For die-hard sports fans, the offseason of their favorite sport may be a terrifying time. They have so many options for getting their dose. But not anymore. Ladies and gentlemen, get your bean dip ready and put on your cheese heads. We have some flicks to watch. We have curated a list of the best sports documentaries only for you.
People typically assume that they already know the stories. But a film can take a step back and provide explanations for why and how things happened. All sports enthusiasts would enthusiastically concur. There are a select few sports documentaries that, like any movie genre, dominate the competition. Some of the pieces in this collection, which span everything from international cycling to football, have even won the Oscar for best documentary.
Orient: Club for a Fiver
This is football’s version of the picture of people fighting on the streets of Manchester. This unintentionally resembles a masterpiece from the Renaissance. Leyton Orient manager John Sitton’s outbursts made their way into football jargon. This hour-long Channel 4 documentary almost instantly became a meme in and of itself. The fly-on-the-wall cameras document Sitton’s valiant struggle to maintain Orient in the Second Division during the 1993–1994 season. As well as his mental breakdown leading up to failure: yelling, growling, offering to fight his team, and removing defenders before halftime.
On first viewing, it’s entertaining, but if you realize that this was a turning point in Sitton’s life, it takes on a deeper, sadder meaning. He was unable to find work in football after the release of Club for a Fiver and spent the next 16 years operating black cabs in London.
Nobody else but Arnold Schwarzenegger is credited with popularising bodybuilding. Thanks to the star’s pranks with his other rivals, this inquisitive look into the world of bodybuilding and what it takes to be a successful athlete is both motivational and entertaining.
Although the behind-the-scenes film is interesting for bodybuilding enthusiasts, it also gave the broader audience their first glimpse of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a charming comedian. It’s improbable that the future Terminator would have become so well-known in Hollywood without the popularity of this film.
Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns
Audiences anticipate that when Ken Burns focuses on a subject, he will produce incredibly in-depth works of art. An 11-part series on baseball that is presently available to watch on Amazon Prime on the PBS website starts when the sport was first invented in the United States and follows its development to become the national pastime of the country. The movie does a fantastic job of navigating the complicated, racist past of the sport while also telling a moving tale about the power of athletics to unite a nation through trying times.
This documentary on baseball legend Reggie Jackson, who fought for his respect, dignity, and a place at the table as a Black athlete in the 1970s, was made available on Prime Video. Jackson’s hardships and troubles led to a documentary that portrays a gloomy backstory in which Jackson was denied the benefits of stardom accorded to his white contemporaries.
Jackson’s interactions with the media were frequently in the spotlight. This is because of his admission of acting quite aggressively while being interviewed. Reggie’s issue stems less from the movie’s plot than from the omission of his instructors and the original players who played a significant role in his career.
This Disney+ documentary chronicles the heroic journey of Alex Honnold, the first person to successfully free solo climb the 3200-foot-tall granite monolith El Capitan. The accomplishment of climbing a vertical hill without the use of safety ropes was regarded as the greatest athletic feat of any type.
Honnold’s fortunate chance involved a difficult journey while he faced the very real possibility of dying. Honnold is featured in close-ups in drone footage taken during his athletic success, depicting the terrifying moments of almost failing. Although the portrayal of Honnold and his girlfriend Sanni McCandless in Free Solo is sweet. It is terrible to watch others close to him watch the climb knowing the stakes are so high. This is because free solo climbing is a terrifying reality.
Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker
The Apple TV+ documentary tells the tale of German tennis player Boris Becker, who earned a name for himself in the sport as a teenager by capturing the Wimbledon title at the age of 17. Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker focuses on numerous facets of Becker’s life. This includes his sensational mixed-race marriage, his concealment of assets during the bankruptcy declaration in court, and his eventual facing of a two-year prison sentence.
When filmmaker Alex Gibney appears in the documentary as a voiceover, it gets more interesting. An overly dramatic narrative was avoided, giving the 20th-century tennis icon a measure of authenticity.
Fire in Babylon
The absolute dominance of the West Indian cricket team in the 1970s and 1980s is one of the few sporting accomplishments to rival it. West Indian team swept everything aside with their laser-like focus, brutality, and amazing talent. They were not only talented but also charming. They destroyed every squad in front of them in a way that was both cruel and poetic.
The West Indies had a reputation for being a loose-lipped, happy, but essentially underachieving team before Clive Lloyd took over as captain in 1974. The fierce Australian speed bowlers Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thompson served as inspiration for Lloyd as he sought out and developed his quicks. Throughout the world, batsmen were afraid of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, and Colin Croft.
But that only tells a portion of the tale. Cricket is always at its most persuasive when it acknowledges that it was introduced to the world by English colonizers, who afterward discovered that the rest of the world had unsportingly improved significantly. The anger over a rebel tour to South Africa during the apartheid era and the infamous promise by the South African-born England captain Tony Greig to make the West Indian team “grovel” is at the core of this story. It reaches a crescendo with the 5-0 “blackwash” series win in England in 1984.
Despite the numerous accusations that were filed against him, USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nasser sexually abused young female athletes. He abused them for almost twenty years without receiving any consequence. More than 260 young girls and women have accused Nasser of sexual assault since his conviction in 2016. Netflix’s Athlete A explores the harrowing tale of how a network of institutionalized protection allowed Nasser to carry out his crimes. 54 coaches had also faced allegations over ten years.
The film’s directors, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk follow reporters from the Indianapolis Star newspaper. They speak with survivors and exposers about their experiences exposing the cover-up by the organization. They also cover the risks that present inside the American gymnastics system.
So, these are some of the best sports documentaries of all time.
Do let us know which one you like the most.