Seriously? It’s Documented – Great Sports Documentaries To Watch For Each Sport

The American sports universe is dormant. Sports fans are not. We are restless. 

America’s battery of professional sports will remain quiet and subdued during the foreseeable future. And based on anecdotal evidence alone, it seems sports fans are likely, willing and able to try near anything to smother what has actually allowed sports fans space for copious, serious reflection.

Well, sports fans, without much more thought, big news! The fix is in! And the fix is streaming. ESPN’s mid-90s Micheal Jordan Chicago Bulls documentary, “The Last Dance” is exactly the type of “We’re still here! We still matter!” megaphonic rally cry sports fans are craving right now.

The film series is nearly perfect. Plus, most of the footage throughout the documentary falls under the umbrella term, never-before-seen, so this film series is far more powerful than a dose of rhapsodic nostalgia. Moreover, this documentary is maybe the highest overall quality popular sports media released this year. So everyone should watch it – because it is that good.

Granted, some people are not enamored with sports. I’ve been teased for my sports obsessions before. Although if any non sports fan abruptly posed the question, why do live sports and or sports in general deserve so many effusive adjectives conjoined with blanket sweeping declarations, when sports are, after all, just a game? (Subtext: “unserious.”) There is a strong chance I would counter with, and or explain how, in sports, and especially during live sports, we have an altogether unparalleled phenomena in the modern world. I would argue that these sports and sports events are, underneath several centuries of storied shock and flash and awe, so often embedded with a totally unique setting for ideas that almost always turn rich with vibrant ingredients for any number of profound self and collective societal realizations; that I am sure all sports add meaning to American life. Sports show who we are as an American culture: energetic, strong, competitive when inspired; striving to become the best versions of ourselves.

And in short – I do not need to tell any sports fan how much – a live sporting event exists in America as yes, a breakaway from more serious portions of our lives, but it is also very much the stuff of serious businesses – personally, communally, financially and metaphysically.

Though not everyone we know agrees with our fandom’s conceits, and after we’re finished acknowledging that true sports fandom extends far beyond, what I’ve elaborated upon so far, a pure American dominance; somehow, maybe together, now, we can win over the non sports fans in our lives by recommending – and maybe rewatching? – any or all of the following sports documentaries; because this is, and these are, all of them, seriously fun and awesome – for real.

Professional Basketball: “Hoop Dreams” & “The Last Dance”

College Basketball: “Requiem For The Big East”

Professional Football: “Straight Outta L.A.”

College Football: “The U” & “Roll Tide/War Eagle”

Baseball: “Four Days In October” & “Doc”

Soccer: “The Two Escobars” & “Infinite Football”

Hockey: “Kings Ransom”

Skateboarding: “Dogtown and Z-Boys”

Formula One Racing: “Senna”

General Motor Sports and Cars: All of BBC’s “Top Gear” & Amazon’s “Grand Tour”

Olympic Sports: “Icarus”

Fantasy Sports: “Silly Little Game”

(Not a documentary but still seriously fun) Dog Shows, competitive breeding: “Best In Show”

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About Jackson Pappin 50 Articles
Jackson Pappin is a freelance writer. A 2018 WSU Edward R. Murrow College of Communication alumni, he writes fiction, journalism, columns, essays and poetry. His work has been published in Anastamos, The Oregonian, The Spokesman Review, The Seattle P.I. Reader Blogs, The Daily Evergreen, The Central Circuit, LandEscapes and at the Spectra Art Gallery. His writing is available at