Pygmy Reviews #30 – Sports Documentaries

Miracle 3 (2013)

One Line Description: Inclement weather disrupts the 2008 SEC basketball tournament.

A common occurrence with many of the sports documentaries I have watched over the last few years is that many of the events/people covered took place before I was alive. Miracle 3, part of ESPN’s SEC Storied series, is an exception to that, but I still didn’t remember a thing about it. I don’t at all remember the tournament being drastically affected by weather nor do I remember Georgia’s dramatic run. But really that makes the documentary that much more interesting. Many of these documentaries also take a similar path of either covering a specific event or a person, and this is obviously the former. It was educational, but because this particular event wasn’t that significant to most people, so I think that this one isn’t as educational as entertaining.

The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story (2013)

One Line Description: The career of the first African American quarterback in SEC history.

Another part of the SEC Storied series, this one was produced and narrated by country music star Kenny Chesney. Holloway is a player that I never heard of, and knew absolutely nothing about prior to watching this. Holloway was a superstar athlete in college, but growing up in the south in the 1960s he definitely faced racism, which made accomplishments a bit more impressive. Holloway got banged up a bit and never made it in the NFL, but he had a really solid Canadian Football League career. This was both entertaining and educational and definitely makes sense for any fan of college football.

Lolo Jones (2012)

One Line Description: The highs and lows of hurdler Lolo Jones’ career leading up to the Olympics.

Unlike Condredge Holloway, Lolo Jones was someone I had heard of, but I really knew almost nothing about her. This covers her childhood, high school career, college career and her Olympic career. Lolo’s story is definitely remarkable, and she clearly had a tough upbringing. But she was a spectacular athlete and had a pretty solid college career before making a run at the Olympics. Her story also includes a bizarre back ailment that almost shut down her career. It seems like there are some people who are resentful about her beauty and whether it has led to more fame than she deserves, but this is still a great story.

Catching Hell (2011)

One Line Description: The story of Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS where Steve Bartman touched a foul ball and become infamous.

Easily the most famous moment in Cubs history this century. This documentary features a tremendous breakdown of the entire game, mostly focusing on whether or not if was fair to blame Bartman for what happened. It included a lot of first hand accounts from fans who were sitting near him, as well as Cubs security personnel. It also does a great job of telling the story itself, so anyone who is unfamiliar with what happened can watch this and learn as they go. It’s likely that some people will be disappointed by the fact that Bartman doesn’t appear, but he has been very consistently denying interviews, and remains in hiding.

Abby Head On (2013)

One Line Description: The story of Abby Wambach, one of the all-time great women’s soccer players.

The best documentaries are the ones where the viewer knows almost nothing going in, and leaves with knowledge, and appreciation. This is a great story about U.S. Women’s Soccer legend Abby Wambach. Her rise through high school and college to the Women’s National Team, where she has become the all-time leading goal scorer at the international level. The “SEC” part of this one is a bit of a stretch, since the focus on the college portion is quite small, but this was a great story to tell, no matter how it got there. There is not too much inside baseball in this one, and the passing of the torch from Mia Hamm to Abby is a great part of the story.