Twenty years ago today you were glued to your TV watching OJ Simpson lead the LAPD on a low-speed chase in that now-infamous white Bronco. But that wasn't the only thing happening. 30 for 30: June 17, 1994 is the story of that and several unrelated sports developments that serendipitously happened on the same day.
The OJ Simpson part of the equation, and the one most prominently seared into our collective memory. All across the country, significant things were happening in sports. In Oakmont, California, Arnold Palmer was botching the last round of professional golf he would play. In Chicago, the World Cup was just kicking off. In New York, the Rangers were celebrating their first Stanley Cup win in 54 years. Not far from there, the Knicks were in the Garden, trying and failing at nabbing an NBA championship.
Then circle back to California, and the Juice is doing the unthinkable, running from the cops in light of accusations that he murdered his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman. That event alone made history, but it wasn't the only important thing happening in the sports world—and the world at large—that day. Director Brett Morgen says on the doc's significance:
Sports becomes a great window into our own psyche. They're a metaphor for life, and when you have this many emotions wrapped into one day, as we do on June 17, 1994, it's the ultimate metaphor. From the triumph of the New York Rangers' ticker tape parade, to the lowest of lows with O.J. Simpson, to the cycle of life represented by Arnold Palmer playing his final round in a U.S. Open, it's an opportunity to tell the story of this one day, and in doing so, to look at the soul of America.
It was a mix of highs and lows that will grip you. And never let you forget June 17, 1994 (as if you could to begin with). [Netflix]