her explain why she didn’t want to be interviewed.  It makes the entire story that much more griping and that much more another wonderful addition to ESPN Films’ award-winning series.

The central point of The Price of Gold is the story itself.  The story presented in this film is the classic rise and fall of an unexpected star.  In this case, the unexpected star was one Tonya Harding.  Harding’s story starts with a young woman that wanted everything because she came from nothing.  She felt that she had something to prove, and that put a chip on her shoulder.  Harding’s problem is that she got everything that she wanted and more.  The result would be her ultimate downfall.  That desire to have everything led to being surrounded and hounded day in and day out by the media machine after the attack on Kerrigan.  There’s no disagreeing with her comments concerning the media machine’s cold blooded nature.  It’s amazing to learn that the media was so hungry for pictures of and reactions from her that they would even get a tow company to try and take her truck just to lure her out for reactions.  She is so convincing in her one-on-one interviews that one can’t help but wonder if indeed she didn’t have anything to do with the attack.  Especially considering the post-film follow-up on where Jeff Gillooly is today, one can’t help but think that maybe Gillooly did what he did to Kerrigan of his own volition.  That’s not to say that he did by any means.  But it definitely raises the possibility of it being the case.  Her personal story intertwined with the scandal that rose from that personal story by themselves are reason enough for viewers to watch this latest addition to the 30 for 30 series.  The positives don’t end here, either.  The vintage footage of a young Tonya Harding, the vintage newscasts, and footage of both Harding and Kerrigan through it all make the story all the richer.  They collectively are the next part of what makes this film well worth the watch.

The story of Tonya Harding’s unlikely rise and then fall from grace is the kind of thing one only expects in major movies.  But it is just as gripping on the small screen, as viewers will see here.  That story is made all the richer thanks to the vintage footage of a much younger Tonya Harding as well as the classic news footage that documented her rise and fall (and that likely helped contribute to it, too).  That footage set next to the footage of both her and competitor Nancy Kerrigan training and competing on the ice brings the story to a whole different level.  The footage of the two young women practicing and competing shows Harding as a woman with one thing in mind.  That one thing was winning.  Her reactions to the media’s unending assaults will actually have viewers contemplating whether or not she really played a role in the attack on Kerrigan.  It’s almost as if the media had painted her to be the villain and even wanted her to be the villain.  Her behavior towards the media makes it seem like she might not have actually taken part in the attack.  As vehemently as she denied the accusations, one can’t help but wonder if Gillooly did what he did to make her look like a villain.  It’s one more important part of the whole that is this film.  And it’s not all that makes it so watchable, either. 

So much work went into bringing The Price of Gold come to life.  Just as much went into making it the interesting film that it is even for those that are not fans of the figure skating world.  As is noted in the film’s included interviews, this story is the type of thing that one only expects from soap operas on television.  This story is its very own soap opera.  And making it even more gripping is the fact that Nancy Kerrigan declined to be interviewed for the film.  This brings everything full circle.  Audiences get to hear Tonya Harding’s side of the story.  But the only times that they hear from Kerrigan is from the vintage practice and competition footage.  Oddly enough, everything that Harding states in her interviews about Kerrigan is backed up by the included footage.  It’ll leave viewers scratching their heads even more.  That combined with Harding’s vehement denial of being involved in the attack makes this more than just a soap opera, but a crime drama of sorts that everyone will be talking about the next day.  The Price of Gold airs tonight on ESPN at 9pm ET.  More information on this and other installments in ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and http://www.espn.com/30for30.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.                    

Kerrigan, Harding Focus Of Latest Film From ESPN’s 30 For 30 Series

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The latest presentation from ESPN Films’ award-winning 30 for 30 series debuts this Thursday, January 16thThe Price of Gold centers on the 1994 attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan that would affect her career forever.  Two decades later, the attack remains one of the sports world’s most talked about controversies.

Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding were the figure skating world’s most talked about names in the Lillehammer Winter Olympics.  Both women were seen as potential medal winners.  But the brazen attack on Kerrigan by Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, would change all of that.  Gillooly attacked Kerrigan, hitting her on the knee, leaving her writhing in pain.  It also meant the end of Kerrigan’s medal hopes that year and potentially worse.  An investigation by authorities would later reveal that the attack on Kerrigan was planned and that all leads pointed right to Kerrigan’s Olympic rival as the mastermind of the whole thing.  Twenty years after the now infamous attack on Kerrigan, ESPN Films examines the attack in The Price of Gold.  The film was directed by award-winning filmmaker Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture, American Teen, On The Ropes).  It will air Thursday night at 9pm ET on ESPN.  It will also air on ABC this Saturday, January 18th at 4pm ET and will be re-broadcast on ESPN this Sunday night at 7:30pm.  More information on this film and others from ESPN Films is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and http://www.espn.com/30for30.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.