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The rise and fall of USC Trojans football during Pete Carroll's coaching tenure.

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Chronicling the 1985 Chicago Bears; the players, coaches and their Super Bowl victory

I just watched it earlier today, and I thought it was fantastic. Incredibly touching,the affection these men have for one another and the game.

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I just watched this. It was just about perfect, capturing everything about that team and the Bears in total.

I am a lifelong Bears fan, having endured the suffering of the 1970s through the 1981 teams. My brother played for the 4-time consecutive state champs Joliet Catholic High School team in the late '70s (Tom Thayer, RG on the '85 Bears, was his class/teammate). We not-so-jokingly said that that team could have beaten the '78 Bears , and since the '78 JCHS team swept their playoffs and championship games by an accumulated score of 108-0, we were probably correct. The Bears were just that bad.

Ditka was the shot in the arm that the team, and its fans, desperately needed. Buddy Ryan's defense just wasn't enough to go to that next level. Winning made Sundays fun again. And the characters on that team were fodder for the local media outlets. I was a sophomore at Marquette and started buying the Chicago Tribune at the corner store every Sunday and Monday so I could read all the pre-game speculation and the post-game analysis.

The Black-And-Blues Brothers poster was available for free at local car dealerships (either GM or Ford, can't remember), and was constantly out of stock. Everyone had one on their wall. The Super Bowl Shuffle video was on tv non-stop. Everyone knew the players' nicknames (Mongo, Jimbo, Butthead, Sweetness) and ate up the tales of their antics. Being the egghead geek I was and am, Gary Fencik was my personal favorite, what with his Ivy League degree and getting an MBA in 1985 while playing pro ball.

I had to work the evening of the Super Bowl, but since I was in charge and in my own little room supervising volunteers, I brought my 12-inch B&W tv from my dorm room and watched the game there. The only thing that still ticks me off about that team was Ditka not making sure that Walter got his touchdown, especially since Fridge got his.

I forgot that the Challenger explosion was only two days after the game--I had stopped at the corner store for the Tribune to read about the city's celebration when I heard the news on the store's sound system.

The 2006 team was as close as we have gotten since, making the Super Bowl but losing. We did have the fun of the strong defense whose specialty was stripping the ball, and Devin Hester being the returns superstar he was.

Maybe some decade soon we will make it there again.

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“Fantastic Lies” will return to the night of March 13, 2006, when Duke University lacrosse players threw a team party that ended up changing lives, ruining careers, tarnishing a university’s reputation and even jeopardizing the future of the sport at the school. The film, from acclaimed director Marina Zenovich (“Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired”), will premiere on the 10th anniversary of the party that ignited what became a national firestorm and resulted in a highly-charged legal investigation. Usually confined to the sports section, lacrosse suddenly appeared on the front pages of newspapers because of the lurid details of the case and the hot buttons that it pushed: sex, race, class, violence.

Did anyone watch this? It was pretty chilling and reminded me that when this happened, I was sure they were guilty. I'm very ashamed of that.

 

One thing I didn't understand -- where did they get the photos of the accuser? Did the team take them, or did the other dancer? 

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I DVR'd this and watched it today. I remember not being surprised to hear that something happened at their house but as time went on it was clear that something was very off about the investigation. Nifong's behavior throughout was despicable.

 

My only problem with the documentary is that these "boys" are now probably 30 years old and shouldn't need their mommies and daddies to speak for them at this point in their lives. I thought it was too top heavy with parent commentary. I'm sure it was a rough time for them but to me, they did not add much to the film. I'd rather if viewers who were too young to know much about the case got to see more of the roadblocks Nifong threw up constantly and more footage of the hearings that showed these guys were getting railroaded.

 

I originally thought the guys were not interviewed because whatever settlement they came to included a clause that they would not speak of the case, but they probably would have said that. Instead, it said they "declined" to participate. If they are that active in the Innocence Project because they want to help with injustices, they could have done a good service by appearing and saying just that. 

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I was surprised how much they left out of the story, but I guess they were running out of time and may not have wanted to deal with the other issues those threads would have brought up.

 

 

 

One thing I didn't understand -- where did they get the photos of the accuser? Did the team take them, or did the other dancer? 

 

My recollection is that they were taken by members of the team.  

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When they gave their DNA samples, they were also photographed.

The director said that she had a hard time getting people to talk, but one player who declined to be interviewed asked the filmmaker to talk to his mother (my guess is Tricia Dowd). She then was interested in the parents' perspective. I can understand these men who have good jobs and probably young families of their own not wanting to be back on camera reliving that time in their life.

