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5 must-see '30 for 30' films on Netflix

Posted October 19

SPORTS WORLD — Fall is such an awesome time for sports. You have college and NFL football in full swing, MLB playoffs and even some preseason NBA going on.

If that is not enough sports to keep you entertained or you need something to fill the void when a game is not on, then ESPN’s "30 for 30" documentaries are for you.

The "30 for 30" films are one-hour documentaries that highlight certain people or events in the history of sports. Originally done to celebrate ESPN’s 30-year anniversary, 30 films were created for 30 years on air. However, the success of the films has kept it going way past the original 30 films. Some of Hollywood’s biggest directors have made a "30 for 30" film, like Peter Berg, Spike Jonze, and John Singleton to name a few.

Not only are the films extremely well done, they seem to tell the stories you have never really heard of or they dive into the stories where you only knew the surface. Netflix has a lot of the "30 for 30" movies currently streaming.

Here are five of them on Netflix you must see.

“Broke"

According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress just after two years of retirement. How can that happen you might ask? In this "30 for 30," director Billy Corben explores why this happens to so many athletes.

I found myself just sitting in shock through the whole episode. They have very honest interviews with former players like Bernie Kosar and Andre Risen about their financial struggles. At the end, they feature a list of former pro athletes that have filed for bankruptcy and the list is very long and some of the names on there will shock you.

“You Don’t Know Bo: The Legend of Bo Jackson”

Bo Jackson: the man, the myth, the legend. He was probably one of the greatest athletes to walk on this earth. Jackson was a professional MLB player that played in the NFL as a hobby. He never won a championship or any major awards in the pros, but he remains a legend in most people's minds.

The stories of Jackson growing up were what fascinated me the most in this film. You hear some stories about his rough upbringing, but you also hear some insane stories about his athleticism that are legendary. After you watch this film, it will solidify your beliefs that Jackson really is a legendary sport's icon.

“The ’85 Bears”

Da Bears. If you weren’t born yet in 1985 or are too young to remember the ’85 Bears, then this is a must see. Probably one of the most iconic professional teams in the history of sports. Not only did they dominate on the field, they were a culture phenomenon. If you have never heard of the “Super Bowl Shuffle,” then go watch this film now.

The ’85 Bears had such a wide variety of stars: players like Jim McMahon and William “The Refrigerator” Perry and their iconic coach Mike Dikta. They were such a diverse team that somehow pulled together and won the Super Bowl.

“The U”

“The U” documentary explores the Miami’s football team's rise in the '80s. Then coach Howard Schnellenberger took a new approach for recruiting by scouring some of the toughest neighborhoods in Florida and recruiting mostly black players for his team. These players brought a new swagger and toughness that brought four national championships to Miami.

Schnellenberger’s strategy did not come without controversy as you will see in the film. There is actually a follow up to this film, “The U Part 2,” that is equally fascinating.

“No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson”

I remember this being talked about on the news briefly as a kid, but it is something I forgot about quickly. I loved watching Allen Iverson play, and he was really gifted and had a great career in the NBA. However, that career almost did not happen.

At the age of 17, Iverson was with some friends at a Bowling Alley when a brawl erupted. I don’t want to give too much of it away, but I seriously had no clue on how this event impacted the town of Hampton, Virginia, and how this incident almost derailed verson’s career.

What are your favorite "30 for 30" documentaries? Let us know in the comments.

Curtis Linnell is a movie fanatic/critic that use to frequent the movie theaters on a regular basis. Due to a busy schedule and a family, he now just streams them at home. You can follow him on Twitter @curtislinnell.

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