ESPN documentary recalls USFL, and man who allegedly killed it
Next up in ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary series is Mike Tollin's "Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?" at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
It's a fond look back at the short-lived league, spiced by the looming presence of a clearly defined villain:
Donald Trump, owner of the late, almost great New Jersey Generals.
Tollin worked for the league (and with Trump) in the old days, adding drama to their uncomfortable sitdown interview for the documentary.
Not surprisingly, The Donald was greatly displeased by how he is portrayed. Here is a summary of the ensuing back-and-forth.
Is the film worth watching, even during the LCS? Absolutely. But Tollin and some of the other USFL veterans, while they are entitled to be sentimental, perhaps overstate the status of a league that many sports fans of the era indeed viewed in the way Trump dismissively described it: "small potatoes."
On a recent promotional conference call Tollin said this of the fond memories of those involved with the USFL:
"Everybody except for one person really looks back at it the same way."
(An amusing moment: ESPN's Bob Ley refers to Trump in a long-ago report as a "low-key guy." Despite that, Ley has gone on to become a respected journalist.)