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In a new effort starting Tuesday, ESPN will show 30 original documentary movies over the next year. The series, titled "30 for 30," will include films from high-profile directors such as Barry Levinson, Spike Jonze, John Singleton, Albert Maysles and Peter Berg (creator of the NBC show "Friday Night Lights"). ESPN recruited directors and also received pitches from others. Each film focuses on a notable sports event of the director's choosing from the past 30 years. Topics of the hour-long films start with Wayne Gretzky's 1988 trade to the Los Angeles Kings, one of the biggest hockey trades ever, and include the tumultuous history of the University of Miami football team as well as quirkier subjects like the Baltimore Colts' band leader.
Many of the "30 for 30" films deal with smaller subjects and moments in sports rather than the big-ticket games and big-name stars that are ESPN's bread and butter. One movie focuses on the creators of fantasy football, for example, and one is about the demise of the short-lived United States Football League.