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The Heist 

A Duke zealot recounts the night Michael Jordan's retired North Carolina jersey was seized. This is Errol Morris's second of six shorts for ESPN Films.



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North Carolina basketball fans are well aware of the Jordan no. 23 jersey that hangs from the rafters of the Dean Dome. But there was a time - February 1998, to be exact - when it disappeared. In The Heist, Errol Morris gets a former Duke student to re-create the theft and subsequent discovery of the sacred object. Having cased the joint, the student and three accomplices figured out a way to snatch the jumbo jersey and escalate the traditional war of pranks between the Tar Heel and Blue Devil faithfuls. Their luck ran out, though, a few weeks later, when the jersey was recovered just before they were to reveal it at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium. It's a tale that illustrates the lengths to which college hoops fans will go to stick it to an arch-rival.

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1 March 2015 (USA)  »

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It's Not Crazy, It's Sports
19 March 2015 | by See all my reviews

The Heist (2015)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Director Errol Morris made a string of commercials for ESPN about how far some sport fanatics are willing to go. These commercials were so successful that the company asked him to make a series of short films that take a look at the more comical side of fans.

THE HEIST tells the story of three Duke students who managed to break into the Dean Dome and steal the retired jersey of Michael Jordan and hold possession of it for several weeks. The four men have never been caught but Morris is able to interview one of them (with his face hidden) and find out what exactly happened and how this secret mission was pulled off. Once again, we've got a pretty silly little story here and Morris even talks about how dangerous this mission was and asks the guy about the possibility that the man taking down the jersey could have fallen to his death. Fans of Duke will probably get a real kick out of this. Tar Heels probably not so much.

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