Top Sports Documentaries

These are some of my favorite sports documentaries of all time. I’ve tried to include many different sports in this list but I’m sure I left some out so let me know if I forgot any of your favorites!

1. Undefeated

This documentary won an Oscar for Best Documentary and it’s not hard to see why. It follows an inner city high school in Memphis that’s run by a volunteer coach. The stories of these individual players is so touching and interesting. It just gives audiences a lot of insight into the struggles that these kids have to deal with. This is a documentary that’s pretty impossible not to cry over.

2. Baseball

One of the best documentaries about baseball and an extremely long one at that. It’s a very in depth look at the history of baseball. It makes sure to stick as close to the dates and important decades in the sport as possible. As a whole, it’s just a fun documentary that teaches you a lot about all of the players and dates that are significant for baseball.

3. The Endless Summer

A timeless documentary that changed the direction of surfing documentaries right around. It takes a unique first person point of view that had a way of making audiences feel that they were actually apart of the story. Bruce Brown’s approach to filming and narrating in this feature in general was something that we hadn’t yet seen. He also showed that the theory “less is more” can be a relevant one when used by the right filmmaker.

4. Hoop Dreams

This is a long one but it’s far from boring, the length is perfect for you to get involved in the lives of these two high school basketball players who have dreams of playing in the NBA. That plot sounds like a simple one, what basketball player doesn’t have that dream? But as you take a closer look, you realize the racial and economic challenges that these two African American boys have to deal with. It becomes a lot more about their lives outside of the sport and that’s what keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time.

5. 30 for 30: Fab Five

ESPN 30 for 30 films never disappoint. They always manage to tell such fascinating stories from various points of view. This one in particular revealed a lot about how these underprivileged boys were given the opportunity to play basketball at Michigan. At the time, they came off as being “cocky” and “punks” but this gives us more insight as four of the boys (Chris Webber didn’t want to be apart of it) were interviewed as well as other coaches and reporters around during this time. I gained a lot of respect for them after watching this and seeing how much they truly changed culture and what people thought about them.

6. 30 for 30: Into The Wind

30 for 30 isn’t typically known for being so emotional and heartbreaking. Most of the time, just the facts are being presented and it isn’t exactly tear jerking. However, this story about Terry Fox is bound to make even the hardest of hearts shed a few tears. Canadian Terry Fox was a big runner when his leg was amputated at the age of 19 because of cancer. In 1980, he ends up running across Canada on one leg. His relentless work ethic and pure love for running is so heartwarming and inspiring.

7. We Could Be King

An inspiring look at two Philadelphia rival schools being forced to combine their football programs due to budget cuts. The horrors that these kids go through is really emotional. One of the boys Dontae is a big guy who is extremely sensitive and it breaks your heart when the boy struggles with reading out loud. The coach himself is also an inspiration, he began helping these boys after his close friend was murdered. He wanted to help these boys get away from the realities of their lives and focus on the sport they all love.

8. The Battered Bastards Of Baseball

The Portland Mavericks were an independent team owned by Bing Russell, father of actor Kurt Russell who also did some acting himself. The movie is hilarious but also touching to see these underdogs rise to the top in such hilarious fashion. The people interviewed including Kurt Russell, a batboy, players, coaches, Kurt’s mom, and many more give us new dimensions to the story.

 

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Quotes About Learning

As I’ve continued to stress, learning is important, even more so than education. It’s something that we continue to do throughout our entire lives even when our education is finished. So, here are some quotes about learning, which is just a little different from education from some of the greatest minds.

“Any fool can learn. The point is to understand.”- Albert Einstein

“Self-education is, I firmly believe the only education there is.” – Isaac Asimov

“You cannot open a book without learning something.” – Confucius

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

“I am always ready to learn although I don’t always like being taught.” – Winston Churchill

“It’s what you learn after you know it all is what counts.” – Harry S. Truman

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.” – Ernest Hemingway

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” – Phil Collins

Celebrities Who Went To College

It’s true that a lot of celebrities skipped getting a degree and went straight to college. Some became actresses and actors then later pursued college. Regardless of when they did it, these are all famous people that you don’t know because of their brains but they’ve certainly proved their smarts!