I remember the accusation and then it being dismissed, but I don't remember being very focused on the details to form opinions about it. The film was chilling. Brad Bannon was an amazing attorney!

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I can't blame them for not wanting to talk.  I know one of the families of one of the players (not accused) and even the press squating outside of their house really rocked our small town.  It was a terrible time for these people.  

Edited by ShowPolish.
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I wonder what happened with the DNA expert ? Mike Nifong was disbarred. Mike Nifong brought the DNA expert to court with him. It's a good thing that Brad Bannon  knew the right questions to ask about the DNA results. "Does the DNA match any of the accused players ?  "NO"

 

Would Brian Meehan have told the truth about the DNA evidence if Brian Bannon hadn't asked it ?

Whenever a woman claims rape all women rally around her, not bothering to even find out if it's real or not.

 

Not one person vetted this women/ Not one person did any background search on her at all.

Edited by stillhere1900.
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I wonder what happened with the DNA expert ?

He was fired by the lab and then had the gall to file a wrongful termination lawsuit (which was quickly dismissed).  I believe he is now peddling himself as an independent expert and teaching courses. 

 

Would Brian Meehan have told the truth about the DNA evidence if Brian Bannon hadn't asked it ?

I highly doubt it.  Even in that hearing he began by insisting that he had reported all the results.  It was only when Brad pressed him on specifics that he admitted that there was DNA present that didn't match the accused. 

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Sorry, but at this point I can't really see these lacrosse players as heroes.  There is no doubt that 40 guys hired 2 strippers, some hurled racial slurs at her and talked about raping her with a broom.  That they would see this as acceptable behavior and then pity themselves when games are cancelled is not something I can agree with.  That their parents are so focused on what innocent and precious angels their children are....is sort of sickening to me.  You should not raise your son to think that treating a woman as sub human is ever okay, no matter what her educational background, her job, or her race is.  Its like every one of the parents, so far, has completely glossed over the fact that those things happened and that their son's may have been complicit in such awful behavior.  But, I'm only 35 minutes in, so I may change my mind.

Edited by RCharter.
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Watched the rest of the Duke 30 for 30.....I did change my mind regarding Reade since it seems like he completely took off during the party.  He wanted no part of it and I think that is absolutely acceptable when such egregious behavior is going down.

 

But there are a few very big, very nagging questions for me....

 

1. Why hasn't anyone interviewed or gotten the other strippers story?  What was going on that night, did she feel intimidated what was the atmosphere like in that house?  A quick internet search shows that she was with Crystal right up until the police were called the scene...so basically the entire time.....so what was her take on everything?  Was she even contacted for the documentary?

 

2. Why wouldn't the prison officials allow Crystal to be interviewed?  Yes, she is a liar, we all know that by now, but can't we judge for ourselves in light of her other stories?  It would have just been interesting to hear her talk about her motivations and if she had been pushed by Nifong at some point.

 

3. Why was there DNA inside of her?  It sounds like there was DNA from multiple people inside of her, were there other men at this party besides Duke lacrosse players?  Could they have been in the bathroom with her?  Is it possible a Duke lacrosse player was covering for a friend or three of them?

 

4. The broken off fingernails?  What was the story behind those.  I've had nail "tips" before and those things were pretty much cemented on.  If you have some Lee press on nails or the do it yourself at home version of nails the adhesive may not be as strong, but the entire fake nail would come off, it wouldn't break off.  So, were there nail tips that broke off (which would indicate some sort of struggle to me) or were these just three full fake nails that just popped off because the adhesive was weak and cheap?  And how in the world did they end up in the trashcan of one of the players rooms?  One that was later accused?  Was it just all a coincidence?  How was she in that room?  Why was she in that room?  Or did someone else just randomly pick her her three nails in the middle of a raucous party and go into Dale Evans room and throw them out?

 

Of course, regardless of any of this, Mike Nifong and the DNA expert were dead wrong.  Like I said, I don't find any heroes in this story, with perhaps the exception of Reade who just wasn't even there at the time any of this was going down.

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RCharter, this should answer your question about Kim Roberts, the other stripper: http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2016/03/where-are-they-now

 

Prisons normally don't allow video-taped interviews of prisoners.  I did read somewhere that she still insists she was sexually assaulted in that bathroom.

 

It's stated in the documentary, it's stated that all men at the party gave their DNA.  None matched the DNA in or on Ms. Mangum.

 

I assumed that the fingernails were popped off, not broken off. But any DNA under them or on them could've been deposited when they were trying to get the ladies to leave.

