The “30 for 30” Complete Rankings

The “30 for 30” ESPN series is more than a few documentaries that captures one sports story and provides the audience with not only an insight on the athletes and teams but the social context as well. Over the years I have managed to watch 67 of the 30 for 30 movies and decided to compile a ranking of the movies. It is important to understand while that I do have my personal preferences, I eliminated any of it and looked at certain criteria to grade the movies on:

The Story – While moments and sports come unscripted (well, maybe not “Playing for the Mob”), each sports story has a level of intrigue. This is the most important element to the judgement of the 30 for 30 movies, as even the best director and analysts cannot create the story. The plot is what it is and is essential to the greatness of the movie

Director’s Sequence – The order and fluidity of the scenes can make a difference in how I perceived the movie. Some directors presented a fascinating movie by how they chose to assemble the documentary. “June 17th, 1994” opted to just show media clips, which led to the creation of a fabulous documentary

The “Cast” – Who spoke in the movie and who did not is another key component. “The Fab Five” worked around Chris Webber’s refusal to speak to create a compelling story to his documentary. In “Unmatched”, however, it may have been more interesting to show critics or fans discussing the two tennis greats.

Miscellaneous – Anything else that added or subtracted to the movie.

Other Notes

I enjoyed all these documentaries, but there needed  to be a way to separate all the movies. Each movie, along with its ranking received a letter grade. To help deviate the grades, the average grade for the rankings is a “B”. Any movie that received a “B” or higher is deemed to be a “must-watch”. Finally, there are currently two movies I did not manage to obtain: “Goose” and “Right to Play”. If you find a link for either movie, or if they appear on some legal source (Comcast, Youtube, Netflix, etc.), please send it to my e-mail on the “About Me” Page.

Rank Title Grade Sport
67 The House of Steinbrenner D+ Baseball
66 The Day The Series Stopped D+ Baseball
65 Unmatched D+ Tennis
64 The Dotted Line D+ Other
63 Jordan Rides the Bus C- Baseball
62 Marion Jones: Press Pause C- Running
61 Kings Ransom C- Hockey
60 The Band That Wouldn’t Die C- Football
59 Elway to Marino C Football
58 The Announcement C Basketball
57 Little Big Men C Baseball
56 There’s No Place Like Home C+ Basketball
55 26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story C+ Boxing
54 Broke C+ Other
53 The Legend of Jimmy the Greek C+ Football
52 Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL C+ Football
51 Straight Outta L.A. C+ Football
50 Rand University B- Football
49 Free Spirits B- Basketball
48 Fernando Nation B- Baseball
47 When The Garden Was Eden B- Basketball
46 Roll Tide/War Eagle B- Football
45 9.79* B- Running
44 Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau B- Other
43 Silly Little Game B- Other
42 One Night in Vegas B Boxing
41 Guru of Go B Basketball
40 Four Days in October B Baseball
39 Muhammad and Larry B Boxing
38 The Birth of Big Air B Other
37 The Real Rocky B Boxing
36 Ghosts of Ole Miss B+ Football
35 The Marinovich Project B+ Football
34 Brian and the Boz B+ Football
33 No Mas B+ Boxing
32 Youngstown Boys B+ Football
31 Without Bias B+ Basketball
30 Playing for the Mob B+ Basketball
29 Run Ricky Run B+ Football
28 This Is What They Want B+ Tennis
27 The U B+ Football
26 Tim Richmond: To the Limit B+ Other
25 Bernie and Ernie B+ Basketball
24 You Don’t Know Bo B+ Football
23 The Best That Never Was B+ Football
22 No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson A- Basketball
21 Unguarded A- Basketball
20 Requiem for the Big East A- Basketball
19 Bad Boys A- Basketball
18 Into the Wind A- Running
17 The Price of Gold A- Other
16 Charismatic A- Other
15 The Pony Excess A- Football
14 Catching Hell A- Baseball
13 The U Part 2 A- Football
12 The 16th Man A- Other
11 Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks A- Basketball
10 Once Brothers A- Basketball
9 The Fab Five A- Basketball
8 June 17th, 1994 A- Other
7 Brothers in Exile A Baseball
6 Survive and Advance A Basketball
5 Big Shot A Hockey
4 Slaying the Badger A Other
3 Renee A Tennis
2 The Two Escobars A Soccer
1 Benji A Basketball