Natalie Portman
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This stunning actress has brains too! She went to Harvard and got her degree in psychology. She also speaks many different languages like: Hebrew, French, Arabic, German, Japanese, and obviously English. She’s proved that being smart and learning things just because can be beneficial to you in the future!

James Franco


This actor has basically studied everywhere at this point. He obviously can’t get enough of education which isn’t a bad thing at all. He first started off studying at UCLA. After becoming an actor for awhile, he decided he wanted to attend graduate school so he did so in New York. I’m not going to mention all the schools he attended for graduate school since there’s like three rather wordy names. But basically, he’s currently getting his PhD at Yale University.

Conan O’Brien

The funny comedian graduated from Harvard University.

Edward Norton


This actor went to Yale University where he was a competitive rower. He also managed to act in the university productions alongside fellow actors Ron Livingston and Paul Giamatti. Norton ended up graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Meryl Streep


This actress who’s been nominated for more Oscars than anyone else is also extremely educated. She went to Vassar College then Yale School of Drama.

Rivers Cuomo


The Weezer lead singer went to Harvard after Weezer’s debut album reached commercial success. He ended up attending class off and on from 1995 to 2006. He ended up graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

Emma Watson


The Harry Potter star was obviously young when the film’s were made. She decided to go after a degree. Watson began attending Brown University in 2009. She took a little hiatus to go back to acting but she’s apparently back at the school and set to graduate this year!

Thoughts On Homeschooling

When I was younger, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be homeschooled. Both my parents work full time so there was basically no other option for schooling. Now, most of the homeschoolers are taught online and don’t even need an instructor supervising since they have an online teacher. This is really interesting to me and it has many pros and cons to it. I’ve decided to explore those here and see what you guys think about it!

Pro:
This is a pro for the student: getting to sleep in and not having to get ready or even move to go anywhere. You can do everything right where you are and you don’t always have a schedule or at least you can pick your own schedule.

Being able to do things at your own pace.

Not having that loud classroom atmosphere.

You can also be ahead other students- this goes hand in hand for doing things at your own pace. But for the previous one, I mostly meant that for those who may struggle with finishing assignments quickly. This one has to do with those who are ridiculously ahead and don’t want to be held behind.

Many teachers just teach things you already know and you don’t have to deal with listening to that.

Con:
Limited interaction- you don’t get to be around people your age or even experience teachers. It can be pretty lonely.

Sheltered- Being sheltered isn’t always a bad thing but it can be a rude awakening when you enter the world without ever having any experience that those in public school have.

Having someone to help and ask questions to- Yes, you have an online teacher. But that isn’t exactly the same thing. It feels different when you get the chance to actually be around the teacher and you get to work one on one. It has a more personal feel than just asking questions online and asking. If you have a parent who’s homeschooling you, it can get boring to just interact with your mom or dad all day. And what happens if they don’t have an answer to your question? That’s not to say public school teachers are always going to know the answer, but at least you get to have the experience to be around everyone.

Best YouTube Learning Channels

YouTube has a big affect on learning. I’ve learned so much from many of these different channels. Some of these are really random education channels that teach you facts you didn’t know you should know! Regardless, it’s safe to say a lot can be learned from all of these and I hope you love them as much as I do.

SciShow

https://www.youtube.com/user/scishow

I’m not a big fan of Science but SciShow brings up so many fascinating topics that I can’t help but love. The videos are always short and informative. Prepare to fall in love!

List25

https://www.youtube.com/user/list25

The title alone is just a little bit self explanatory. List25 is all about lists of 25 random facts about different world leaders, life hacks, history factors, and many random and bizarre facts. Yes, the lists can get a little lengthy but I promise that each topic is so intriguing that it isn’t all that long at all.

Khan Academy

https://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy

I can’t recommend this enough. Khan Academy has it’s whole own website. However, it also has tons and tons of videos on it’s YouTube video as well. Khan Academy has videos on just about any topic in Math, Science, Psychology, English, and much more. It’s most well known for it’s Math and Science videos since they include so many different interesting topics.

TED-Ed

https://www.youtube.com/user/TEDEducation

This channel is a little more educational than the normal TED videos. TED is known for it’s conferences and lectures given by top experts on it’s specific topic. This channel is a lot shorter and provides illustrations and lots of well researched information. It brings up a lot of interesting points and I love it.

