While the world is grasped by the coronavirus pandemic, many are looking for things to do or distract them from the reality in which we currently live.
In the past, that distraction for a lot of people has been sports. But it too has been affected by the pandemic.
So while everybody waits for the return of sports, the News Press has compiled some streaming suggestions to perhaps fill that desire for sports – with sports movies, series and documentaries available ranging across the ever-growing number of steaming options.
The English Game (Netflix)
A dramatized look into the berth of modern-day soccer – or football, in England, where the short series takes place. Not only does it showcase the beginning stages of paying athletes to compete, but it hits home a bit to the current climate we live in. As mill communities are having wages deducted, it showcases the importance of the sport to those communities living in poverty.
Total episodes: 6
Run time: Approximately 5 hours
Peyton’s Places (ESPN+)
Interested in the 100-year history of the NFL? One of the best quarterbacks of his generation, Peyton Manning, takes a deep dive into all aspects of the game of football – from its infancy to its part in popular culture (with an episode dedicated to Elvis Presley’s passion for the sport). It also includes a unique look into the rivalry between Manning and Tom Brady.
Total episodes: 30
Run time: Approximately 12 hours
Ronda Rousey Story: Through My Father’s Eyes (Netflix)
A behind-the-scenes documentary chronicling former Olympic boxer and UFC champion Ronda Rousey – turned WWE heel – as she ascended to iconic status as one of the legends of mixed martial arts. It features interviews with UFC President Dana White and Randy Couture, a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling national finalist and three-time All-American at Oklahoma State.
Run time: 1 hour, 44 minutes
QB1 Beyond the Lights (Netflix)
By the director of the film Friday Night Lights – and creator of the TV series by the same name – Peter Berg, QB1 follows three star high school quarterbacks in their final season before going on to play Division I football. It has featured several highly-recruited quarterbacks, including Jake Fromm and Tate Martell in the first season, Justin Fields and Re-al Mitchell, a three-star who signed with Iowa State and recently entered the transfer portal, in the second season and University of Oklahoma’s likely starter in the fall, Spencer Rattler, in the third season.
Total episodes: 30 (10 episodes per season)
Run time: Approximately 15 hours
Space Jam (Netflix)
The 1996 classic film featuring Michael Jordan – who is the focal point of the 10-part documentary called “The Last Dance” currently airing Sunday nights on ESPN – and some of the most classic cartoon characters of all-time: the Looney Tunes. It will soon have a sequel, as LeBron James, who is on the opposite end as Jordan of the growing debut of who the best NBA player is, is starring in a film expected to release in 2021 that just Thursday received its official title, Space Jam: A New Legacy.
Run time: 1 hour, 26 minutes
The Short Game (Netflix)
A documentary on the fiercely competitive scene of youth golf. It features grade-school golfers – both boys and girls – who are battling to become champions on one of the world’s toughest golf courses, Pinehurst. The film follows four Americans, and four international golfers – from the Philippines, South Africa, France and China – with all them being 7 or 8 years old. One of the golfers featured is Allan Kournikova – the half-brother of tennis star Anna Kournikova – who won a combined nine U.S. Kids Golf European and World Championships between 2011-15.
Run time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Many movies and documentaries have been made about champions in sports, but this looks at some athletes and moments of athletes and teams that were on the other side of athletics. The series touches on some traditional sports like golf, boxing and figure skating, while also diving into curling, sled dog racing and endurance running. It’s a captivating series that rivals some of the more famous Greek tragedies.
Total episodes: 8
Run time: Approximately 4 hours
The Greatest Game Ever Played (Disney+)
One of the biggest underdog stories in all of sports. This Disney movie released in 2005 that starred Shia LaBeouf – prior to his meltdown – is a dramatic adaptation of the 1913 U.S. Open, in which Francis Ouimet (played by LaBeouf) became the first amateur golfer to win the U.S. Open. Ouimet knocked off two golf’s greats at the time, Harry Vardon (a seven-time major winner) and John McDermott, who had won the two U.S. Open titles prior to 1913.
Run time: 2 hours, 1 minute
Borg vs McEnroe (Hulu)
Another movie starring LaBeouf, but this 2017 film allows him to play a character more true to the actor – the hot-headed John McEnroe. The biographical adaptation of the 1980 Wimbledon Championships digs into the demons by McEnroe and Björn Borg, who was on the cusp of winning five-consecutive Wimbledon crowns – on his way to becoming the first man in the Open Era to win 11 grand slam singles titles.
Run time: 1 hour, 48 minutes