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Next Documentary in ESPN Films 30 for 30 Series, “Believeland,” Premieres May 14


ESPN Films’ award-winning 30 for 30 series will continue on Saturday, May 14, with “Believeland” at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The documentary will chronicle the struggles of Cleveland’s major sports franchises over the past 50 years and the impact it has all had on the psyche of a typical Cleveland sports fan.

There’s a special place on the southern shore of Lake Erie, at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Known as Cleveland, it is the site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the home of the Indians, the Browns and the Cavaliers. But it’s also the home of an agonizing losing streak. Of all American cities that have at least three major sports franchises, Cleveland is the only one that has failed to win a championship in the last half-century. Those sports teams, and the hearts they’ve broken over and over again, have inspired a different name for the city, and the title for this 30 for 30 film: “Believeland.”

Directed by Ohio native Andy Billman, this evocative documentary will take you on a trip that goes back more than 50 years and captures the seminal ups and downs of the once-thriving metropolis. Despite the economic and athletic misfortunes, and the t-shirt that reads “God Hates Cleveland,” the people still believe and worship Jim Thome and Jim Brown, LeBron James and other Cleveland sports heroes. But they also can’t forget Edgar Renteria and John Elway and Michael Jordan, the men who extinguished their dreams of a long-awaited championship. Painful as it may be at times, “Believeland” is a celebration of faith, a testament to how much sports mean to Cleveland…and how much Cleveland means to sports.

“This film is a testament to the unique power of sports to create communal bonds, regardless of the final score,” says director Billman. “Having cheered for Cleveland teams my whole life, I understand what it is like to be a fan whose love and loyalty have endured despite half a century of heartache and I hope that everyone who sees “Believeland” will come away feeling some of that hard-earned love.”