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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN’s FIFA World Cup Coverage To Include Special 30 for 30 Series

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN Films will debut a new addition to its hugely popular 30 for 30 film series.  The new addition, 30 for 30: Soccer Stories will premiere this April.  The new series is part of The Worldwide Leader In Sports’ coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament.  The extensive soccer-centered series will include two feature-length films, six half-hour length films, and ten vignettes.  Each of the ten vignettes will feature Brazil’s rich culture and will be featured throughout ESPN’s coverage of the annual tournament.

Connor Schell, VP of ESPN Films and Original Content, discussed the announcement.  He explained the decision to expand the network’s award-winning series and the decision on the timing of the expansion.  “With ESPN being the home of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we know that sports fans will be looking forward to high quality content focused on what is perhaps the world’s most revered sport,” he said.  “We feel this is the perfect time to expand upon the success of our30 for 30 series by focusing this collection on some of the incredible stories of soccer’s legendary past.”

Hillsborough and White, Blue and White are at the center of ESPN Films’ new soccer-centered 30 for 30 spinoff.  The first of the films examines the tragic events of April 15, 1989 in Sheffield, England.  It was on that day that almost one hundred people were killed and nearly eight hundred injured in a “human crush” at Hillsborough.  Three-thousand soccer fans made their way into an area that had been reserved for standing.  The problem is that the capacity of the area in question was less than half the number of people that tried to make their way in.  What happened after stands today as the worst disaster in British football history.  The end result of the tragedy was a dramatic change in British football’s facilities.  The changes in question would lead to the rise of what is now the most powerful soccer league in the world, the English Premiere League.

White, Blue and White is an equally gripping full length feature in the new 30 for 30: Soccer Stories series.  This film is centered on Argentinian soccer players Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa.  The pair opened doors for Argentinians that had dreams of playing soccer in England’s top league.  The pair became national heroes in Argentina after they helped lead Spurs to a huge win in the 1981 FA Cup.  However, everything would change when Argentinian troops made their presence felt in the British-ruled Falkland Islands on April 2, 1982.  It would set off what is now one of the most discussed political conflicts of the twentieth century.  And when Ardiles left Britain to return to Buenos Aires, the move put his future with Spurs very much in doubt.

The feature-length films noted above are just a part of ESPN’s FIFA World Cup tie-in coverage.  More information on each of the upcoming presentations, as well as all of the latest on ESPN’s coverage of the annual tournament 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.