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 Networks Win Five Sports Emmys

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN proved once again Tuesday night why it is “The Sports Leader.”  The ESPN family of networks took home five Sports Emmy Awards Tuesday night at the 34th annual Sports Emmy Awards.  The annual awards program is put on by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Among its awards were top honors for journalism, technical and creative excellence and marketing.

ESPN2’s E:60 took home the award for Journalism for its feature, “Beitar Jerusalem.”  The feature focused on the Beitar Jerusalem Soccer team and its infamous fan base.  Audiences saw firsthand the behavior of the team’s overly devoted fans and its sometimes overtly racist tendencies.  ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap and a filming crew went to Israel to film the feature.  The award for this feature was the fifth Sports Emmy in four years for E:60.

ESPN’s Outside The Lines brought home Sports Emmy for its feature, “Breaking The Silence.”  This feature focuses on the story of Monika Korra. Korra, a native of Norway, was a member of SMU’s cross country team.  While a member of the team, she was raped by three men.  But through her personal strength, she went on to help find the men and convict her assailants.  She now speaks publicly about such acts of violence.  “Breaking The Silence” won the Sports Emmy for Short Format Camerawork.  It Outside The Lines host Bob Ley worked with ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi for the feature.  The award is the fifteenth Sports Emmy for the show.

Full features weren’t the only things for which ESPN received awards.  It also brought home a Sports Emmy for its “It’s not crazy, it’s sports” promotional campaign.  The campaign brought home the award for Best Promo-Institutional.  One of the more memorable spots in the campaign told the story of a man named Michael Jordan who lived in Chicago.  The man in question was not the famed basketball legend.  Audiences can check out the promo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxBBN3ZnYeU

ESPN’s recent upstart network, ESPN 3D brought home its own award yesterday.  It defended its 2012 award in the Technical Team Remote category, winning this year for its coverage of the Winter X Games.  ESPN 3D is the only all-sports 3D network on television today.

In the category of New Approaches – Short Form, ESPN’s Sports Science won its third Sports Emmy in as many years.

Yesterday’s wins bring the total number of Sports Emmys for the ESPN family of networks to one hundred and fifty three in its twenty-six years of eligibility. 

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 Announces New Additions To 30 For 30 Series

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced the addition of two new films to its hit 30 for 30 film series.  Survive and Advance and Elway to Marino are the latest additions to the network’s ongoing series of documentaries.  The first of the films to debut will be Survive and Advance.  The documentary centers on the late NC State University basketball coach Jim Valvano and the Wolfpack’s legendary 1982-’83 season.  That year, the team came back from almost not making the NCAA tournament to winning nine straight games in route to winning the NCAA title that year.  The Wolfpack players took down teams whose rosters included players who would later go on to become some of the game’s biggest names.  Among those names are the likes of:  Jordan, Olajuwon, Sampson, and Drexler.  The film is directed by Jonathan Hock (Unguarded, The Best That Never Was).  It will air Sunday, March 17th at 9pm on ESPN.

The second of the new films in the series is the football documentary, Elway to Marino.  This documentary focuses on what is considered by most to be a pivotal turning point for the NFL in the April 26, 1983 NFL Draft.  Before this draft, the NFL was in very troubled waters.  The previous season had seen a players strike.  The USFL took that as a chance to take some of the league’s top talent.  And the now late Al Davis had taken the league to court.  But it was this draft that turned the tide for the league.  The film examines the draft from the vantage point of the owners, players, managers, agents and more to explain the significance of the landmark draft.  Among the players taken in the draft were NFL legends John Elway and Dan Marino (just two of the six QBs taken that year).  It examines all the work that went into drafting players, both the good and the bad.  Elway to Marino was directed by Ken Rodgers and is being presented by both ESPN Films and NFL Films.  It will air Tuesday, April 23rd at 9pm on ESPN.

Elway to Marino and Survive and Advance are just two more additions to the long awaited 30 for 30 Volume II which is currently slated for an October 2013 release.  Sports lovers and fans in general can keep up with the latest news about this release and others in the 30 for 30 series online at http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and http://www.espn.com/30for30.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

ESPN Films, ESPNU Airing New Special Next Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN Films is continuing its SEC “Storied” series next week.  The next special in the network’s series is titled, Going Big.  The special centers on former basketball player Sam Bowie.  Bowie’s career in both college and high school was wrought with trials and tribulations.  The 7’1” star got his start at the University of Kentucky.  He was also lucky enough to be a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic basketball team.  Everything seemed to be going well for Bowie in his college career until an accident in a game against Vanderbilt that would end up sidelining the rising star for two seasons.  Though in 1984 he managed to get back on the court, and led his team to the Final Four.

Yet again, his life was on a high note, as he was taken second overall in the 1984 NBA draft after his graduation, right in front of legend Michael Jordan.  Sadly though, just as his college career had hit some bumps, so did his professional career.  While injuries left him sidelined once again, Jordan rose to national fame.  Continued injuries throughout his professional career would lead to a negative reputation around him as having been overrated.  Despite all of his bad luck in the NBA, Bowie has pushed on and found success in another area of life.

Going Big airs next Thursday, September 20th on ESPNU at 9pmEST.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.