i don't know sports. or rather, i DIDN'T know sports coming into the FBA. i really flew by the seat of my pants with my first characters, wondering, even before i submitted them, if this was really the kind of project i could get behind, being that i knew so little about sports and liked them even less. what was i even going to talk about? how interesting IS sports to someone who isn't INTO sports? well, once i started combing through documentaries on netflix, i realized there was a LOT more to them than i thought. i've watched about every basketball, baseball and most general sports docs on netflix and it really gave me a better perspective of so many different facets of various sports or of the industry in general, giving me a better understanding of the aspects that effect my characters.
i think having a running list of good movies/documentaries for others to look up would be pretty helpful. extra points if you can link them from a valid source like youtube.
i'll start off with all the docs i ran across on netflix (though thanks to NF's annoying habit of arbitrarily rotating out titles, some are no longer available for streaming). i've bolded the ones i liked best.
- Without Bias (freshly drafted len bias dies of an overdose the day after he's drafted)
- Killing Time: Miller vs The Knicks (even michael jorden lost his cool with this trash talker)
- Guru of Go (a coach's unique playing style yields big wins and an unexpected tragedy)
- No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (a career almost ends before it begins after a brawl at a bowling alley is caught on tape)
- Once Brothers (how civil war ended a friendship between two national teammates)
- Bad Boys (back when if the pistons couldn't win the game, they were going to win the fight)
- Requiem For The Big East (the formation of the big east conference)
- Bernie and Ernie (the tale of two unlikely teammates)
- Survive and Advance (an improbable college championship run complicated by their coach's fight with cancer)
- Broke (excellent doc about pro athletes and their money, available to watch on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSOAwNSv8EM)
- There's No Place Like Home (one man's efforts to purchase the original written rules of basketball. good look at the history of the sport.)
- Benji (promising chicago athlete murdered in 1984)
- You Don't Know Bo (this isn't a basketball doc, but an interesting look at an interesting athlete)
- Free Spirits (a colorful documentary about the american basketball association's spirits of st louis)
- Playing for the Mob (college students get in over their head when the mafia involved them in point shaving scandal)
- The Day the Series Stopped (again, not a basketball doc, but how a natural disaster halted an all-bay area world series (sf vs oakland) during the 1989 loma prieta earthquake)
- The Fab Five (the storied formation and scandal surrounding this michigan team's five star players)
- Catching Hell (another baseball doc, bout the fan who was accused of stealing away a long awaited victory for the cubs and extending the curse)
- The Dotted Line (inside the life of a sports agent)
- Unguarded (probably my favorite one. chris herren's battle with addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcmBAgqWnt4)
- The Marinovich Project (how a father's obsession with creating the perfect athlete gave rise (and fall) to a talented quarterback)
- The Announcement (the journey to magic johnson's announcement that he tested positive for HIV)
- Going Big (how a player who out ranked michael jordan in the draft was felled by a string of injuries that ended his career: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1uTIZ_pPKk)
- Hoop Dreams (the quintessential documentary about the journey to the dream https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stCLhlqzWgc)
- The Other Dream Team (the hardships and triumphs of a country, fresh from reestablishing their independence after the fall of the soviet union, fighting for their place in the 1992 olympic games)
- Schooled: The Price of College Sports (a great doc about the often unbalanced business of college sports)
- The Iran Job (the culture shock of an american basketball player accepting a spot on an iranian basketball team)
- Linsanity (the unexpected story of jeremy lin's career)
- Ballplayer: Pelotero(another baseball doc, exploring the phenomenon of often corrupt harvesting of baseball players in the dominican republic)
if anyone else has others to list, please reply!