There’s no need to fill this space with any more praise for ESPN’s sublime “30 For 30 series,” so we’ll spare the unlimited column space we have to do so.
However, we will make note that ESPN will air a special “30 For 30: Soccer Stories” series, starting in April, in anticipation of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. The series will feature two feature-length documentaries, six 30-minute-long shorter docs and ten vignettes.
Among the topics covered: the 1989 Hillsborough disaster; Ossie Ardiles and Argentine players’ notoriously short playing careers in England; and the mysteries of the original Jules Rimet trophy, the prize given to the World Cup champions.
As an aside, the 30-minute “Ceasefire Massacre,” directed by Alex Gibney and Trevor Birney, looks very interesting, especially for the bajillion Americans who can claim both Irish and Italian heritage. The documentary juxtaposes the 1994 World Cup match between Italy and Ireland, played in New Jersey, against the horrors of a politcally motivated shooting that occurred at a pub at the same time in Northern Ireland.
Perhaps it’s fitting that ESPN does this soccer-related roll-out leading up to June. One of the “30 For 30″‘s most popular documentaries, “The Two Escobars,” is widely considered its best installment yet.
Hit their press release for more in-depth summaries of the upcoming films. “Hillsborough” kicks off the series on April 22.