ESPN is rolling out its "30 For 30" documentary series. The premise: 30 great stories in documentary form for the 30 years ESPN has been around. It is not a countdown, there is not one story for each year, it is 30 interesting stories that you may remember from the past but have slipped through the cracks.
30 for 30 got me thinking. Here is my wish list of things I would like to see, read or watch:
Enough time has gone by to remake the classic movie "Raging Bull." This time, instead of Jake LaMotta, the movie should be about the life of Roberto Duran. It should be in black & white, and all of Duran's dialogue should be in Spanish. Duran turned pro at 15, and fought until he was 50. His life is filled with tremendous highs and devastating lows, and he is both beloved and hated. I would buy the first ticket to see this movie.
Remember the game show "Name That Tune?" I want to see an updated version "Name That Sample". Contestants would listen to contemporary songs and try to guess the original songs that are being "sampled" in the modern song.
I would watch a documentary on the WWF Wrestling Managers of the 1970's: The Grand Wizard, Bobby the Brain, Captain Lou and my main main, the Hollywood Fashion Plate, Freddie Blassie.
I want The Strand Bookstore to open a store in Park Slope. It makes sense: Zip code 11215 has more writers than anywhere else in America.
I want Pete Hamill to go back to daily journalism: two columns a week, it could be in a newspaper or on the net.
I want Howard Stern to stay at Sirius. The show is funnier than ever.
Here is my wish list for the Celebrate Brooklyn 2010 Concert Series: George Thurogood, Levon Helm & Ashford & Simpson. Each should be within the reach of those who put together the schedule. (Note: A Bulgarian Folk Singer who covers "Bad to the Bone" will not suffice.)
This weekend, when I go for my break of dawn walk, I want to see rabbits in Prospect Park.
Someone should do a documentary on two men who I thought were indestructible and whose passing still boggles the mind: Wilt Chamberlain & Walter Payton.
Mark Kriegel has written two top notch biographies: the first was on Joe Namath, the second was on Pistol Pete Maravich. If he wrote one about Julius Erving, I would not object.
Since basketball has sucked in this town for so long, can't we get a talented filmmaker to do a documentary on the greatest of rivals who teamed up to form the greatest back-court EVER: Frazier & Monroe?
I want at least one excellent book on the Koch years (1977-1989).
There should be a book or documentary on the the last two weeks of the 1990 NFL season. NFC Championship: Giants vs. 49ers; Super Bowl: Giants vs. Bills. So many god-damn story-lines: the 49ers going for the three-peat; the assassination of Joe Montana by Leonard Marshall (my favorite play EVER); the backup QB (Hoss) taking the team to the title; Jim Burt going after Hoss's knees; Eric Howard forcing the Roger Craig fumble into the hands of LT; the Super Bowl: smash mouth football v. run and shoot, the longest drive, Mark Ingram's Houdini act on 3rd & 13, Otis Anderson's windup-straight arm, wide right!
Robert Caro: get to steppin on the final volume on LBJ.
Where is the documentary on Earnie Shavers, Mike Weaver, Ron Lyle, & Jimmy Young, excellent heavyweights who had the misfortune of coming along in the golden era of heavyweights: the 70's?
I want the Atlantic Yards Project to go through and the Nets to play in Brooklyn, but if I opposed it, I would like to see Living Colour sing "Open Letter to a Landlord" in downtown Brooklyn.
There are two documentaries already made that I can't wait to see: the first, on the great John Cazale; the second, on the incomparable Richard Manuel.
There are two boxing books on my bookshelf that I will soon devour: Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns & Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing by George King and The Last Great Fight by Joe Layden (Tyson vs. Douglas).
I would watch something well done on the great fight everyone forgets: Larry Holmes vs. Ken Norton.
How about something about Rod Carew?
I want Pat Buchanan to write his memoir on working for Nixon & Reagan.
I want the Town Hall Protester to be named Time Magazine's "Man of the Year".
I want Bob Grant to be recognized as the founding father of political talk radio.
Finally, something will happen in the next few days, as it always happens this time of year: some baseball team will go up 2-0 in the playoffs, and the announcers will inform us that something like 90% of teams that go up 2-0 win the Series, and that 99.9999999999999% teams that go up 3-0 in ANY SPORT win the series, with the lone exception, the biggest choke team of all time, the 2004 Yankees. Yankee fans who just shrug off the biggest choke IN SPORTS HISTORY are like Polanski supporters: they both don't realize how dumb they sound defending the indefensible.