2023 has been a great year for sports documentaries. Beckham gave a comprehensive look at the life of the iconic soccer star. Kelce showed what makes one of the game’s best centers great. And Johnny Football showed what made one of the game’s most controversial quarterbacks controversial. Arnold dedicated a full third of its running time to Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding career. We even got dueling American Gladiators documentaries.

Here are some reviews of a few more. They span different sports, varying levels of quality, and the streaming services on which they can be found: 


Stephen Curry: Underrated

In his 2020 gossip-fueled, inside-basketball book The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty, former Warriors beat-writer Ethan Sherwood Strauss wrote, “Even if the Warriors will gladly build a Curry statue when he finally hangs up his dowdy Under Armour sneakers, they weren’t bought in at the beginning. What Steph became – an era-defining player, almost certainly the best shooter in the history of the game – is prized and celebrated, but nobody claims to have seen it coming.”

That’s the entire conceit of Stephen Curry: Underrated, an Apple TV+ documentary whose title makes its’ thesis clear: Steph Curry almost went unnoticed, and thank God he didn’t or the game of basketball wouldn’t have been revolutionized.¹

From a failed tryout with his preferred college basketball team (Virginia Tech, alma mater of his dad, NBA vet Dell Curry) to sucking in his earliest college games to being disrespected by the NBA and its pundits, even after he had already won three NBA Championships – he’s always been “underrated.”

My only qualm is that I’m not sure if director Peter Nicks likes, or even knows much about basketball. He’s called this another entry in his “Bay Area documentary focus,” so he may be coming at this from the Bay Area Legend angle rather than the NBA Legend angle. There’s even a moment where they reference a specific play in a basketball game and then show a completely different play. I’m not exactly sure how that happened or how no one ever caught it. Regardless, it’s a nice inside look at the life, thoughts, and motivations of an all-time great.

¹Curry may or may not have ruined the game, but whatever. That’s a conversation for another time.


It Ain’t Over

What do you know about Yogi Berra?

Maybe some of his ridiculous turns of phrase, like “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded” or “I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.” Those immortal Yogi-isms.

Maybe you remember him hocking Yoo-hoo or Aflac insurance with that charming smile.

Maybe you think he’s the cartoon bear who steals pic-a-nic baskets.

Even though he was a great baseball player, few remember him for being a great baseball player.

That’s the problem that his eldest granddaughter, Lindsay Berra, had when she sat watching the 2015 MLB All-Star game with her grandfather. Before the game began in Cincinnati, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by the fan-voted four Greatest Living Players: Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Willie Mays, and Sandy Koufax. Lindsay turned to Yogi and asked, “Are you dead?”¹

“Not yet.”

It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

That’s the framing device for It Ain’t Over, the newest documentary about the great Yankee that dropped on Netflix recently.

She has a point.

Yogi won 10 World Series rings as a player (winning another three during his coaching tenure), was elected to 18 All-Star teams, was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player three times, and is forever enshrined in Cooperstown.

The documentary wants to right some wrongs. For those that need either a refresher or a history lesson, this doc is worthwhile.

¹We could probably debate Lindsay’s view of Yogi’s place on that list. Willie Mays was the greatest player ever until Shohei Ohtani, we all know that Hammerin’ Hank Aaron broke The Babe’s home run record, Sandy Koufax and his three Cy Young Awards represented the pitchers, and the other catcher, Johnny Bench, was worth over 15 more bWAR. But the question must be asked – why four? Why not five? Or better yet, why not NINE? Regardless, her point still stands: people remember Yogi Berra the personality more than they remember Yogi Berra the great baseball player.


BS High

It’s kind of crazy that the initials for Bishop Sycamore spell BS considering, well, that the whole enterprise was BS.

You might remember the Bishop Sycamore football team from their brief appearance on ESPN a few years ago. In 2021, the team gained national attention and scrutiny after it played a game against IMG Academy, a prestigious football program, on national television.

Only problem?


The school didn’t exist! The kids never went to class! Some of its “high school students” were in their 20s!

I won’t get into the ins and outs of the ruse because you really should just watch the documentary and see for yourself. But I can tell you that as an educator, it sickened me. One particular moment of malfeasance was so (literally) nauseating that I had to get up, take a ten-minute break from the screen, and drink some water. So be warned, the physical and mental abuse of minors can get pretty revolting.

“Coach” Roy Johnson is a truly despicable man and (light spoilers) the fact that he’s gotten away with everything is somehow totally shocking and not at all shocking. The idea that “none of this is illegal because it would never occur to someone to create a law against it because it’s so unbelievable” is terrifying.

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