A question posed on ESPN Radio this morning: If you could produce/direct your own 30 for 30 documentary, what subject would you select?
For this board, we're going to say your response has to be a track/field/road/cross/racewalking topic.
It only took me a few moments to come up with mine: the ITA of 1973-76. Plenty of interesting tales to tell, presumably footage of TV coverage is available, and most of the main characters are still around for interview.
Other ideas: Dan v Dave Us vs Soviet Union dual meets in the 60s The career of Renaldo Nehemiah (wr, boycott, wr, football career and return) The remarkable and short career of Uwe Hohn and/or Valery Brumel
Delano Merriwether Houston McTear Carl Lewis San Jose State Speed Demons Dave Wottle Jim Ryun (Duh!) Gabe Jennings!! Alan Webb Gerry Lindgren Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers Skeets! Edwin Moses Fosbury Pennel and Seagren Beamon! Matson and Oldfield Oerter Breaux Effin Greer!
Probably not what he meant but 1966 was the year they introduced sex tests in international championships at the euros. And coincidently it was also the year several big names were absent from those euros, among them the Press "sisters" and Iolanda Balas.
Best topic that has never been treated for a doc, or even serious hardcover trade book, is that of the Tigerbelles. Four women from one school on the U.S. Oly 4 x 100 team (are you kidding me). Temple, the legacy, the unconventional recruiting finds, the Nashville sit-ins backdrop. (but don't tell anyone).
Ulis Williams (STILL my A-T fave 440/400 guy!) Gerry Lindgren (But specifically about WHO he faced in 1964-65 --Roelants, Clarke, Schul, Kidd, the Russians, Mills.) Mary Cain (Her SIX HSR's in one short indoor season!) How the Kenyans developed into the Kings of Distance (NOT about training methods or diet, but the HISTORY, with names, times, years, US schools they attended, etc etc.) Father-son and Mother-daughter athletes (the Centrowitz's, Cheryl Bridges (Treworgy) and Shalane Flanagan), also twins and siblings (Hannah and Haley Meier, Michael and Michelle Carter et al) Daniel Komen's 7:58 two mile (He ran what Bannister did--TWICE without stopping!)
And add my support of the ITA as a GREAT subject!! (Lindgren ran with them!!)
ADD: Close...and controversial finishes: Tarmoh/Felix, Frazier/Finn (the indoor 5K), and.....? Dual meets: Especially crosstown/state rivalries (USC/UCLA, WSU/UW, TX/A&M, UO/OSU, etc etc.) How women have been treated in T&F (Especially in "modern" times, say, from 1972--Title IX-- on....regarding sexism, favoritism, events they compete in (and when they were introduced, i.e, the PV, HT, Mar, 5K, 10K, TJ, SC, etc.)
the Black Power salute of Carlos/Smith in '68 Is a woman a woman?? (the Korean 800 runner--name??, Semenya, sex-testing at the OG, et al) Suzy Favor Hamilton's "other life". the Decker/Budd fiasco of '84 Rosie Ruiz "wins" Boston (HAHA!!) the runner who entered the stadium before Shorter the Israeli's massacred in Munich
most of the already mentioned would be Greenspan knock-offs or repeats. Ma's Army is a definite.
What if I told you ...?
-"that you too can be a sprinter?" -Bud Winter -"that the best American miler was never the best American miler" -Steve Scott -"Fast is all in your head" -Asafa Powell -"Mary Mary quite contrary" -Mary Decker's rise and fall...and fall -"Redemption...twice" - Felix Sanchez -"I need a hand" -US fumbles in relays to 2012 4x1 WR -"White Flight" -the continued abdication of running by white athletes -"On your marks, ... [url=Daily News]http://www.opposingviews.com/i/sports/other-sports/suzy-favor-hamilton-new-york-post-cover-your-mark-get-set-ho[/url] -Suzy Favor Hamilton -"Keshorn" - Keshorn Walcott -"Emperor Liu" -Liu Xiang
Jim Ryun - HS phenom; sport's rock star for a period of time; Mile WRs; 1968 Olympic 1500m silver medalist; Dream Mile 1971 with Marty Liquori; 1972 Munich fall; later Congressman; 7 Sports Illustrated covers; ESPN.com selected Ryun as the best high school athlete ever over LeBron James and Tiger Woods.
Lots of great topics here... I'd combine Brumel and Yaschencko into one episode: the last two great straddlers whose careers were cut short and the agonizing aftermath for both men. Then another duo: the relationship between Ter-O and Ralph Boston that transcended the cold War. Then Santee vs. the AAU. And certainly Lou Zamperini (unsubstanstiated web articles claim Angelina Jolie is signed on to direct a big screen film version of Unbroken).