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Fifty Recommends: Sports Documentaries

Fifty Digital | 22.04.2020

Finding at the moment you have a bit of extra time on your hands? If you’ve completed your daily exercise, had a go at baking, why not put the time to good use and watch that sports documentary you’ve been meaning to for the past year. If you’re stuck with where to begin, take a look at the team’s recommendations below. 

The Test – Tom
A fantastic look into the Australian cricket team’s recovery from being the bad blokes to becoming the good blokes following the sandpaper scandal. The behind the scenes access to the quirks of the players is a must-see, plus it’s a great example of the value of good leadership in transforming the success of an organisation.

The Last Dance – Max
This one is brand new. In fact, it’s so new that there are currently only two episodes available as it was launched on Monday. It tells the story of the Chicago Bulls’ 1997/98 season, when they were going for a third straight NBA championship and their sixth title in eight years. However, the documentary also goes through the career of one of the greatest sportsmen in history – Michael Jordan – with never-before-seen footage and interviews from the 80s, 90s and present day. I cannot wait for next week’s episode!

Formula 1 Drive to Survive – Lara
One of the best documentaries on Netflix, it goes behind the scenes into exclusive areas of motorsport, showing the conversations that happen behind every race weekend. As a big Formula 1 fan the exclusive insight is fascinating, however I know casual fans who have really enjoyed watching and learning too. 

Bethany Hamilton, Unbreakable – Imogen
The determination and totally undeterred drive of Bethany is inspirational. She lost an arm in a shark attack at the age of 13 and was raring to get back to surfing and in the water right away. It’s inspiring to witness how well she was able to bounce back and succeed in a sport which could have easily been a closed door to her given such testing circumstances.

Class of ‘92: Full Time – Maddie
Although slightly biased as a United fan and therefore loyal to the class of ‘92, this documentary is for any football fan. Following the journey of Salford City as the ficec ex- Manchester United players invest in the team and set the aim of getting them into the Football League, the series follows the internal politics and raw emotion of a local side becoming professional.  

Dogtown and Z-Boys – Jim
A gritty documentary formed from raw 70s homemade skate footage interspersed with interviews with the pioneers of skateboarding to discover how a group of surfers created a new form of skateboarding. An interesting look back at what was, and seeing how far the sport has come today. 

Take Us Home – James
One of the best ‘access all areas’ documentaries you will ever see, this true, unadapted story tells of how Leeds United never make like easy for themselves, or their fans of which I’m one! The tension, joy, heartache and all that being a Leeds fan means are there to experience. 

Icarus – Shay
What starts as an experiment to determine the impact of performance enhancing drugs on an amateur cyclist, turns into a story that is at times hard to believe but reaches to the very top of sporting organisations and governments from around the world. A must watch for anyone who’s passionate about sport and the difficulties faced in keeping it clean.

O.J.: Made In America – Ben
This one may seem a bit hard-hitting for a recommendation to help you relax during lockdown, but that’s likely due to most people only being aware of the dark side of O.J. Simpson. The early episodes of this series show in detail his sporting upbringing and the historic success he had at collegiate level and in the NFL.

Sunderland Till I Die – Adam
Despite never following Sunderland, this is a really insightful documentary on how the club fair after being relegated from the Premier League the season before. It’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

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