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RCharter, this should answer your question about Kim Roberts, the other stripper: http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2016/03/where-are-they-now

 

Prisons normally don't allow video-taped interviews of prisoners.  I did read somewhere that she still insists she was sexually assaulted in that bathroom.

 

It's stated in the documentary, it's stated that all men at the party gave their DNA.  None matched the DNA in or on Ms. Mangum.

 

I assumed that the fingernails were popped off, not broken off. But any DNA under them or on them could've been deposited when they were trying to get the ladies to leave.

I've seen plenty of prison interviews, and prison documentaries, so generally there is a way to allow someone in to interview even though it is at the discretion of the warden.  .  But there have been prison interviews on death row, in maximum, minimum and medium level security prisons.  Given that its hard to find an interview, or actual account from the Mangum, or even a taped deposition it would have been interesting to hear what motivated her.  Given the rise of prison documentaries and interviews it seems less and less normal to refuse to allow a prisoner to be interviewed

 

It was stated that all the lacrosse players gave their DNA and fully cooperated, from what I remember, but how would you know who was there that wasn't a member of the lacrosse team and which of those non-lacrosse partiers left early, or took off before the police came?  And it was stated that the DNA didn't match the lacrosse players, not that the DNA didn't match any male who was present at the party.  Or at least thats not what I remember being said in the documentary.

 

It sounds like the women were pre-paid for their services, which is why the guys were angry and trying to get a refund.  Even if there was a scuffle with Mangum refusing to leave, does it make any sense for someone, in the middle of a party to sweep up popped off nails and not put them in a common trashcan, but to go into their room and throw away the nails?  That doesn't make much sense to me.  You're having a party, the strippers are not in your room, but in a main area of the house, you're trying to throw them out because they didn't perform longer than 5 minutes (so the party wasn't winding down), 3 of her nails pop off in the middle of a scuffle, in the middle of a party and you make sure to pick them up, go into your bedroom (or someone else's bedroom) and throw them in the garbage can in your bedroom?  It just doesn't make much sense.  Its possible, but just not likely to me.  

 

I'm going to look for that 60 minutes interview with Kim Roberts.  I'm interested on her take.

 

**ETA -- I just read the interview with Kim Roberts, and it still leaves me with more questions.  The two were separated  for two 10 minute intervals.  The first time, Kim left the house and Mangum joined her 10 minutes later outside in her car (this was after the initial broomstick comment, which scared Kim enough to just leave).  And this was after the two had locked themselves in a bathroom and refused to come out.  According to Kim, Mangum was drunk, weaving, maybe high, but wanted to go back and make more money.  Sounds odd that a person that could barely stand up would want to do that, but I think its possible.  So, they are let back into the house...and why anyone would want to go back into the house when you've already been paid your $800 and you had to lock yourselves in a bathroom out of fear is a mystery to me.  I get that Mangum was drunk and high, but why would Kim agree to it?  So, they are let back into the house and separated for another 10 minutes.  Which is when Mangum claims she was raped.  So my question is, what happened the second time they were let into the house?  What was the mood like, why did they leave again, why didn't they leave together?  Whatever happened seemed to have set Kim off because she was yelling at whoever helped Mangum to her car.

Edited by RCharter.
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I've seen plenty of prison interviews, and prison documentaries, so generally there is a way to allow someone in to interview even though it is at the discretion of the warden.  .  But there have been prison interviews on death row, in maximum, minimum and medium level security prisons.  Given that its hard to find an interview, or actual account from the Mangum, or even a taped deposition it would have been interesting to hear what motivated her.  Given the rise of prison documentaries and interviews it seems less and less normal to refuse to allow a prisoner to be interviewed

 

North Carolina tends not to allow such interviews after conviction unless they think it will be beneficial to the state.  Not sure why.

 

It was stated that all the lacrosse players gave their DNA and fully cooperated, from what I remember, but how would you know who was there that wasn't a member of the lacrosse team and which of those non-lacrosse partiers left early, or took off before the police came?  And it was stated that the DNA didn't match the lacrosse players, not that the DNA didn't match any male who was present at the party.  Or at least thats not what I remember being said in the documentary.

