60 Tension Filled Minutes Without Dialogue? That’s “June 17th, 1994”
I’m about to praise ESPN for the first time on this blog. Trust me…this hurts as I despise ESPN. Last night’s 30 For 30 documentary, “June 17th, 1994”, was an intense, brilliantly edited piece of television that I seriously have trouble believing that I saw it on ESPN. Other than Baseball Tonight and their college basketball coverage, every single second of ESPN programming makes me cringe. Last night, it made me cringe in a good way.
The first thing that struck me about this documentary, which was brilliantly put together by the director of “The Kid Stays In The Picture” Brett Morgan, was the editing. There was no narrator. There was nobody telling us about OJ’s wild ride through Los Angeles on June 17th, 1994. We were only watching news footage, pieced together to create a coherent narrative. Can you imagine the sheer volume of recordings that had to be poured over to create such a thing? Not to mention the fact that it was pieced together in a way that created some serious tension.
Tension can be a hard thing to create when the entire audience knows how that day ended. I mean, we all know that eventually, OJ gave up his suicidal, guilt-admitting ride that night. Looking back, what disgusted me most was watching all the complete and total imbeciles cheer OJ on. Should anyone in their right mind have been on his team at that point? Innocent people don’t take all the steps that OJ did that day, but yet he had cheerleaders holding up signs for him.
It’s really something that you have to see for yourself. If anything, it’s fairly amazing to see all of the events going on in the sporting world that day. Personally, I remember being at a friend’s house, watching the Knicks and Rockets play in the NBA Finals. A friend’s dad called to tell us that OJ had lost his mind and seconds later, Bob Costas was telling us the same damn thing. What a fantastic doc and it’s easily the best thing that ESPN has aired in 2010.