Game’s not over

ByShaunak Ghosh

Apr 10, 2020

Patriot recommends a few sports documentaries and series one can watch during this period of quarantine

As the Coronavirus holds the world in its vice-like grip killing more than 80,000 people, entire nations have gone into lockdown, shutting all services and asking people to stay at home. 

Sporting events from all over the world, right from the all the footballing leagues to the IPL to the NBA have been deferred. Even the Olympics and the Euros which were to be held in 2020 have now been postponed to 2021.

This is a time when sports lovers are missing all the action, and obviously are bored sitting at home. But why lose touch with sports, when you have streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar? Here, Patriot lists a number of series and documentaries based on sports that all sports lovers might be able to connect to.

 Sunderland ‘Till I Die’ (Netflix)

 The general theme of any sports documentary is the rise of a team to success, but this eight-part series on Netflix documents failure, in the most gripping way possible. 

It documents the story of Sunderland AFC, one of the most historic and decorated teams in the English football in their second division of English football in the 2018/19 season, after they had been relegated in the previous season after nearly a decade. They however were relegated again to the third division of the game, their first time ever in more than 140 years.

 The series traces this journey of failure, and how it impacted the club, both financially and emotionally, and how it affected their fans, one of the most passionate fan bases in world football.

They even returned with a second season after the humongous success of the first.

‘Roar of the Lion’ (Hotstar)

What has been the most successful team in the IPL? The unanimous answer would be Chennai Super Kings. What has been the most controversial team? It’s the men in yellow yet again.

Helmed by acclaimed Bollywood director Kabir Khan, Roar of the Lion depicts the journey of the team after they returned to the IPL after a two year ban and then proceeded to win the tournament for the third time, thus giving a fairytale comeback. 

What makes the series more intriguing is the fact that the journey is through the eyes of their captain and one of the most loved figures of Indian cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

 Formula 1: Drive to Survive (Netflix)

 A documentary series following the drivers, engineers, financiers, and team principals of Formula 1 racing as they struggle to achieve victories on and off the racetrack, complete with harrowing racing footage, seemingly unlimited access, and brutally honest interviews. That pretty much sums up what you can expect to watch in this gem of a Netflix documentary.

 If you’re feeling cooped up in your house, nothing will be more refreshing than watching a talented group of people drive really fast. You don’t need to care about racing at all to find yourself caring about the subjects of this series, one of the crown jewels of Netflix’ original programming.

 All or Nothing: Manchester City (Amazon Prime)

 ‘All Or Nothing: Manchester City’ is a documentary series about the Manchester-based football club, which has emerged in the second decade of the 21st century as one of the best clubs in Europe. 

In the docu-series, the focus is on their 2017/18 campaign and see how they prepare for their matches under the strict and watchful eyes of manager Pep Guardiola. The series gives never-before-seen inside footage of the workings of an English Premier League club.

What makes it more exciting is that the voice over has been given by Oscar winner Sir Ben Kingsley, who himself hails from Manchester and is a self professed City fan.

Icarus’ (Netflix)

 This Oscar-winning documentary dives into the world of doping in competitive cycling. Netflix bought the distribution rights to Icarus after a strong showing from director and co-writer Bryan Fogel’s film at Sundance. 

The documentary plays out as a thriller, with Fogel chasing the truth about cycling cheats and stumbling onto a major International doping scandal. Watch as a chance meeting with a Russian scientist turns a story that started as a simple experiment into a geopolitical thriller and one of the biggest scandals in cycling history

The Short Game’ (Netflix) 

This documentary is a delightful look at a youth golf championship. Chronicling the 2012 championship at Pinehurst, it follows a handful of charming golf proteges from around the world as they vie for the title of best 7- and 8-year-old players in the world.

 Golf greats like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Annika Sörenstam provide commentary on the difficulty and drama of the game while we watch young golfers deal with the stress of the tournament, parents, and some nitpicky rules. It has its fair share of Sports Parent moments, but the kids are genuinely interesting and full of character.

 ‘One in a Billion’ (Netflix)

 For a country with over 1.3 billion people, basketball isn’t its favourite sport. Of course, there will be a few people who watch the NBA in the mornings, but no parent would back their kid to play in the NBA. 

But that’s changed, ever since 7’2″ Satnam Singh came along. Follow Satnam’s journey from being just a big guy to getting drafted into the Dallas Mavericks in this entertaining sports documentary.