Sports Documentaries That Need to Be Made
“The Last Dance,” the 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan that has swept the nation with record viewership during quarantine, concluded this past weekend with its final episode. It’s been lauded for its ability to go behind the curtain, and it allows superstar Michael Jordan to talk about things he’d never really talked about before in the public eye. He showed his desire and work ethic that made him the greatest basketball player of all time.
Naturally, my mind began to consider what sports documentaries should be made next. Here are the three documentaries that would have me glued to my seat for the next month, if available.
The Rise of Connecticut Basketball
UCONN quickly rose to one of the biggest basketball programs in the world, thanks in no small part to both the men’s and women’s programs led by head coaches Jim Calhoun and Geno Aurriemma.
Calhoun built a strong Huskies program from essentially nothing and saw a lot of success. He won three national championships, including his last game with Connecticut in 2011. They rivaled Duke, North Carolina, and Kansas as the most successful basketball programs of the 21st century. But even with all that success, Calhoun scoffed at the women’s program, mainly because they got more attention than his men’s team.
“What is this, the world’s largest nursing home?” Calhoun said while attending a UCONN women’s game during his tenure. While his tenure was impressive, it pales in comparison to Auriemma’s.
The Connecticut women’s basketball program is the premier basketball program in the sport. With a Wikipedia page that resembles more of an encyclopedia, the Huskies have won 11 national championships since 1995. In that span, they’ve made every single NCAA Tournament, every single Sweet 16, 19 of the 25 Final Fours, and have had 11 Player of the Year Award recipients, all during Auriemma’s tenure.
It’s not often that a rivalry exists within the same school. But at Connecticut, the rise of two great programs made it just that.
The top ranked Florida Gators won the national championship in 2008. They were known mainly for two things: Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow.
Meyer is one of the best coaches in the modern era of college football and also one of the most controversial. He is known for having questionable moral standards and prioritizing winning over anything else.
Tim Tebow became the first sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy at the time. He was the leader of the Gators, well known for his Christian background, and became known as one of the top college football players of this century.
But the Gators’ story goes well beyond that. The openly religious Tebow had a cast of characters as teammates: Aaron Hernandez, who was arrested for murder; the Pouncey brothers, who openly supported Hernandez during the investigation; Percy Harvin, who was known to have altercations with teammates; and Brandon Spikes ,who has had his fair share of controversy.
It’s the most insane group of players who were able to put it together for a national championship.
Cubs Break the 100-Year Curse
The Chicago Cubs hadn’t won a World Series since 1906. Long known as the Curse of the Billy Goat after a bar owner in Chicago said they would never win another pennant in 1945, it seemed like it may never happen for the Cubs.
Throughout the decade, the Cubs continued to struggle to win games every year. But when Theo Epstien, the man who helped build the team to break the Boston Red Sox 86-year curse in 2004, and Joe Maddon, the best manager in baseball at the time, came to Chicago, things began to change for the Cubs.
But it was never easy. Fans had to wait until extra innings of the final game of the World Series. But 110 years later, the Cubs finally got their World Series.
Those are the documentaries I’d love to see. What stories from the sports world would you like to see told on the big or little screen?
Written By Kyle Grondin