Considering what employees of these bottom-feeder exotic dancing companies often feel compelled to do, it's not hard to come up with alternate theories as to where the DNA came from.  There were plenty of photos and videos of the party, so identifying who was there was not all that difficult and they apparently did so.  According to the Attorney General's report on the investigation "DNA from one or more men, who were not lacrosse team members or party attendees, was present on rape kit items" 

 

It sounds like the women were pre-paid for their services, which is why the guys were angry and trying to get a refund.  Even if there was a scuffle with Mangum refusing to leave, does it make any sense for someone, in the middle of a party to sweep up popped off nails and not put them in a common trashcan, but to go into their room and throw away the nails?  That doesn't make much sense to me.  You're having a party, the strippers are not in your room, but in a main area of the house, you're trying to throw them out because they didn't perform longer than 5 minutes (so the party wasn't winding down), 3 of her nails pop off in the middle of a scuffle, in the middle of a party and you make sure to pick them up, go into your bedroom (or someone else's bedroom) and throw them in the garbage can in your bedroom?  It just doesn't make much sense.  Its possible, but just not likely to me.  

 

I seem to recall that the nails were found in the bathroom trash, the same bathroom she locked herself into.  So it makes sense to me that if they came off in/near there, they would be in that trash can.  Remember that the dancers were using that bathroom as a dressing room too.

 

PS Kim's story changes pretty dramatically depending on which interview you read.  If you want the most likely timeline of the party, I'd recommend going straight to the AG's report here:  http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/29748585-538e-43be-9de2-113628743d57/SummaryConclusions.aspx

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Considering what employees of these bottom-feeder exotic dancing companies often feel compelled to do, it's not hard to come up with alternate theories as to where the DNA came from.  There were plenty of photos and videos of the party, so identifying who was there was not all that difficult and they apparently did so.  According to the Attorney General's report on the investigation "DNA from one or more men, who were not lacrosse team members or party attendees, was present on rape kit items" 

 

 

I seem to recall that the nails were found in the bathroom trash, the same bathroom she locked herself into.  So it makes sense to me that if they came off in/near there, they would be in that trash can.  Remember that the dancers were using that bathroom as a dressing room too.

 

PS Kim's story changes pretty dramatically depending on which interview you read.  If you want the most likely timeline of the party, I'd recommend going straight to the AG's report here:  http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/29748585-538e-43be-9de2-113628743d57/SummaryConclusions.aspx

 

 

 

 

Considering what employees of these bottom-feeder exotic dancing companies often feel compelled to do, it's not hard to come up with alternate theories as to where the DNA came from.  There were plenty of photos and videos of the party, so identifying who was there was not all that difficult and they apparently did so.  According to the Attorney General's report on the investigation "DNA from one or more men, who were not lacrosse team members or party attendees, was present on rape kit items" 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "bottom-feeder exotic dancing companies"     true dat.  because DAMN!!!   $800 ?

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North Carolina tends not to allow such interviews after conviction unless they think it will be beneficial to the state.  Not sure why.

 

Considering what employees of these bottom-feeder exotic dancing companies often feel compelled to do, it's not hard to come up with alternate theories as to where the DNA came from.  There were plenty of photos and videos of the party, so identifying who was there was not all that difficult and they apparently did so.  According to the Attorney General's report on the investigation "DNA from one or more men, who were not lacrosse team members or party attendees, was present on rape kit items" 

 

 

I seem to recall that the nails were found in the bathroom trash, the same bathroom she locked herself into.  So it makes sense to me that if they came off in/near there, they would be in that trash can.  Remember that the dancers were using that bathroom as a dressing room too.

 

PS Kim's story changes pretty dramatically depending on which interview you read.  If you want the most likely timeline of the party, I'd recommend going straight to the AG's report here:  http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/29748585-538e-43be-9de2-113628743d57/SummaryConclusions.aspx

No, the nails were found in the trashcan in Evans room....and then he was singled out as one of the rapists.  A little too much of a coincidence, especially when the girls are allegedly performing in a main area.

 

And again, the girls are using the bathroom, 3 nails pop off in the middle of a wild frat style party and one of the guy stops to pick up some popped off nails?  And deposit them in the trash can in his room?  Away from the bathroom?  Doesn't make much sense to me.  And three at a time?  Like I said, I've had both types of nails and I could see maybe one popping off spontaneously at a time, but three nails at once?  I'm not a pro, but I've never had three nails come off at once, even when I skipped steps in the application process.  And if these were professional nail tips, than there was a fight for sure, because those things don't come off at all.  And there wasn't a struggle according to the AG's account that would make it likely for the nails to have popped off, or for DNA to be under the nails.  According to the AG account the boys talked to the women through the bathroom door and they decided to exit the bathroom and the house on their own with no struggle.

 

As for the exotic dance company activities, I get that as an escort Mangum could have had sex before the party.  But I also think she would shower, because thats just generally what human women do after sex or when getting ready to go to work.  And I would imagine that you would shower after multiple partners. Not to mention that most men would want to use a condom with an escort if they were paying for sex. And  I would really think someone would insist on condoms in a multiple partner situation.  But if it was more spontaneous, and not a matter of pay for play it makes less sense to use a condom and more sense for there to be DNA inside of her.  

