Sports documentaries that you can watch while in quarantine

Ken Burns
Director Ken Burns is best known for his in-depth documentary on baseball and how it became America’s first great game. (REUTERS/Gus Ruelas)

In the absence of sports, all we are left with are the tales of games past. Thankfully though, there are plenty of those stories to keep us occupied while confined to our homes.

Here’s a list of sports documentaries to get you through a sports-less quarantine.

Catching Hell

This narrative tells the plight of unlucky (and innocent!) Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman who’s unsuccessful grab of a foul ball in the 2003 NLCS became the scapegoat of the Windy City and ruined his life.


This story tells the life and times of the Brazilian motor-racing champion Ayrton Senna, whose life was cut short in a Formula One crash.

Pumping Iron

Every wonder where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno got their big starts? The 1975 Mr. Olympia competition. 

One Night In Turin

Gary Oldman narrates the journey of the 1990 England World Cup squad and how a team brought a nation together in a time of deep division.

Ken Burns’ Baseball

Well, you likely have the time to delve into the nine innings and more of this extensive documentary series on America’s past time.

Ice Guardians 

This is the story of how and why hockey has a not only a culture of fighting, but also an enforcer role reserved for each team’s bench worldwide. 

League of Denial 

The documentary which inspired the film “Concussion,” this PBS Frontline investigation delves into the NFL’s ongoing issues with players contracting chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and what the league did or didn’t do to prevent such lethal cases.

Touching The Void

Perhaps one of the most intense ice climbing stories of all time, this docudrama recounts how a climber who fell into a mountain’s crevasse not only survived but also returned to base with a broken leg and frostbite.

Catholics vs. Convicts

This documentary details the bitter and aggressive rivalry of the 1988 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Miami Hurricanes, who were deadlocked for the national championship prior to an Oct. 15 meeting.

It was that day when a ruthless brawl between the squads broke out and Lou Holtz famously told the Fighting Irish to “save Jimmy Johnson’s (you know what) for me.”

The U Parts 1 & 2

While “Catholics vs. Convicts” delves into 1988, “The U Parts 1 & 2” tells the story of how Miami Hurricanes football developed into a national power as told by the coaches and players who made it happen. 

Survive and Advance

This heartwarming and inspiring story tells how Jim Valvano’s unlikely North Carolina State Wolfpack emerged as the 1983 NCAA men’s basketball champions while splicing in footage from Jimmy V’s famous ESPYs speech prior to his battle with cancer ending.

Four Falls of Buffalo

Four Falls of Buffalo: Jim Kelly

In honor of Jim Kelly's birthday, here's a look at how he's been an inspiration to Buffalo both during and after his NFL career.

Posted by ESPN 30 for 30 on Thursday, February 14, 2019

Not one, not two, not three, but four straight Super Bowl losses for the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s.

This documentary cathartically chronicles one of the greatest “losers” of all time.

The ’99ers

The 99ers: The U.S. wins the 1999 Women's World Cup

On This Date: In 1972, Title IX was signed into law, which opened opportunities for women to participate in sports.The law reached a cultural pinnacle in 1999 when the U.S. won the Women's World Cup.

Posted by ESPN 30 for 30 on Sunday, June 23, 2019

Feeling patriotic? Take a look back at the 1999 US Women’s World Cup championship run that inspired a whole generation of little footballers both male and female.

Red Army 

Sure, we’ve all seen Miracle and know about the 1980 US Olympic hockey team.

But have you ever heard of it from the Soviets’ side?

Red Army details what it was like to play hockey in the USSR and how so many players tried escaping for the NHL.

O.J.: Made in America

Learn the history and back story for one of America’s most famous murder cases and Orenthal James Simpson’s fall from grace.

‘No No: A Dockumentary’ Trailer

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis admittedly took LSD prior to pitching a no-hitter on June 12, 1970.

That was just the tip of the iceberg for a wild career that stemmed way past baseball.

Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The NY Knicks

Caution: choking hazard. 

If you feel self-deprecating enough then relive how Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers dismantled the New York Knicks in the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals. 

Team Foxcatcher

What is a sports documentary turned true horror chronicles — billionaire John Dupont fostered and supported American Olympic wrestling only to later lose complete sanity by murdering gold-medalist wrestler, David Schultz, in cold blood. 

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