• Ben Osborn

Sports doco's.

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

I've shortened the word documentaries to doco's as it sounds cooler. Also, if you say it with a scouse accent it adds even more effect to the word - I think this may be something I've nicked off Bob Mortimer. Anyway, love a good doco me, it can be about owt. I watched one on fast food the other day and even that was alright. Here's a list of top quality sports doco's you should get into, even if you think it won't interest you:


The Last Dance - A coronavirus lockdown saving grace. A 10 part series, aired on Netflix about Michael Jordan - arguably the greatest sportsman of all time - and the Chicago Bulls. I've never taken an interest in basketball, but this doco has gave me a hankering to get to an NBA match asap. The behind the scenes footage is mesmerising, witnessing unbelievable athletes performing at the peak of there power, whilst being narrated by the men themselves. Sheer class. It can be hard to follow at times however, as it yo-yos back and forth through the years which is a bit different to the normal format, but I personally thought it worked well.


Diego Maradona - If you're into football and if, like me, Mardona was just before your time, then this is a must watch. What a genius, what a lunatic, what a crazy time to be a football player. Of course I had already heard about his antics, and seen numerous clips of him play but this was a perfect blend of the two. Rather than seeing clips of him doing keepy ups, or scoring them goals against England, this doco shows him take games by the scruff of the neck and drag his teams to success. All whilst maintaining an absolute ridiculous lifestyle. Great tunes in this doco also, get them speakers up.


Lance - A two parter, which in total lasts around 4 hours. Two 2 hour episodes? It looked daunting to even me, but wow. I did not move an inch from my sofa for the whole duration. It is part of the highly regarded 30 for 30 sports documentary series launched by ESPN in 2010 I believe? Fuck knows. Anyway, i'm late to the 30 for 30 party and have many more currently on record that I can't wait to tuck into. This was always going to be an epic. This guy was one of the most recognisable men on the planet a few years ago, now I bet most youngsters wouldn't have a clue who he his. Extensive interviews with the man himself, who now is years beyond trying to get people to like him or forgive him, no hidden agenda, just honest answers. Fascinating insights into his mental state back then and even now. Cycling got crazy.


Tiger Woods Back - One of the first doco's to feature on sky's new documentary channel. It documents the rise, fall and amazing comeback Tiger achieved with his unthinkable Masters win in 2019 (even though I had £100 on him at 18-1, so I obviously saw it coming). Shows some great archival footage of him competing through the years and is narrated by the people that were closest to him. If you like golf, it's a no brainer to tuck into but even if you don't I think it's still hard not to appreciate his genius and his bouncebackability. Unfortunately, you don't hear from Tiger himself and it doesn't particularly delve too deep into his off the course antics, which saw him come under immense media and public scrutiny - losing numerous sponsors. On a purely sporting level it is a decent watch, however it's not one I think my mrs would find remotely interesting.


The Two Escobars - I watched this recently for the first time but it was released way back in 2010, as part of the previously mentioned 30 for 30 series by ESPN/BT. The title is pretty self explanatory but for those who are unaware it is based around the life and murder of Andres Escobar, Columbia's former national team captain, and of course the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar. Think, the Narco's netflix series, but with real footage, real interviews (they even got Pablo's right hand man talking from his prison cell) and an absolutely football obssesed nation playing some scintillating stuff in the mid 90s. A directorial masterpiece by the Zimbalist brothers that produces everything you want in a doco, and much, much more. When football meets politics.


Rodman: For Better or Worse - I'm starting to sound like a broken record... This doco was again from the outstanding 30 for 30 series by ESPN/BT Sports. As soon as I finished The Last Dance, this was on my list. A well made film about the life of former NBA legend Dennis Rodman. It takes you right back to his humble and quite desperate beginnings, all the way to the peak of his fame and sporting power. A monumental tale which documents the rise and inevitable 'fall' of potentially the most eccentric sportsman who has ever lived . What's great about this one is they look to Rodman for answers, 'why' did he do the crazy things that he did? Where did/does it all stem from? An emotional rollercoaster throughout and one that leaves me still unsure as to what to make of the man.


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