 

So to me the existence of multiple DNA doesn't make much sense.

 

However, the timeline does give another impetus for going back into the house...namely, for Mangum to get back her purse which she had left in the bathroom.   It's also unclear, from what I read as to the time they re-entered the party, only that both left the house sometime before 12:30am.  And why was Mangum just left outside the house?

 

And the timeline establishes that it wasn't only lacrosse students at the party, so when it is said that the DNA doesn't match the lacrosse players, or that the lacrosse players were fully cooperative, it doesn't take into account other people who were at the party.

 

I don't see how the AG could have made an accurate determination of all the facts given that a lot of it is based off the word of those at the party, and if someone is covering for someone else its hard to trust the accuracy of what they are saying.  I really think Kim is the key to figuring out what happened, because she doesn't have a dog in the fight and everyone else does.  I don't....for one nanosecond believe that all of these guys were apologetic when they let the same guy who made the broomstick comments stay at the party, and were heatedly complaining that they had been cheated, and taking money out of Mangum's purse.  Oh, and Kim, just out of the clear blue sky, yelled some racial comment at the guys from the party as they were leaving?  Doesn't make sense.  She seemed like the more level headed of the two, she arrived on time, and only wanted to leave once she felt threatened, she got her money and according to these guys they were so apologetic.....but she yelled at them after Mangum got into the car?  And all these guys that had been apologizing suddenly started yelling racial slurs at her?  I just don't necessarily find that believable.  

 

But, it sounds like the AG mostly relies on the lacrosse players to determine what happened in the house once the women re-entered.  And thats the rub, because the 2 women at the party are outnumbered by the lacrosse players, the AG relies on them to establish what actually happened.  I don't think the AG was biased per se, but I think Kim is the only one that could give an accurate read on what occurred in the house after the women re-entered.  Mangum is unreliable and has a stake, the lacrosse players/party attendees also have a stake in having a particular version of events as the official record.  Kim is the only one who doesn't really have a horse in the race so to speak.

 

Either way, I only read the 60 minutes interview, in reading your post it sounds like you may have done some research into what different versions of Kim's story, do you know where I might find those?  Thanks. 

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This was a very interesting documentary. Like someone else mentioned, I, too, am ashamed that I immediately condemned the lacrosse players in my mind at the time before the investigation or trial was complete. But that's the way the media slanted the story at the time, it was presented as a foregone conclusion.

I don't blame the men at all for not wanting to appear in this, it had to have been an unbelievably frightening and painful time in their lives that they would reasonably not want to relive. Since they were pretty much convicted by the media and the general public before trial, it was extremely lucky for them that their attorney was sharp enough to get to the truth about the DNA evidence. As the one student said, imagine the fate of someone who would not have had the resources available to them that these boys did at the time. It's unbelievable to me that political ambition could drive an asshole like Nifong to screw with people's entire lives like he did.

It's all tragic and certainly did not end well for the accuser who was obviously mentally unstable and wound up in jail years later. I do feel sorry for her, but I also feel sad for the defendants whose lives she ruined. That kind of scandal does not go away. Tragedy all around.

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^^I think the worst part of the entire thing is that because of the shitty investigation done by Nifong, its unlikely that we'll ever know (or I'll ever know) what truly happened.  Bad things can happen to liars and mentally unstable people too, and sometimes its easier to write them off as mentally unstable liars.  If anyone had early realized that Mangum wasn't entirely reliable, and conducted the investigation accordingly I think there would have been a better chance for full understanding.  But now the waters are so muddied that I think its impossible.

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Why wouldn't the prison officials allow Crystal to be interviewed?  Yes, she is a liar, we all know that by now, but can't we judge for ourselves in light of her other stories?  It would have just been interesting to hear her talk about her motivations and if she had been pushed by Nifong at some point.

 

Crystal Mangum wrote a book in 2008.  I just found this out on her Wikipedia entry.  It's called "The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story" and it gives her version of events. It sounds like she just sticks to the story that she was raped by someone on the lacrosse team.

 

For the first half of this documentary, I kept thinking her name was Crystal MAGNUM which sounded like a made-up stripper name, and then I realized it was actually Mangum and was her real name.

