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Bill Simmons, trending.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Azrael, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    I don't think it holds any water.

    Some of the most centered people I know were only children.

    Simmons sounds like he was spoiled rotten. That can go hand-in-hand with being an only child, but not necessarily.
    OscarMadison and Dyno like this.
  2. Patchen

    Patchen Active Member

    I would like to know more about that. He gets a lot of credit for 30 for 30 - is that not legitimate?
  3. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    ESPN developed its own award-winning documentary series before Simmons descended from heaven.
    It was called SportsCentury and was not overwritten/overproduced like many of the 30 for 30s I've seen.
    OscarMadison and Patchen like this.
  4. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    SportsCentury was always... fine, to me. It was good to great for its time, but it was very much a "by the numbers" documentary series, about the most ESPN-y of ESPN subjects. ("Let's countdown the most prominent athletes of the 21st century! With an incredibly high sheen.") I think part of the appeal of 30 for 30 was that it was often already-established directors doing "passion project" kind of films, whether it was the downfall of the USFL or the Miami Hurricanes. Simmons has also noted that internally, he and others didn't even realize the value the films would have - they sold viewing rights to Netflix for way too little, and they could use 30 for 30s to plug programming holes and get a better rating than a talking head show.
  5. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    There's a lot of recency bias in the category of "sports documentary."

    What some people were pushing back against was the idea that Simmons somehow invented the form itself.

    Muybridge was doing motion studies of baseball players as early as the 1870s.

    Modern sports documentaries probably began in the 1930s.

    30 for 30 launched in 2009.
    OscarMadison and 3_Octave_Fart like this.
  6. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    It doesn't take an 'eye for talent' to deduce that Barry Levinson or Ice Cube might be able to capably direct a focused sports documentary.

    Maybe the trick was getting some of those artists to partner with Disney/ESPN. Who knows. If that is the case then give credit to Simmons.
    OscarMadison and Azrael like this.
  7. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    Exactly right.

    I think you can credit Simmons for gathering the talent and the resources and the ideas for the initial 30 for 30. That's what an executive producer does, and he did it really well.
    OscarMadison likes this.
  8. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I don’t know about only children or whatever but I do know, at almost every shop at or above a certain level, there’s a Simmons-like person who takes up a lot of management bandwidth, both in terms of creative investment and undue concern for their mood. I’ve seen several. At some point, everyone - including the person in question - reaches a level of fatigue for the arrangement.
    Big Circus, 3_Octave_Fart and Azrael like this.
  9. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    sportscentury was what it was. A record of the century. Chris Fowler’s slow, deliberate voice. I never thought to watch a SC a second time.

    Some of the 30/30 I consider masterpieces. Southwest Conference, The Greek, USFL. Great pacing.
    OscarMadison likes this.
  10. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I suppose. ESPN was throwing money around like jellybeans in the Simmons era. I’m not sure how hard the partnership was.

    But I don’t know the entire etymology of it. I know ESPN was very interested in making films given the Bobby Knight/Junction Boys stuff, and later Playmakers. Docs are generally much cheaper.
  11. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    The OJ miniseries is culturally significant and memorable. It’s by far and away the best one.
    exmediahack likes this.
  12. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    My memory of Playmakers, Knight and The Junction Boys and Pete Rose is that those productions were roundly mocked.

    I've thought the NFL still bears a grudge over Playmakers. It was a lightning rod that season- I want to say it was 2003.
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