RORY KARPF didn't have any trouble coming up with the title for the ESPN "30 for 30" documentary he directed that airs on Selection Sunday at 9 p.m.
"I Hate Christian Laettner" is the title of a film about the former Duke player who despite hitting "the shot" went on to become villified by people he never met.
"They wanted to do this one on Christian," said Karpf, who has also done the "Book of Manning" and "Snoop & Son, A Dad's Dream" for ESPN. "Grantland.com voted him the most hated college basketball player of all time. Myself, and other directors, submitted treatments for how we'd do the film. They loved my title, which I got from the T-shirts fans wear that say "I still hate Christian Laettner."
Most of those fans are from Kentucky. It was, after all, in the same game that Laettner hit the winning shot - against the Wildcats in the 1992 East Regional final at the Spectrum - that he "stomped" on a Kentucky's Aminu Timberlake's chest.
Karph said people don't quite remember the incident as it happened, preferring an embellished version to the truth.
"Over the years, people have come to believe that Laettner lept 20 feet into the air and stomped on [Timberlake's] chest. But in doing research, I found that he only stepped on him. But the story has become Paul Bunyan-like."
The film, narrated by Rob Lowe, offers poignant insights from Laettner, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, former point guard Bobby Hurley, and opposing players and coaches.
Karpf, who grew up just outside of Philly and graduated from Plymouth Whitemarh High in 1995, said he is a big Eagles fan.
The dislike that people have for Laettner, he said, is very much like the ingrained hatred Birds fans have for the Cowboys.
As for all the recent moves by the current Eagles, well . . . lets just say Karpf doesn't "hate" Chip Kelly.
"It's not like he blew up a Super Bowl team," Karpf said.