 

Like RCharter, I feel like the documentary left some unanswered questions. I, too, feel like even though the lacrosse players didn't actually rape her (and therefore shouldn't have been charged with that crime), there was some shady stuff going on at that party - drunk, entitled rich athletes who were used to getting exactly what they wanted, yelling racial slurs at a stripper they had hired. They obviously weren't treating the women with the slightest bit of respect.  That seemed to be glossed over in the show, with parents and other talking heads dismissing it as a kind of "boys will be boys" thing. I did get sick of the parents who were so convinced their sons were perfect angels.

 

Also, they kept showing that photo of Crystal passed out at the party, with blood on her - if nobody at the party harmed her, what was that about? She just fell down because she was drunk, and someone took a photo because they thought it was funny? Was it explained where that pic came from?

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I just watched the '85 Bears episode, and holy crap, I cried at the guys' reaction to Buddy Ryan's letter.  The footage of Mike Singletary visiting him was already making me emotional, and then they laid that on me.  Good episode.

 

I also finally watched June 17th, 1994, an episode I'd long avoided because anything to do with O.J. Simpson risks upsetting me.  Wow, I had forgotten just how much was going on in the world of sports over the few days between Nicole and Ron's murder and O.J.'s arrest.  It's not a topic I'd have ever thought to make an episode about, but it turned out to be quite interesting.

 

I watched Trojan War, too (I'd seen part of it when it premiered, but just now went back and watched the whole thing).  That really took me back through all the emotions of being a USC football fan.  The frustrating years when the team had gone from being a perennial powerhouse to one that kept losing to UCLA and Notre Dame, the "eh, here we go again" attitude when Carroll was hired, and then the sheer excitement of watching his teams play.  Carson Palmer to Mike Williams, then Matt Leinart to Matt Williams, then Thunder & Lightning.  It was just so very much fun to watch those teams play.  Of course, the episode also made me re-live that national championship loss to Texas.  But it was nice to hear the coaches and players from both teams talk about it the way they did. 

 

Then the final segment, with everyone talking about how they wouldn't trade it for the world, even with how everything blew up with the NCAA sanctions.  The entire episode, the emotions and the players and coaches tracked with me own, so it was a powerful episode for me -- it really took me back.

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As a lifelong Packers fan who moved to Bears Country in 1985, I have no desire to see that episode. I lived it. It was Hell. But, I have gotten my revenge. Many times over since 1992. Thank you, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. 

I still find it disgusting, the deafening silence from the most outspoken witch hunters (yes, you Nancy Grace), who didn't even have the balls to appear on the air the day after the lacrosse players were declared innocent. She had a sub on her show that day. To this day, has she ever admitted she was wrong for the inordinate amount of time she spent going after those kids? 

I think my favorite 30 for 30 is still I Hate Christian Laettner. I'm not a Duke fan, but this was entertaining stuff. Plus, it was fairly humorous. Present Day Laettner comes off fairly well. The idiots who STILL, after all these years, write books and rap song about how much Duke Sucks, looked like the petty dip shits in this. 

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On 5/4/2016 at 10:22 PM, ChicksDigScars said:

As a lifelong Packers fan who moved to Bears Country in 1985, I have no desire to see that episode. I lived it. It was Hell. But, I have gotten my revenge. Many times over since 1992. Thank you, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. 

I still find it disgusting, the deafening silence from the most outspoken witch hunters (yes, you Nancy Grace), who didn't even have the balls to appear on the air the day after the lacrosse players were declared innocent. She had a sub on her show that day. To this day, has she ever admitted she was wrong for the inordinate amount of time she spent going after those kids? 

I think my favorite 30 for 30 is still I Hate Christian Laettner. I'm not a Duke fan, but this was entertaining stuff. Plus, it was fairly humorous. Present Day Laettner comes off fairly well. The idiots who STILL, after all these years, write books and rap song about how much Duke Sucks, looked like the petty dip shits in this. 

I also lived the 85 Bears in Chicago.  It was brilliant ;)  The episode was pretty good, but I always forget how young Walter Payton was when he died, very sad.

It seems we've watched the same episodes.  I'm also disgusted with how those Duke LaCrosse players were crucified in the media and then when found not guilty were ignored.  It's obvious that some people even now still think the boys are guilty which would probably not be the case if they hadn't been convicted so resoundingly by the press before they even had a chance to defend themselves.

And the Christian Laettner one was great!  I honestly had never heard of the guy and am no fan of basketball but something made me watch it. I couldn't turn it off, it was so crazy how much people hated and still hate this guy.  Yeah he was a bit arrogant, but nothing like some of the players today when that kind of posturing is totally acceptable.  I'm glad he has a sense of humor about it.

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"Believeland" (originally broadcast May 14)

About the three Cleveland professional sports teams, and how none of them have won a championship since 1964.

