Steve Bartman. For normal human beings, his name means nothing. But for baseball fans, and specifically Chicago Cubs followers, the man is the most recent example of the team's Championship curse. Bartman is notorious for catching a foul ball that might have prevented the Cubs from making the final out and advancing to the World Series back in 2003. This single act turned an entire city of loyal fans against this one man.
Six years later, ESPN is asking Oscar-Award winning filmmaker Alex Gibney to cover the event in an hour long documentary. It sounds very cut and dry until you hear the question Gibney poses for his film to answer: "Can Bartman ever forgive Chicago?" Gibney is a generally well loved filmmaker with an eye for the visual and with his name attached, this is instantly on the must see list.
The film, titled Steve Bartman, airs in early October and kicks off ESPN's 30 for 30 series covering(you guessed it) 30 sports documentaries. Besides Gibney, the series will feature some big name directors- Ron Shelton (White Men Can't Jump), Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) Barry Levinson (the Natural) Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA), Steve James (Hoop Dreams)- and even a few celebrity first-timers.
The the entire list of films hasn't been announced yet, but head on over to ESPN to read all the details and even catch a preview or two. With the powerhouse of names supporting this endeavour, expect some great things on ESPN through the fall and winter months.