The 30 for 30 on Deon Sanders came out recently, which had many people excited. While I cannot wait to watch this documentary and learn more about the greatness of Prime time, I have always had a desire for more Pittsburgh related 30 for 30 content.
Pittsburgh is an incredible sports town with a lot of history and very unique stories. It’s pretty wild that there hasn’t been one 30 for 30 involving Pittsburgh in a major way already.
With that being said, here are a few 30 for 30 ideas for them to make on the best sports city in the world.
1. Slash: The original modern day QB
I think a film on Kordell Stewart is way overdue. During the late 90s through the early 2000s the Steelers became known for drafting mobile college QBs and turning them into stars. This started with Stewart. After having a stud career at Colorado, he came into the NFL and was used as an offensive weapon. He ran, he threw, caught passes and even returned kicks. That shit was unheard of in the 1990s. Simply put, the dude was a stud.
He then went on to be a decent starting QB for a few seasons. I want to know more. About the early days as slash, about his transition to becoming a starter, about how he lost his job to Tommy Maddox and then his life after football.
2. The Man who Saved the Penguins
I know ESPN does not do a lot of hockey content but this might have to be an exception. It is hard to think of one player that has done more for a single franchise than Mario Lemieux has done for the Penguins. Sure Brady built a dynasty in New England and LeBron won Cleveland a title but no one’s resume can match what Mario did for the Penguins both on the ice and in the front office. Before he arrived, the Pens were an absolute joke. He turned them into a top tier organization, winning them back to back Stanley Cups. And that was just on the ice… As an owner, Mario bailed the Penguins out of a horrible situation, made sure they didn’t relocate by building a new stadium and helped construct and develop a core of talent that delivered the city another three championships. Add in the obstacles that he had to overcome such as a horrible back injury and cancer, along with all of the charity work he has done and you have yourself one pretty incredible story. There have already been 30 for 30’s on Wayne Gretzky and the Miracle on Ice. I think Mario’s story is worthy of that company.
3. The Beginning of Barry
Love him or hate him, it is time that we stop ignoring the fact that Barry Bonds was really good at baseball. He is a big part of the history of the game and his story needs to be told, regardless of how good or bad it makes him or the league look. If that is the case, why not start at the beginning? There are a lot of people who either forgot or never knew that Barry Bonds started his MLB career as a Pittsburgh Pirate. Not only did he get his start in Pittsburgh, Bonds was an absolute baller, winning multiple MVP’s and leading the Buccos to three division titles from 1990-1992. I think an entire story on Bonds before he went to the Bay would be interesting. I want to know about how dominant he was in the minors, how he burst onto the scene in the late 1980s, how he big of an asshole he was to the fans and media and last of all, I want to hear more about his relationship with Jim Leyland and the rest of the 90’s Pirates.
Other things such as the Pirates 20 year losing streak or Western Pennsylvania’s rich history of producing star quarterbacks could make for interesting episodes as well. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to let me know on twitter!