’30 for 30′ Returns Tonight, Looks At Broke Athletes (VIDEO)

ESPN’s fantastic 30 for 30 series of sports documentaries makes its return to the airwaves tonight. The debut episode of the series’ second run is called “Broke” and it features an examination of why so many athletes manage to piss away millions of dollars and wind up–you guessed it–broke.

It’s directed by Billy Corben, who contributed “The U” to the initial run of 30 for 30, and it features a number of big-name athletes who lost their fortunes, including Curt Chilling (whose wannabe video games empire recently collapsed), Andre Rison and Bernie Kosar.

Here’s the trailer for “Broke”:

Next week, 30 for 30 will debut “9.79*”, the story of sprinter Ben Johnson’s world-record run and subsequent positive steroids test at the 1988 Olympics. Here’s the trailer. Looks awesome.

Though the name 30 for 30 no longer makes any sense (originally, it was conceived of as a series of 30 docs to celebrate ESPN’s 30th anniversary), ESPN decided to bring the name back. After the initial 30 docs had finished airing, the network continued producing similar docs under the name ESPN Films Presents. This was a failure, as the new name meant that previously-set DVRs didn’t record these new episodes and viewers were confused by the branding.

In its first run, 30 for 30 included in-depth looks at topics like NFL star Ricky Williams’ atypical (to say the least) career, the Wayne Gretzky trade that rocked the entire nation of Canada and the 2004 Red Sox’s improbable comeback in the American League Championship Series.

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