Best of ESPN’s ’30 for 30′ films

Sports Editor

ESPN keeps coming out with new “30 for 30” films and documentaries, and if you’ve been missing them, I’m here to give you some of my favorites. Everyone has different tastes, especially in sports, so I’ll try to mix in some films that may not be my favorite but are my favorite of a particular sport.

In no particular order:

“The Birth of Big Air”

Featuring BMX star Mat Hoffman, the documentary takes you through his life and the way he transcended the sport of BMX. The most interesting part is watching Hoffman try to break the “highest air” world record from the set up of the ramp to his numerous attempts and failures of trying to achieve the goal.

“Survive and Advance”

It is the story of coach Jim Valvano’s North Carolina State Wolfpack’s “Cinderella” run through the 1983 NCAA tournament, beating Michael Jordan’s UNC Tarheels and Hakeem Olajuwon’s “Phi Slama Jama” Houston Cougars. It also provides details of Valvano, a coach who at the time was considered “arrogant” and “loud,” gaining respect from his peers after being stricken with cancer and fighting it until the day he passed away.

“The Best that Never Was”

This film tells the story of one of college football’s greatest running backs with a short-lived career, Marcus Dupree. It takes you through Dupree’s battles with weight, injuries and the struggle he had with his head coach, Barry Switzer.

“The Real Rocky”

This one is about the life and boxing career of Charles “Chuck” Wepner and his lawsuit against Sylvester Stallone. Stallone — at one point in time — said he came up with the idea for the iconic “Rocky” movies from a match he watched between Wepner and Muhammad Ali. Later, Stallone denied Wepner’s claim, but the story of Wepner is better than the story of Wepner vs. Stallone.

“You Don’t Know Bo”

It is easily one of my favorite films in the ESPN series. That’s probably because it shows how Bo Jackson chose baseball over football and played for the Kansas City Royals before becoming a two-sport athlete again by playing football for the Oakland Raiders. It’s amazing to see and listen to the myths surrounding Jackson and to watch highlights of his career in one documentary.

“The Band that Wouldn’t Die”

This is for the “non-sports sports fans.” This documentary is about the Baltimore Colts football team’s band. When the Baltimore Colts packed up and moved the team to Indianapolis, the band stuck together. It tells you how they kept their instruments, saved the band and continued to play until Baltimore got a football team back.

30 for 30 Honorable Mentions: “Without Bias,” “The U,” “Guru of Go,” “The 16th Man,” “The Two Escobars,” “The Fab Five,” “The Marinovich Project,” “Bernie and Ernie,” “The Price of Gold,” “Bad Boys,” “Jordan Rides the Bus,” “Catching Hell,” “Benji,” “Unguarded.”