Basketball, F1 Or Football: Top Sports Movies And Series To Watch If You’re Missing Live Action

The IPL was just getting started, EPL was just finishing up, Formula One nearly had one race start, and tennis saw the Australian Open scrape through in 2020! It’s been a bad start to the year in general, and without live sport, let’s face it, we’re all glued to Twitter where people are Marble Racing. It’s riveting but not as much as the real deal.

So if you’re missing sports and watching live tennis, football, cricket, F1, rugby, kabaddi or any other sport, check out these movies and series that you can stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Sunderland 'Til I Die

Netflix

A documentary about one of the most passionate football clubs in the world, this one follows Sunderland AFC, an English football club. Playing out of the Stadium of Light, this is all about how the glorious club is relegated from the EFL Championship level in the 2017–18 season, and the second season follows them on the 2018-2019 season, which saw them remain in League One. If you love football, this one gives you all the feels. From the players, management and mostly from the fans, it’s got heart and you’ll tear up at least a few times, if you really understand the sentiment and how much the game means to people. 

The Last Dance

Netflix

Releasing one episode a week, The Last Dance has given basketball fans reason to relive the glory days of Michael Jordan. It throws light on arguably the best player of all time, as well as on his teammates, including Scottie Pippin and Dennis Rodman. The mini series focuses on the 1997–98 Chicago Bulls season, the friction between the team, the mismanagement of some of them and if you know the way Chicago Bulls won, you’ll be surprised with some details. It also answers some questions fans have had for nearly 20 years! Including, what really happened with Scottie Pippin, though the series is all about how Jordan became an icon! A fan of basketball, and being someone who plays, I cannot wait to see how this pans out. So much I didn’t know, but also so much that anyone can relate with. If you want to learn how to win, you've got to learn the mentality, and you can find that emotion on this show! 

Icarus

Netflix

In a bid to shed light on the doping scandals in sport, Bryan Fogel connect with Russian scientist Grigory Rodchenkov, who is the director of Russia's national anti-doping laboratory. And while the film is actually a documentary, it’s almost like a thriller with information on how athletes were made to take drugs to enhance performance, and how they’d evade the testing, and how in some cases, governments endorsed it to make the teams win. Rodchenkov helps Fogel train, and then gives him drugs to make him perform better, as an experiment, thus proving how some drug tests are insufficient to test athletes. The film goes on to reveal that Russia has a state-sponsored Olympic doping program that he leads, and we all know now that Rodchenkov is on Putin’s hit list. The dark side of sport? Yup, this show is it!


F1: Drive To Survive

Netflix

One of the finest shows when it comes to sports in current time, this one takes you straight into the chicanes, straights and chequered flags of the glamorous and dangerous sport of Formula One. It follows drivers, managers and team owners of the high-octane sport, and you can really see what it takes to get that car on the track, and get the driver on the podium. You’ll even get to see the non-glamorous side which is the business of the sports, and the mentality of the drivers when they need to push to beyond their limits. Two seasons down, this one will not let you down. I’m a huge fan of this for it’s really raw portrayal of the sport. And what it takes to be driving at those speeds when the tiniest mistake, even by someone else, could mean the end of your life. My special favourite is watching Daniel Ricciardo through it all - human, through and through. 

Make Us Dream

Amazon Prime Video

A documentary about how Steven Gerrard became the icon he is, this one is about how his success was tied to bringing success to Liverpool. With him making it his own personal missing to bring glory to the club, people looked also to him with that hope and expectations. He talks about how it became a difficult responsibility, and almost a burden, to live up to that. I watched this, and I really feel for Gerrard even if I may not like the club...at all! 


All Or Nothing: New Zealand All Blacks

Amazon Prime Video

Practically undisputed in current times when it comes to rugby, the All Blacks, even without their Hakka is an intimidating team. And for the first time, they allowed cameras into their training, planning and games, for this documentary. It documents the 2017 season, with focus on veteran Ben Smith, new entrant Rieko Ioane, and old-faithful Ryan Crotty. Even if you’re not into rugby, the players and their sentiments will make you fall in love with the emotions of the game. The ups, the downs and most of all, dealing with the expectations of everyone around! The All Or Nothing series also followed Manchester City, NFL teams, Dallas Cowboys and The Michigan Wolverines. 

The English Game

Netflix

A charming story that traces how football became a professional in England, The English Game follows a few key characters. Fergus is a Scottish footballer, who is brought into play at Darwen, and is paid to do so.Something unheard of in England, where the sport was just a passion. On the other hand, Arthur Kinnaird is a wealthy gentleman, who plays for the love of it. With family drama, love, rage and passion weaving its way in, this historical show set in the late 1800s, is a balance of sport and drama. It’s lovely to watch how the sport grew, and how people actually began to play for money, and how the fan base has always been happy to pay for quality football. As happened in the time, you will also find plenty of class difference, and for once, the two ends of the spectrum look like they will meet halfway. 

The Test: A New Era for Australia's Team

Amazon Prime Video

While I haven’t watched this, a cricket journalist has advised me to! Apparently, it takes you into the meetings, training sessions, the actual games and practically into the minds of the whole international Australian Cricket team. You’ll see how former Australian opener Justin Langer aims to bring back the competitive spirit in the team, despite the struggle at the international stage, and how they did come back to retain The Ashes. There’s a few episodes which detail the accounts of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as well, making it more interesting if you follow Indian cricket, or you just live in India, to be fair! 

Mid Wicket Tales

Amazon Prime Video

In his inimitable style of story-telling, Mid-Wicket Tales has Naseeruddin Shah as your host, as he takes you through experiences of the Indian cricket teams over time. The show is all about the game, it’s different attributes and aspects, dotted with trivia and guest appearances! From the beautiful Sharmila Tagore speaking about her husband. Tiger Pataudi playing, veteran Bishan Singh Bedi, commentator Charu Sharma as well as Kapil Dev, Syed Kirmani, Ravi and M S Dhoni.

Q Ball

Netflix

Set in San Quentin, a known prison in California, I love how this documentary highlights the importance of sports, and love for a game, as more of a rehabilitation programme than other more clinical and medical ones. It is about the formation of the The San Quentin Warriors, an all-inmate team, and how they struggle for redemption from their crimes while using basketball as a means to cope. You’ll see the struggle of the in-mates, but you’ll also see how eager they are to do better, especially when it comes to the court. The energy of them all, however divided they are otherwise, transcends everything when it comes to the hoop and ball. 

Pro-Tip

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