 

I enjoyed this one.  I'm not from Cleveland or have a rooting interest in any of these teams, but the story flowed well.  I liked that they presented a more nuanced view of Art Modell, other than the "Art Modell moved the football team to Baltimore!  Art Modell was a bad man!" story we usually hear.

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Part 1 of O.J.: Made in America was excellent, but some of it was hard watching. One of the people interviewed actually said O.J. was a good advertising pitchman because he had white features. *facepalm*

Anyway, still looking forward to seeing the rest of the documentary.

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I watched most of the Hillsborough episode again last night, but fell asleep shortly before it ended.  Did anyone else watch to see if they added a coda about the recent inquest results?

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On 6/12/2016 at 0:38 PM, Bastet said:

I watched most of the Hillsborough episode again last night, but fell asleep shortly before it ended.  Did anyone else watch to see if they added a coda about the recent inquest results?

@Bastet, they did mention the inquest results on the last screen, it was brief but acknowledged.

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From the "Things That Were Inevitable" file:  ESPN is showing an updated version of "Believeland" on June 30, with a new ending covering the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the 2016 NBA Championship and its aftermath.  Director Andy Billman is filming now and will be going to the parade for footage.

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I had zero knowledge of the Hillsborough event. The span of that cover up was massive. I'm glad the recent inquest results finally gave the families the justice they deserved. 

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Football coach Buddy Ryan, who was the Defensive Coordinator of the 1985 Chicago Bears (and father of coaches Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan), passed away today (June 28, 2016).  R.I.P. Coach Ryan.

From the 30 for 30 episode "The '85 Bears":

Buddy Ryan's letter

Edited by LeighAnne.
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On 6/17/2016 at 6:09 PM, saoirse said:

@Bastet, they did mention the inquest results on the last screen, it was brief but acknowledged.

I didn't see any inquest results, just that an inquest was initiated in 2014.  it's so sad that I barely rever remember this happening, I was in my 20's, not a child.  I'm sure it was brushed off in the news as soccer hooligans and minimally covered so I didn't give it much thought.

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New episode on Thursday July 14, 2016:  Doc & Darryl

It's about Mets players Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, and how their careers were destroyed by drug abuse.  Co-directed by Judd Apatow (Anchorman, The 40-Year Old Virgin) and Michael Bonfiglio.  One of the talking heads in this is Mets fan Jon Stewart.

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Apparently ESPN is going to simulcast President Obama's Town Hall on Thursday that might affect the airing of Doc & Darryl so heads up if you set the DVR, like I have.

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Did anyone see the one with Tonya Harding?  Her anger toward Nancy to this day was shocking and pathetic.

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Nancy Kerrigan always bugged the ever-loving shit out of me, and I loved to watch Tonya Harding skate, so I was disappointed when all that crazy stuff went down. 

I liked that episode and think it presented a fair picture of Tonya -- good and bad.  How awful her mother was to her (yet was the only person she had to rely on, making it no wonder she married an asshole at a young age), how she was treated as the "white trash" of the skating world -- and how, while she has a good handle on some things today, she's still living in denial.  I always rooted for her on the ice, and will always root for her to continue learning to love and make a stable life for herself, but she's not yet being completely honest with herself as far as I can tell. 

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I can't speak for the other poster, but Nancy always bugged the crap out of me too.  She was clearly the darling of the skating world, and I felt we were constantly bombarded with her, and her mother, and were supposed to want to support her over the others simply because of that.  They never missed an opportunity to remind the viewers that her mother was legally blind, etc, and show her watching Nancy on that special TV backstage.  She also got her dresses made by Vera Wang, etc.  Meanwhile, Tonya's situation was never mentioned, and it was horrible.  She and her mother made her dresses (for better or worse).  And I 100% believe Tonya when she says she was told her dresses were ugly and to no wear them again - I took skating lessons when I was younger - it's a nasty and fickle world with a lot of backbiting.

Plus Nancy always came across as a spoiled Prima-Donna to me.  Look no further than her griping about Oksana Baiul (someone else I feel we were supposed to root for "just because of her past"), or the Disney World parade. 

 

I agree that Tonya rushed into marriage because it seemed like a more stable option than her home, and because the skating officials thought it would make her "look better".  And I absolutely believe they talked her into not divorcing him, to protect that image.  I still don't remain 100% convinced that Tonya was in on the whole thing in the beginning, but I do believe she found out about it, and never said anything until she was threatened with charges.  We'll never know, because what happened is so muddied in her mind that we'll never get a clear story.

