At 11 a.m. mountain time Sunday, I hope everybody has ESPN turned on. If you do, you’ll see a full E60 documentary called “Unrivaled – Red Wings v. Avalanche.”
It’s a deep-dive look at the famous rivalry, which I wrote a book about in 2006 (of course I’m going to get a cheap book plug in here, what, are you nuts?). I had the pleasure of being part of this film, so you’ll see my talking head a few times on it.
But I think you’ll be more interested in what the other people who sat down for interviews for this have to say. They include: Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Mike Ricci, Peter Forsberg, Steve Yzerman, Darren McCarty, Kris Draper, Vladimir Konstantinov, Scotty Bowman, Marc Crawford, Brendan Shanahan, Mike Vernon and Adam Foote. Some other people – such as former Avalanche trainer Pat Karns and former Red Wings trainer John Wharton – are also part of it, and a couple others.
I’ve seen the extended version, which will be permanently on-demand on ESPN+ and it’s very, very good. The “TV” version will be a bit shorter, but it’s on from 11-1.
How lucky was I to get to be able to cover that Avalanche vs. Red Wings rivalry? Seriously lucky. I’ll forever remain grateful for that opportunity. I’ve said this before, but: I went from living alone in my parents’ basement at age 25 in New Hampshire, having just been laid off from my $6 an hour job at the Concord Monitor, with no car and no love life to speak of, to flying on the Avalanche team charter four years later with Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic and the rest, writing all the stories of the team.
I’m in a bad way right now. Lots of physical health problems – and a couple of mental health ones too – but I’m still here. Watching this show will be good for the mental health, knowing I was a part of all this somehow.
If you miss Sunday’s debut, you won’t be out of luck. An extended version of Unrivaled with exclusive content will be available for on-demand streaming on ESPN+. The TV version will re-air in prime time on Monday, June 27, at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 and at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 30 on ESPN. It will re-air on Sunday, June 26, at 2 p.m. on ESPN2