ESPN Films 'There's No Place Like Home': Documentary Highlights Ridiculous Cause

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIOctober 16, 2012

image from ESPN
image from ESPN

If you're interested in watching a guy waste his time, effort, talent and platform of influence on a childish and trivial cause, then There's No Place Like Home is for you.

I absolutely love the ESPN 30 for 30 series, and I'm interested in most of the stories the series tells, but this one is a stretch for a sports fanatic like me. In a nutshell, this is the story of Josh Swade, a diehard Kansas Jayhawks fan.

Swade learned that James Naismith's original rules for basketball were to be auctioned off, and thus the physical location of the document would be displaced from its place of origin in Kansas. (Naismith is the creator of the game that most of us love, and he originally brought the rules and the game to the University of Kansas.)

Swade learned that the auction price for the document could rise into the monetary stratosphere, and thus knew he could not win the auction with his own assets. The ambitious—and in my opinion, maniacal—young man enlisted the help of some heavy-hitters to assist him in raising the money.

Here's a trailer:


Pardon me if I can't get emotionally connected to this cause. This is just another example of a fan that doesn't have sports in the proper perspective. I question the airing of this documentary during the month of October when many entertainment outlets are driving support to find a cure for breast cancer.

I can't help but ponder this thought: If I had the relationships, influence and selling ability to raise that much money, would I use those resources to retrieve a piece of paper? Wouldn't there be more redeeming value to raise money for something that actually helps people?

There seems to be no other driving force behind Swade's pursuit of the rules. In an interview with, Swade told Rustin Dodd:

My motivation was strictly, in the beginning, to try and figure out a way to get those rules back to Lawrence, Kan. The film aspect of it was really a second thing for me. And quite frankly, is not something I really ever cared about—to be 100 percent honest with you.

What type of world do you live in where dedicating yourself to the retrieval of a document about basketball can become that important?

I must admit: I'm jealous. I wish my life were that carefree. 

What we do with our own money is our business, but when you're holding impromptu fundraisers, then you're opening yourself to have your cause examined. Even if Swade and associates donated a percentage of the money they raised to a charity, it only dulls the sharp ridiculousness of the act.

Anything for fame and or insanity, I guess?

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