What started off as a vision from ESPN’s Bill Simmons that sports stories still needed to be told in the form of a documentary by some of the greatest filmmakers in the world has turned into ESPN’s critically acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series. Our lives as sports fans would never be the same.
Over the course of the last five years, sports fans from all across the world have synchronized their watches and marked their calendars to make sure that when 30 for 30 appeared on their television screens, they were there to witness the story being told. 30 for 30 has become must-see TV, as tales like “Run Ricky Run,” “Jordan Rides The Bus,” “The Two Escobars” and “The Fab Five” were both educational and entertaining for all who consumed them. The power of retelling stories of yesteryear with the best filmmakers in the world producing documentary-style movies was just what the doctor ordered for fans, as we still can’t get enough.
Now, ESPN Films announced on Wednesday that in honor of the five-year anniversary of the 30 for 30 series, it will release a limited edition “30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection” on November 25, 2014. For just $199.95, you can own every ESPN 30 for 30 film ever made in one gift set.
In addition to the complete set of 30 for 30, the 100-title “30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection” will feature all films in the 30 for 30 Soccer Stories and Nine for IX series, as well as selections from 30 for 30 Shorts and additional acclaimed films from the creators of the 30 for 30 series, including “The Fab Five,” “Catching Hell” and “The Announcement.” In a retailer exclusive, Groupon will offer the “30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection” packaged in a unique metal sports locker container reminiscent of the classic locker room setting. This 32-disc DVD gift set will also include a 30 for 30 t-shirt, hat, limited edition book and poster, with a total running time of 114 hours. The suggested retail price is $249.95.The locker will be available on Groupon’s site beginning November 1, 2014. The collection will also be available in a 20-disc Blu-Ray gift set, packaged in a custom 30 for 30 ticket box. The Blu-Ray suggested retail price is $199.95.
Yes, spending two bills on on something that you’ve probably watched plenty of times before seems like a lot of money, but as a sports fan you owe it to yourself to invest in the future. What future, you ask? Well, think of the future children and young people you will engage with — they’ll say stupid things like, “Bo Jackson wasn’t that big of a deal.” Now, I understand that your first response will be to put the paws on ’em, but don’t do that (because jail is real). Instead, you could go to your 30 for 30 library and make the young whippersnapper watch the greatness of “You Don’t Know Bo.” Plus, there have been way too many times where the power goes out, you’re on a cross-country flight or you need something to watch while you’re on the throne handling business (gross, I know), and this video library could be what makes all the difference in the world.
Besides, you’ve spent $200 on a date before, right? No? Sneakers then, maybe? Tickets to a concert or sporting event? Probably. For $2 a movie, this is the gift that could actually keep on giving. Stop thinking about it and request this as a Christmas gift, now.
Side note: Many of you have asked why TSFJ hasn’t covered the Little League World Series, and to be honest, it’s a house of mystery for us. Some of us are jaded by the absurd coverage of kids, but the stories that can emerge from Williamsport can last a lifetime. For me, nothing will ever be bigger than Danny Almonte, and 30 for 30 Shorts did a feature on him recently that’s worth the 15 minutes it takes to watch it. Check it out below.
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Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”