Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BC-themed 30 for 30 suggestions for ESPN

ESPN debuts another 30 for 30 tonight with the "Ghosts of Ole Miss" and yet again the series presents a film with a college theme. Mining college sports makes sense since the professional leagues have their own in-house producers focusing on lesser known stories and are experts at crafting a history and mythology for their sports. Because so many college stories are left untold, in my opinion some of the best films in the series have been college focused like "The U" and "Pony Excess." Former BC basketball star Chris Herren was featured in an ESPN Film and BC grad Joe Tessitore produced ESPN Film's "Roll Tide War Eagle" but neither is technically a "30 for 30" film. There are many BC stories that could carry a film. Here are few of my suggestions.

"The miracle before the 'Miracle'"
Flutie's story is well known, but there is much more to it than one Hail Mary. I think a more interesting film might be how he and Jack Bicknell really helped change college football with BC's passing offense. In the early '80s, BC and BYU were shattering records with their prolific passing schemes. The concepts and aggressiveness were way ahead of their time and still influence college and pro football today. How they arrived at the offense, why Flutie succeeded within the system and why it took two more decades to become mainstream would make for a great movie.

"Coughlin in charge"
As Tom Coughlin keeps winning Super Bowls his legend and legacy grow. NFL Films recently produced a special on him, but I still think his time at BC could carry its own feature. What did he face when he arrived? What did his college players think of him then and now? How he has changed? Did he ever consider staying at BC forever? Are all questions that could carry a narrative.

"Goodfellas go to college"
I was a student during the '90s gambling scandal. There wasn't much to it. However, the basketball point shaving scandal could make a great movie. I doubt BC would be very cooperative. And with Henry Hill dead, one of the most intriguing characters is not available to give his side. The other challenge to the film would be player cooperation. All the accused and alleged players have remained relatively silent about what happened. I don't know if ESPN's cameras would be enough to finally get them to talk in more detail.

"The upset that saved BC"
In 1942 undefeated BC lost its final regular season game to Holy Cross at Fenway Park. The loss caused the team and BC fans to cancel their postgame celebration at Coconut Grove night club. That night the club caught on fire killing nearly 500 people. It is assumed that if BC had won and gone on to celebrate, many of the team would have died in the blaze. This is probably a little to dated to draw ESPN's interest, but it could make for a good documentary.

Filmmakers could build full features around Peter Frates, Jay McGillis, Jerry York or Welles Crowther, but I don't think ESPN would see enough marketing dollars to support a "30 for 30" for any of them.  The BU-BC Hockey rivalry has already been a subject of a sports film by another company. I would love to see a film about the rise of the Big East and about the conference shuffles of the 2000s, but ESPN is too involved in those stories to allow someone to make an honest film out of them. If you could give someone a blank check and a camera, what BC story would you want ESPN to tell?


Knucklehead said...

Mid 80's BC football would be EPIC: Romanowski, Troy Strattford, Kelvin Martin, Steve Trapilo, Mike Ruth, Steve Deossie and Phalen. A where are they now/their memories of those years film.

A Flutie family thme would be interesting: Doug, Darren, Dougs wife/son/daughter, Billy Flutie and the newest Fluite kid who plays at Natick High now would cover past, present and future of the Flutie dynasty.

The Raji Brothers would be interesting.

Hoops connection to California: Craig Smith, Dudley and the current guys.

Don Bosco's relationship w BC football(which has wained since Spaz took over).

Tim said...

"From Baldwin to Baldwin, Jr.: What Happened?"

JBQ said...

The story on Coconut Grove in 1942 continues to be very interesting. Just think how devastating it would have been to have an entire program wiped out in a fire. Nevertheless, it appears that Spaziani is having the same effect. For someone who did such great things as a d.c., it is embarrassing for the university to keep him in charge of the program. Someone needs to "put out the fire" as soon as viably possible. From someone who visited the campus and athletic department in March of 2010, I saw problems first hand.

John Riordan said...

Coconut Grove Fire 1942

My dad BC42 and my uncle BC41 both wrote for the BC student paper. I've heard the story many times of how I would not have been born if BC beat HC. They were so disappointed about the loss they did not go out, as with most fans and students. I am sure the numbers that died would have been in the thousands. This is the ONLY time it was a good loss for the program, and to Holy Cross.

