After the five week viewing feast that was Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls' story in The Last Dance, we've taken a look back at ESPN's best ever films - these include the '30 for 30' series, ESPN Films presents and 'Nine for XI', to create our Top 10 list.
Although these movies are ranked, all 10 documentaries listed are eye-opening, engrossing and tell amazing sporting stories of triumph, heartache and the social issues sport has found itself surrounded by and involved in.
'LANCE' -- ESPN's latest documentary film focusing on controversial Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong -- airs on ESPN on Monday May 25 at 9pm AEDT with part two airing on Monday June 1 on ESPN at 9pm.
All films are available to stream on the E app now (Australia and New Zealand only).
10. No Cross Over: The Trial of Allen Iverson
Young, talented and cocky, Allen Iverson was on his way to becoming an NBA star when a 1993 brawl derailed his life. In No Cross Over: The Trial of Allen Iverson, former Hoops Dreams director Steve James looks at more than just how the trial, subsequent conviction and eventual jail time irreversibly changed Iverson's life, but also the impact the trial had on the town of Hampton, Virginia and the underlying racial tensions that were exposed in the town.
9. Jordan Rides the Bus
After leading the Chicago Bulls to a three-peat and winning a gold medal with the Dream Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Michael Jordan shockingly walked away from pro basketball. While a postmark on his incredible career, Jordan's time in Minor League Baseball enthralled and confused many. In this doco, Ron Shelton attempts to understand the motivations that drove the world's most famous athlete to retire from basketball in his prime and rekindle his childhood ambition by playing baseball.
For years we've watched as player salaries have skyrocketed, with big names like LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo and Tom Brady having raked in hundreds of millions of dollars. But in this eye-opening documentary, we're given a glimpse at the thousands of athletes that end their playing career flat broke. For some it's due to poor education, for others it's financial mismanagement and for many more it's family, friends or trusted advisors who have bled them dry.
7. Soccer Stories: Hillsborough
Originally airing in the United States on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, this two-hour film chronicles the events of the day, the investigations and their lingering effects on the community and football across the UK. Showcasing interviews of survivors, victims' relatives, police officers and investigators, this documentary uncovers the deep-rooted institutional complacency within the police force at the time and its role in the disaster.
6. The Best that Never Was
He was touted as the next big thing in American football - high school wide receiver Marcus Dupree attracted national attention and soon changed college athletic recruiting forever. Sought-after by a dozen big-time football programs, Dupree committed to Oklahoma, but what followed was a forgettable college career littered with conflict, injury and inflated expectations. While he eventually went on to play professionally, this documentary examines why Dupree burned out so young and his eventual redemption through football.
5. Once Brothers
On Christmas Day 1991, Yugoslavia split up. For two friends and NBA players Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac, the civil war that would take place between their home nations Croatia and Serbia would tear their friendship apart as long-buried ethnic tensions surfaced. Once teammates on the Yugoslavian National team, the pair would never speak again as the civil war pitted the two against one another. Then, in 1993 Petrovic is killed in a car accident. In this engaging and emotional story, Once Brothers tells the tale of two men, torn apart by circumstances much bigger than themselves and if Divac has ever come to terms with the death of a friend before they could reconcile.
4. Catching Hell
Sports fans aren't meant to be the story, but for Cubs fan Steve Bartman a foul ball in 2003 would see him become famous and the most hated Cubs fan in Chicago. When Bartman fatefully deflected a foul ball in Game 6 of the NLCS, long-suffering Cubs supporters found someone new to blame for their century long dry spell and he would face their wrath. This documentary explores the psychology of sports fans, the phenomenon of scapegoating and how that single moment made Bartman the most hated man in Chicago.
3. The U + The U Part 2
Originally released as a single documentary film in 2009, The U Part 2 would be released in 2014 telling the story of the second rise of the University of Miami's football team. For the purpose of this list, we've listed the two documentaries together.
Following the rise of the University of Miami's football team in the 1980s, The U focuses on the racial and cultural shift that was taking place in Miami at the time. A predominantly white university, the U would forever change when coach Howard Schnellenberger combed through the ghettos in Florida to recruit mostly black players for his team. The culture of the failing football team would change forever with the larger-than-life personalities and 'bad boys' of football going on to win four national titles between 1983 and 1991.
The U Part 2 picks up from where Part 1 ended. The U football program is struggling to recover from devastating NCAA sanctions and scandals that called for the school to drop the football program. Similar to 12 years earlier, new coach Butch Davis would come in and help the program rise from the ashes to win another national championship.
2. The Two Escobars
Pablo Escobar was the most powerful drug kingpin in the world. Andres Escobar was the biggest soccer star in Colombia. The two weren't related, but somehow their fates would meet. In Colombia, where football is more than a sport, it's intertwined with their national identity, Pablo's drug money had helped build the national side into South American champions. Favoured to win the 1994 World Cup, Andres would go on to make the most heinous of mistakes, scoring an 'own goal' that would knock his side out of the tournament. It would cost him his life. Like many ESPN documentaries, this film pulls back the curtain on sport and examines the cultural issues gripping the country, the escalating civil war and their impact on Andres Escobar and Colombia as a nation.
1. OJ: Made in America
Perhaps one of the most famous chapters in American sports, OJ: Made in America explores more than just the trial and subsequent acquittal of OJ Simpson for the murder of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson, but also the racial tensions, the cult of celebrity and America's justice system. The five-part series tells the story of a young OJ and the background of violence and a racial criminal justice system in which he grew up and his journey to becoming one of the most famous names across the nation. The documentary explores how OJ was able to transcend the colour of his skin, despite the country's division by racial lines, until that June night in 1994. The documentary is enthralling and engrossing, examining so much more than just the trial, but a country that is still so divided by colour.
Watch ESPN Films, including the 30 for 30 series in the ESPN app (Australia and New Zealand only).