The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

By Daniel Tran  |  Last updated 1/12/17

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The beauty in sports isn’t the scores or endless streams of data that explain outcomes. It’s usually what’s outside the lines that captivate us.

As much as we all love watching a game-winning shot or a milestone game, it is the stories of how those athletes get there that bring a more human element to sports. Those are the stories that usually get made in documentaries, not the games themselves.

Whether it’s the struggle of everyday life or overcoming impossible odds, sports figures go through the same challenges we all do with the uncomfortable caveat of being in the public eye. However, those stories can uplift and inspire unlike any scripted film.

If you have some streaming services, you are in luck because some of the best sports documentaries are available to watch right now. Here are ten of the best options out there.

Last Chance U

Technically, this is a documentary SERIES, but if you have the time it is well worth the investment. Last Chance U follows the East Mississippi Community College football team, a junior college powerhouse with a cast of characters on their last shot to make it to Division I football. Players with different motivations clash with one another and their hothead coach in one of the more riveting documentaries on streaming

Available on: Netflix

Team Foxcatcher

No, this is not that other film with Channing Tatum in a onesie and Michael Scott with a lot of makeup. This chilling documentary takes a deep dive into the murder of Olympic champion wrestler Dave Schultz at the hands of John Du Pont, millionaire philanthropist. While the murder is the main subject, Du Pont’s spiraling paranoia and erratic behavior paints a scary picture of what neglect and wealth can do to a person.

Available on: Netflix


Love him or hate him, Allen Iverson did things his way. Iverson paints an intimate portrait of one of the most influential players of his generation. From his humble beginnings to the infamous "Practice?!" press conference, this documentary doesn’t spare any details on the quick-crossing, cornrowed NBA guard.

Available on: Netflix, Showtime

Fantastic Lies

Sometimes, a story gets so big, the truth gets lost. This 30 for 30 explores the Duke lacrosse scandal, and the media coverage that exploded in the aftermath. Not only is it a great story about the power of false accusation, but it’s a cautionary tale for aspiring journalists in search of a story and not the truth.

Available on: Netflix, WatchESPN

O.J. Simpson: Made in America

This is the best documentary of the year. Period. There is nothing I can say to overhype this seven-and-a-half hour series on the downfall of one of the most beloved sports figures in America. Not only does it look at the troubling history of Simpson and the stomach-churning details of his murder trial, the documentary connects him to the race and class issues that were plaguing the country then and now.

Available on: WatchESPN

Trojan War

Hollywood and football have always been a match made in heaven, but not a lot of teams have taken those dream scripts and put them on the field. That is, until the Pete Carroll era at USC. Relive the rise and fall of one of the most exciting college football dynasties and the town that ate it all up.

Available on: Netflix, WatchESPN

The Resurrection of Jake the Snake

Wrestling is fake, but the struggle is real. Jake “the Snake” Roberts was one of the then-WWF’s biggest superstars before alcohol derailed his career and strained every relationship he had. This doc follows Roberts on his journey to sobriety and attempts to get back in the good graces of wrestling fans.

Available on: Netflix

Back on the Board: Greg Louganis

Not all that glitters is gold. You would think four Olympic gold medals would translate into financial security for Greg Louganis. However, money struggles are just the latest challenge he faces after dealing HIV and homophobic teammates in Team USA. Join him as he fights to keep his mortgage and find his place post-diving career.

Available on: HBO

Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team

The most bang for your buck in terms of information to time invested. This short, 45-minute documentary goes into the Seattle Supersonics and their controversial departure from the Emerald City. In a relatively short amount of time, this award-winning documentary chronicles the history of the team from an expansion team to the backdoor deals that resulted in the team’s relocation to Oklahoma City. If you don’t know why Seattle is still stinging from the move, this doc will give you a couple reasons.

Available on: Amazon Prime, Hulu

I Am Ali

Even before his death, Muhammad Ali was a legend amongst mere mortals. While there are other Ali docs, this one includes intimate tapes that he recorded with his children as well as interviews with family members to give a full picture of the Greatest. Don’t miss out on this doc that not only revisits the almost mythological athlete and activist, but also looks at the human being behind the scenes.

Available on: Netflix

The Weirdest Trade In Baseball History

QUIZ: Name the famous athletes who starred in these movies

Can you name the famous athlete that was in each of the listed movies?

Note: Excluding athletes in primarily athletic roles - hence no Space Jam. Also limiting one movie per athlete.

Ace Ventura
Dan Marino
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Almost Famous
Jason Lee
Anger Management
John McEnroe
Any Given Sunday
Lawrence Taylor
Blazing Saddles
Alex Karras
Cannonball Run
Terry Bradshaw
Conan the Destroyer
Wilt Chamberlain
Lance Armstrong
Dumb and Dumber
Cam Neely
Ernest Goes to Camp
Lyle Alzado
Howie Long
From Dusk till Dawn
Fred Williamson
Furious 7
Ronda Rousey
Gina Carano
He Got Game
Ray Allen
Shaquille O'Neal
Kicking and Screaming
Mike Ditka
Roger Clemens
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Vinnie Jones
Major League
Bob Uecker
My Giant
Gheorghe Muresan
Julius Erving
Police Academy
Bubba Smith
Carl Weathers
Mary Lou Retton
Xavier McDaniel
Smokey and the Bandit
Joe Klecko
Stone Cold
Brian Bosworth
Johnny Weissmuller
The Dirty Dozen
Jim Brown
The Expendables
Randy Couture
The Goonies
John Matuszak
The Hangover
Mike Tyson
The Longest Yard
Ray Nitschke
The Mummy Returns
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
The Other Guys
Derek Jeter
The Princess Bride
Andre the Giant
There's Something About Mary
Brett Favre
The Towering Inferno
O.J. Simpson
LeBron James

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