It’s that time of year again where football will be taking up your weekends and Monday nights. With the brand new NFL season kicking off in just a couple of days we thought we’d take a look inside Netflix for the best American Football titles whether it’s documentaries, dramas or movies. It turns out Netflix has a treasure trove of American Football related content, particularly when it comes to ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries which are featured heavily in this list.
As a Brit, I never used to understand the appeal of American Football a couple of years ago but after a few late nights and lots of reading up on the rules I’ve grown to respect and appreciate the sport. With that said, I’m still not convinced it should actually be called football and I realise that’s a controversial subject so I’ll leave it there.
10. 30 for 30: The Best That Never Was
We’re kicking off (heh) our list with one of the many 30 for 30 documentaries on Netflix covering football. This first documentary, released back 2010, documents how Marcus Dupree in 1981 was poised to become the next global superstar but never actually made it. It’s a rather sad story of how the NFL can chew you up and spit you out.
9. We Could Be the King (2014)
First seen at the Tribeca Film Festival this documentary that is an hour and twenty minutes long, seeks to document the bitter rivalry that was present between Germantown and the Martin Luther King School. It fast forwards a few years when both schools must merge their football teams after budget reductions.
8. 30 for 30: The Youngstown Boys
Our second highlight from the 30 for 30 catalogue is Youngstown Boys. Much like The Best That Never Was, Youngstown Boys looks at the rise and fall of two influential figures one being Marice Clarett who is a running back and head coach Jim Tressel.
7. 30 for 30: Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?
Cast your mind back to the 1980’s and you may remember the United States Football League but today it doesn’t exist. This documentary looks behind the scenes at what went on with the USFL and what caused its inevitable demise.
6. 23 Blast (2014)
The inspiring but sometimes over the top movie from 2014, 23 Blast, ranks at number 6 in our listing and while this almost certainly won’t be for everyone. After a popular high school football star suddenly goes blind he chooses to battle his condition and continue his dream.
5. Blue Mountain State
Blue Mountain State currently has 3 seasons on Netflix and it combines what people loved about coming of age movies like American Pie with football. The comedy series follows the misadventures of three first-year freshmen and their endeavours to make it in their football team.
4. The Longest Yard (2005)
Although it’s not the only Adam Sandler movie which has picked up on football nor the best, The Longest Yard is still enjoyable. The 2005 comedy is all about how one quarterback who faces prison time, convinces some of the other convicts to form a football team to face off against the guards of the prison.
3. Friday Night Tykes
There are two seasons of the documentary series Friday Night Tykes and it serves as a great insight into the world of child stars and the pressures they’re up against when competing on a professional level. It specifically follows the Texas youth football team and has a 5 star rating on Netflix right now.
2. Friday Night Lights
Before the show finished in 2011, Friday Night Lights was among the best shows NBC was outputting at the time. It moved away your normal crime drama and focussed on Eric Taylor, who has been enlisted to be the football coach of a team in Texas. It’s loosely based on the 2004 movie and is an emotional and heartfelt series with plenty of ups and downs throughout.
1. Last Chance-U
Netflix has been killing it with their documentaries in recent years and their first series based on the NCAA when down a treat when it landed this summer on Netflix. Although we’ve covered some other titles that feature young talent that’s up and coming, Last Chance U does is it in a slightly different way with it painting a different light on the process.