Big Jack Krack said...

John - I grew up with that story as well.

I don't think anyone felt that HC could beat highly ranked BC - nevermind destroy them 55 to 12.

Could an unranked and lightly-regarded team beat a Top 5 team today?


Big Jack Krack said...

Of course the Coconut Grove fire was and is one of the worst tragedies of all-time.

I certainly didn't mean to downplay the actual catastrophe by simply talking about football.

Right there in downtown Boston.

Big Jack Krack said...

Sorry to digress a little......

When I was at BC, tailgating was not the big focus in my recollection. We set our sights on the Victory Dances at the downtown hotels like the Parker House (I think we were eventually banned from the P.H. Roof) and the Bradford.

Those were the days. :-)

Sneak some beer or whatever into the game; a little tailgating afterwards; out for Chinese food or dinner at someone's apartment - and then head downtown for a night of dancing to some great local bands with your date and friends.

Everyone dressed up for the games to be ready for dinner and dancing afterwards.

Big Jack Krack said...

One final note.

Knuckle - let's take this opportunity to say a prayer for Steve Trapilo's family.

We of course remember him after the Hail Mary pass when Flutie leapt into the waiting arms of No. 65. He was a great credit to BC High, BC and the New Orleans Saints - but more importantly to his family and community.

Another tragedy as Steve's life was cut short by a heart attack at age 39 while on vacation with his family in NH.

RIP Steve Trapilo.

Goberry said...

"The Knuckle Kick: 30 for 30". How Notre Dame's last second loss after defeating #1 FSU led to more than a decade of irrelevance for the Irish amid a changing college football landscape.

Just a thought.

Knucklehead said...

He gave 100K to BC High to renovate the weight room. It was needed . . . class act.

Side note . . . I like the Doug Fluite Statue in from of Alumni Stadium but it would have been better if it was Doug being held by Trapilo . . . that is the iconic shot of the Hail Mary. Even if they left Trapilos name/number off the statue. It be "better" than the current statue.

Wonder who made the decision to make the current statue? Blame it on Gene.

BCBLA said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Knucklehead said...

Did not read the story but what I remember was that a DUDE on the golf team got into 10K w the wrong guy and his Dad bailed him out, then the whole thing unravelled.


Bet that guy is playing on the Austo-Asian golf tour somewhere - - Happy Gilmour.

mod34b said...

Why would anyone want another story about BC Sports and gambling? Such events are already distorted beyond recognition by lame sports "journalists" such as that well known BC hater Bill "I was rejected from BC and hate my mom who went to BC" Simmons. Note that no NCAA sanction ever arose from the so-called BC gambling scandals

By the way look at the "journalists" ESPN has turned to to offer his unique (read biased) point if view:

What is 30 for 30?

ESPN Films has announced the return this fall of the Emmy-nominated documentary series 30 for 30, and is also expanding the brand to include a 30-part digital short film series. 30 for 30 Shorts will be a collaboration with Bill Simmons' Grantland.com and will be similar to the feature-length films in that each piece will represent a specific point of view of the filmmaker and will be a reflection of how they blend the narrative with their own visual style.

Anyone want to give that dick another shot at lying about BC to a national audience? I don't.

mod34b said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
eagleboston said...


I graduated from high school in '85. Why is it that the Simmons picture looks so ancient and dated? I don't remember looking that hideous in '85. And that living room looks to be from the mid 60's.

Then again, when I see Flutie videos from that same year, it really looks dated. Loved the 80's though. It was a fun, innocent decade. Great era to be in high school and college.

mod34b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leather D said...

Doug Goodwin's career, the tragic hip injury, and the juxtaposition with his father's 9/11 heart transplant.

Veteranscribe said...

ESPN should try to dig up the footage of the first use of instant replay, a long TD run by Flutie's precursor Jack Concannon against Syracuse.
I heard the story some years ago that ABC - or whatever network it was at the time - had had this newfangled replay gadget available at a Texas-Oklahoma broadcast the week before, but nothing that was worth a second look happened. They brought it to the BC-Syracuse game, and Concannon obliged by taking off on one of his patented scrambles for a score.
Could be that some of these details are inaccurate, but the basic story is true. If anybody can unearth that historic black-and-white film, it's ESPN.