Mental Floss

https://www.youtube.com/user/MentalFlossVideo

Mental Floss is also a magazine but it makes memorable videos here as well. The videos are mostly random misconceptions, life hacks, and myths. Always entertaining and weird, you can count on the Mental Floss to come through with the facts about everything.

PBS Idea Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/pbsideachannel

They don’t post as many videos as I’d like them to but the ones they do post always are amazing. PBS is filled with educational things and none is as cool and interesting as this one right here.

Crash Course

https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse

Who isn’t obsessed with Crash Course? You’re seriously missing out if you haven’t heard of this YouTube channel. The Young Adult author John Green hosts this channel and his brother hosts as well. John typically covers the English and History topics while Hank covers Psychology and Science topics. These are all informative and well illustrated videos that teach you tons of information in around 12 minutes or so.

March Madness Cinderella Stories

Since March Madness is currently going on, I thought it’d be an appropriate time to highlight some of the most incredible Cinderella stories in the history of the tournament. We all like cheering for the underdog and in each of these cases, the underdog was able to achieve awesomely unexpected things and win us all over in the process.

1985 Villanova

villanova basketball

This was a brutal Nova team that depended a lot on their defense. They didn’t often score but they also kept their opponents from scoring as well. They were an 8 seed and they easily made it to the title game against Patrick Ewing and his favored Georgetown team. The game was pretty close, but Villanova came out on top and beat them by 2.

2011 VCU

Donald Miralie/Getty Images

This team had to win a play-in game just to make it into the tournament. That alone shows you just how much of an underdog they were. They didn’t let that slow them down, instead they came out swinging. They took out great teams such as USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and then top seeded Kansas. The Kansas game was the most famous one due to how good the Jayhawks were that year. They would eventually lose in the final four against another big underdog Butler, but that doesn’t take away from what VCU was able to accomplish.

1983 NC State

This video gives me chills and makes me cry a little bit everytime I watch it. The 6th seeded NC State was able to pull off a buzz beater in the final seconds of the championship game. This is by far the best game as far as being neck in neck in a championship game that I’ve ever seen. One Wolfpack player attempts a three-point shot that is obviously something done just on a whim and probably not going to make it. Then all of a sudden, another Wolfpack player pretty much comes out of nowhere and dunks it up to win the game. It’s so heartwarming to see coach Jimmy V run out on the court where he famously ran around looking for someone to hug after the big win.

2010 and 2011 Butler University

Nobody predicted that Butler would have the success that they did two years in a row. The first time, they beat out number one seed Syracuse in the sweet 16, then Kansas State, and then Michigan State before the team took on yet another number one seed Duke in the national championship. The game came down to the wire, but Butler lost after a heartbreaking half court shot by star Gordon Hayward hit off the backboard. Despite this, Butler still came back the next season and eventually lost to Connecticut in the championship game. Although they never won, they still made history. The team became the first team that wasn’t a one or two seed to make it to back to back Final Fours. They also became the first team to beat one and two seeds before the Final Four in consecutive years.

NPR Education Articles

NPR is amazing at publishing the best news and general content. They have an education blog that also never disappoints. Recently, they started an ongoing series they call, “50 Best Teachers.” There’s 12 total articles which you can find here. I’m going to link to several different articles that I found the most intriguing.

Any article about Springsteen is automatically one of my favorites. This one doesn’t let me down. It focuses on one particular teacher who finds inspiration from the famous performer. She says that there’s not really one particular method of teaching that she’s been taught. This is a bunch of interesting points and I like hearing about different teachers around the world.

These are all important points about being a good teacher from voices that know what they are talking about. It’s a well put together article and it’s all important things to keep in mind.

NPR talks about movies and how teachers are portrayed in them. They bring up interesting points about a variety of different teachers and their personalities in movies. They talk about the good teachers who are passionate and involved. Such as Robin Williams’ English teacher in Dead Poets Society. In contrast, they bring up the teacher in Whiplash. A movie that was recently released about the relationship between a drummer and his jazz teacher. The relationship goes abusive which is obviously not a good turn of events. I like how many different personalities the articles explores.

All are personal and endearing tales from the readers favorite teachers. They talk about how a teacher’s colorful personality is a large part of the appeal. I love hearing others points of views and experiences.

There’s yet another perspective on real people and the memories we share with the teachers. It’s like Friday Night Lights, only more inspiring and has a much happier ending.