Watch the documentary Sharp Edges to get an idea of what her life was like when she was coming up through the ranks.  Horrifying.  And you'll understand that she was destined to implode at some point, sadly.  I understood her lifetime ban from competitive skating, but a few years later they added in professional skating, and that I don't agree with, but again, the sport was always about image.

Tonya was the underdog.  I tend to root for the underdog.  And I honestly thought Tonya was the better skater.  Your mileage may vary.

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I always thought Tonya Harding was a much more natural skater than Nancy Kerrigan. Kerrigan always seemed very fake to me and I found her skating flat, stiff and uninspiring. Kerrigan bugged the heck out of me too!

Edited by hypnotoad.
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Quote

What was it about Nancy?

Sorry it took me so long to see the question, but funky-rat's answer can stand as my own.

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New episode on October 18, 2016:  Phi Slama Jama, about the University of Houston's men's basketball team during the Hakeem Olajuwon/Clyde Drexler years.

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I'm surprised no one had anything to say about "This Was The XFL", which aired last week.  I thought it was really good.  My husband is a lifelong WWF fan, but thankfully, he's not as fanatical as he was before.  He also was a big pro football nut (who has since given up the pros in favor of college), so to him, it was the best of both worlds.  I enjoyed the interviews with Rod Smart (a/k/a He Hate Me), and the announcer and camera man, both of their names escape me right now. 

I particularly enjoyed the behind-the-scenes stories that showed just how much of a cluster the XFL was, and confirmed my thoughts on it that when it became more wrestling than football, it lost the audience.

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I do not watch sports (except tennis, skiing, and track and field), but I find most 30 for 30 shows fascinating.  ESPN2 seems to run them continually.  This weekend I watch Nancy/Tonya, and the BC points shaving scandal.  Fascinating to learn about points shaving.  I'm a born and bred Chicago girl but can't watch the Bears episode.  Very emotional.

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On 5/3/2016 at 10:22 PM, ChicksDigScars said:

As a lifelong Packers fan who moved to Bears Country in 1985, I have no desire to see that episode. I lived it. It was Hell. But, I have gotten my revenge. Many times over since 1992. Thank you, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. 

I still find it disgusting, the deafening silence from the most outspoken witch hunters (yes, you Nancy Grace), who didn't even have the balls to appear on the air the day after the lacrosse players were declared innocent. She had a sub on her show that day. To this day, has she ever admitted she was wrong for the inordinate amount of time she spent going after those kids? 

I think my favorite 30 for 30 is still I Hate Christian Laettner. I'm not a Duke fan, but this was entertaining stuff. Plus, it was fairly humorous. Present Day Laettner comes off fairly well. The idiots who STILL, after all these years, write books and rap song about how much Duke Sucks, looked like the petty dip shits in this. 

To be fair to Laettner, he's not as hateable as some Duke players.  He's probably the first Duke player to get the dislike that has become associated with certain Duke players.  I think that Grayson Allen is worse because of his unsportsmanlike conduct and the uncanny resemblance to Ted Cruz, who also has a very slappable face. 

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I caught the episode last night on the life of basketball golden boy Ben Wilson. I never watched it when it was released a few years ago. I missed the first 30 minutes.

The episode brought tears to my eyes. Overall, it was a great documentary. I recall when Ben Wilson died and the articles in the press, magazines, and the news coverage. Very sad to watch the scenes of him in his casket. Hearing R. Kelly was pretty interesting.

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I saw the episode on the US Football League, made in 2009.  Went belly up because Donald Trump was trying to use it to get an NFL franchise when he didn't have the money to afford one.

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I was surprised that the Lakers/Celtics rivalry had four parts. Normally this kind of episode would have been one part, the end. I did find it ironic whenever Mark Wahlberg's voiceover mentioned the racism in Boston. Et tu, Marky Mark?

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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I was surprised that the Lakers/Celtics rivalry had four parts. Normally this kind of episode would have been one part, the end. I did find it ironic whenever Mark Wahlberg's voiceover mentioned the racism in Boston. Et tu, Marky Mark?

Big brother Donnie was the narrator of the Boston segments.

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Whoops! I watched the whole thing a few weeks ago and totally forgot to post about it until this weekend. I must have mixed up which of the Brothers Wahlberg narrated in the weeks since then. In regular life, I know the difference between them (NKOTB vs Good Vibrations)!

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Mike and the Mad Dog 30 for 30 tomorrow.  Definitely a New York thing but as someone who remembers their show so well, I'm really looking forward to it.  If you want insight on sports talk radio, particularly the New York area, I would advise you to watch it.  I still listen to Dog on his XM radio station.

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