Doin ESPN Short Film Review

I know I’ve said in the past how much I love ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. If there was a channel dedicated to these short documentaries, my DVR would be full no question about it. Last night ESPN aired a 30 for 30 on the origins of fantasy sports. I was really excited to see what they came up with, but it was the first time I was truly disappointed by one of their short films. They’ve done a great job up to this point making moments in time or people that I didn’t care about, and turned them into interesting stories. I figured that a 30 for 30 about fantasy sports would be great, because I’ve been playing since 2000, and figured I’d see some more insight on how it grew. Maybe I expected too much or this film maker wasn’t up to the task. I mean, it’s pretty cool how it all came about, and these baseball nerds made the game that millions of Americans waste thousands of hours on each year. The problem with this short film wasn’t the story, so much as the execution. They had all the original guys, they interviewed the right people, but the acting, and set up sucked. I’m not sure if they were trying to be funny or not, but I felt like I was watching a group of porn stars acting without taking off their clothes.

She's a different kind of fantasy, the one that you won't get while playing fantasy baseball!

The film did nail the underlying themes of fantasy sports, and Dan Okrent the creator of the first rotisserie league started an phenomenon for us stat nerds. I know I’m not the only person that feels like I waste hours upon hours looking at the stupid numbers to decide whether I want to add or trade for some player, and what do I get out of it? A whole lot of mild satisfaction when the move works out, and sheer disappointment when it doesn’t. It’s kind of sad that you can really only get a minor satisfaction when you win. I’ve always been a believer that a loss in fantasy feels much more devastating to your sports knowledge ego than any win can boost that ego. You truly do feel like you are a mini GM trading guys, and building up that championship caliber team, only you expect your guys to win everytime. Is caring too much a problem? Probably, sometimes I find myself getting pissed about forgetting to set my lineup or trying to pick up a guy a couple hours later than someone else already did in the league. I think losing my internet connection during a draft is probably the most angry I’ll get. Why am I pissed? Because this silly game has taken over my life one hour at a time. I also really liked the point made by one of the original guys, that you care so much about your team, but don’t give a crap about anybody elses team. It just comes in as blah blah blah, and you wait for your chance to talk about your fantasy team. I guess I’m passed the part of non-stop talk about my fantasy players, which means maybe I’m getting over fantasy sports finally!

All in all, I’m happy this game was invented, but I expected more out of ESPN in thier short film. They did portray a few things well, and yes, the main point that fantasy sports are an obsession was hammered home throughout the film. If you aren’t into the idea of building up a solid fantasy team, and are in a league, you won’t do good. I’ve tried to dump some leagues over the years and have successfully done so, but there always seems to be more people asking me to join their leagues, so I end up in just as many as the previous year. It’s one crazy endless cycle that I want to end, but am so addicted that I don’t want it to end. Weird, I know. One of these days I’ll retire from fantasy sports, but for now I’ll just try to retire from football, my least favorite of the bunch…

About chappy81

I'm a dude that just hit 30 years old. Pretty much like everything that is funny, insightful, and has to do with the Warriors, A's, and Raiders. View all posts by chappy81

5 responses to “Doin ESPN Short Film Review

  • tophatal


    When it comes to ESPN and original programming in terms of a drama . They actually suck at the job ! They ought to leave that to their parent company Disney. And simply stick to the documentaries that they do so well. I know that for the series they commissioned several noted or first time film-makers to do the pieces. Of the ones shown , perhaps the best were the one on Iverson, the piece on the USFL with Trump before the comb over and the piece on the death of Len Byas.

    How the hell is that Edison Volquez gets popped for 50 games for using a woman’s hormonal fertility drug ? What there was no ‘weed’ available ? What a friggin’ idiot and his excuse was laughable at best ! It’s the same damn drug that Man-Ram got popped for .

    TO and McNabb back together ? How quaint !

    You’ve Got To Have Friends ..

    Alan Parkins

    • chappy81

      I didn’t think they could make a bad one until they came out with this one! I enjoyed all the ones you mentioned and even liked the “Miller Time” one which was basically surrounding one playoff run for Reggie… I actually didn’t think I’d get into it, but it turned out to be pretty captivating… I guess they can go 29 for 30 on these, not all of them can be winners! I can’t wait till Run Ricky Run comes out. My mom actually met him when he was on his break from football, because he was taking his yoga classes in a nearby town…

      Not sure what’s up with Volquez. Didn’t really read more than what was on the ticker, but it sounds like he has the same estrogen level as Manny!

  • Chris Humpherys

    I’m thinking the one on Jimmy the Greek was still the best one I’ve seen.

    Looking forward to the Ricky Williams one. Wondering if I should blaze up for the occasion. It’ll probably just make me want one of those Double Down chicken sandwiches.

    • chappy81

      That was a great one! He was slightly before my time, so that might have made it even more interesting. I always wanted to try and get a job making the lines…

      Hahaha, if you don’t, you might not understand Ricky!

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