An ESPN Films Iowa “Dream” List

Chris Herren.
Chris Herren's story of drug addiction and abuse was recently profiled by ESPN Films last week.

This past Tuesday, ESPN Films aired another outstanding hour-long documentary, this one about former Fresno State basketball player Chris Herren.  Herren became a prep star in his native Fall River, Massachusetts and went on to Fresno and a short stint in the NBA, all the while battling drug addiction and nearly self-destructing the world around him. 

I have to admit that I was skeptical when the “30 For 30” project was launched in 2009 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of ESPN, but this series had hit a home run for viewers from die-hard loyalists to casual sports fans. 

There are several pieces that has become my favorites:  “The Two Escobars”, “Silly Little Games”, “The U”, “Winning Time”, and “Pony Express” are the ones I can name off the top of my head. 

This week, ESPN Films will profile the Auburn vs. Alabama rivalry.  Could Iowa vs. ISU be next on ESPN Films list?

Thursday night, a lightbulb went off in my head (clichéd, I know).  An idea that sounds like typical sports radio fodder, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to have fun with it. 

“If ESPN Films was to make an hour-long documentary of an Iowa sports story, what story would that be?”

The list of so many topics and stories could fill up a two weeks worth of “Murph and Andy”.   

There are the easy ones we know very well:  Iowa/ISU rivalry, Aplington-Parkersburg Football, prep wrestling, prep football powerhouses, winning streaks, outstanding athletes from Dan Gable to Fred Jackson

How about a couple that may have been forgotten or missed? 

My friends on Twitter has offered their choices: 

Steve Young (@bluejayrock):  Grandview Park Baptist volleyball winning a state title without playing a home game, Nick Ackerman, Jack Trice, and Johnny Bright.

Mark Hanrahan (@markhanrahan20):  the end of the ISU baseball program.  They beat the #1 team, twice.  Can’t script that any better.

John Naughton (@johnnaughton):  Palmer High basketball’s 103-game winning streak and E. Wayne Cooley building the IGHSAU into one of the best high school girls’ athletic associations in America.

Grant Awes (@awesomegrant):  The story of Ames’ ultimate frisbee club team (CLX) making it to regionals, then nationals, then winning Worlds.

Ken Miller (@millerbrinson):  the start of sports radio in Iowa (and how a squirrel nearly ruined the debut) and how Prairie Meadows went from bust to jackpot.

Remember when 6-on-6 girls basketball was a “must-see” throughout Iowa?

Stacy Galema (@simville02):  6-on-6 girls basketball, Lynne Lorenzen, and The “Dream Game” between Denise Long (Union-Whitten) and Jeanette Olson (Everly) in ’68.

Ryan Wendt (@rwendt40):  Ogden High having 2 4-time state wrestling champs (Jason Keenan and Jesse Sundell) under the same coach.

Tyler Coan (@tylercoan):  Reggie Roby, the Moses family (Jerry, J.J., and Milan), Waterloo East’s 56-game football unbeaten streak (’66-’72) and Waterloo West’s 86-match unbeaten wrestling streak (’68-’75) during the time of racial tension in Waterloo during the tumultuous ’60s.

Here are a few others: 

Every team in the Iowa Conference had to go through Ron Schipper and the Central Dutch.

So many stories and some are bound to be left off, which I hate, because each story is unique in its own way.  We can’t go wrong with any story because each of them are worthy to be profiled by ESPN Films. 

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