Zac’s note: This isn’t a complete “Devil” piece. Just a small piece of my heelish side.
Many friends/readers/fellow sports fans/geeks with blogs have been raving about ESPN’s 30 for 30 sports documentaries. I liked these programs the first time I watched them; when they were on HBO. HBO Sports has, over the years, produced the best sports documentaries that have ever been aired. Putting together a list of the five best HBO Sports documentaries is similar to picking your favorite Beatles song; one minute it’s Eight Days a Week, the next you’re digging Strawberry Fields. The list below happens to be my favorite HBO Sports documentaries as of the writing of this piece, a list that could change by the time this piece is posted. The list is also in no particular order, so don’t tell me how wrong I am for omitting a certain documentary or placing the bottom five titles in the wrong order. I don’t care.
Top 5 HBO Sports Documentaries #1: The Reverse of the Curse of the Bambino
The follow up to the fantastic Curse of the Bambino documentary keeps all of the good parts of the original, with added clips from the the 2003 and 2004 Boston postseason runs. A reminder that there were once true Red Sox fans in this country, Reverse of the Curse is a humorous and informative review of Boston’s woes throughout the 20 Century, leading up to the team’s 2004 World Series victory. Even a New York sports fan can enjoy this HBO Sports documentary. Probably only once, though.
Top 5 HBO Sports Documentaries #2: Nine Innings From Ground Zero
There have been approximately 584,942 documentaries on September 11 created over the past nine years. Nine Innings From Ground Zero is one of the best I’ve seen. An emotional documentary that covers the effect of September 11 and the 2001 World Series on all New Yorkers, the city itself and the lives of those who lost family members on 9-11. This HBO Sports documentary will likely be aired every September and October for the next decade. At least.
Top 5 HBO Sports Documentaries #3: Ali-Frazier I: One Nation Divisible
Young whippersnappers such as myself only read and heard about the animosity between Ali and Frazier heading into their first fight. This HBO Sports documentary informs you why these giants wanted to knock each other unconscious throughout the 1970s. It goes beyond Ali and Frazier interviews and highlights of the historic encounter. Every boxing fan should watch this documentary.
Top 5 HBO Sports Documentaries #4: Do You Believe In Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team
This documentary is much, much better than the overrated 2004 movie. Everything you could possibly want to know about the 1980 United State men’s hockey team, the 1980 Winter Olympics and the infamous USSR-USA hockey game can be found in this documentary. No overacting or cinematography needed. Spend your money on this HBO Sports documentary, if necessary.
Top 5 HBO Sports Documentaries #5: :03 from Gold (1972 USA Olympic Basketball)
An Olympic story not as well known as the Miracle on Ice, largely because this United States squad did not win a gold medal. Well, the team did win gold. They were simply awarded thewrong medal. HBO did a fantastic job speaking with members of both the United States and USSR Olympic basketball squads for this documentary. If you have little to no understanding on what took place during the 1972 Olympic Basketball Tournament, do no further research and watch this piece. A five star sports documentary.
For more: Follow NYGExaminer on Twitter