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.

 

Personal Favorite Books

The only problem with this particular recommendation is that I’ve already talked about a lot of my favorite books. Since I read so much, I’m going to do my best to bring up books I haven’t already mentioned. These books are ones that really caused me to love reading. This love started from an early age so I’ll try to touch on some kids books as well.

Babysitter’s Club

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These books were my absolute favorite growing up. I read pretty much every single one of these books. There was at least 100 in the series. I really think that reading these books from such a young age helped me love reading as much as I do now.

Junie B. Jones

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Okay, I gotta give credit to Junie. I actually started reading these books long before babysitter’s club. I remember reading these in the first grade and absolutely loving them. I also credit Junie for making me such a sassy child. The character certainly had that part down. There are few characters as hilarious because this is an accurate portrayal of a young girl which is rare with books.

Charlotte’s Web

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The first book that wasn’t a series that I fell in love with. The story of Charlotte’s Web is a classic for a reason. It’s one of the most honest and innocent displays of friendship that’s ever been written. I love the simplicity yet deep life lessons this one holds. It’s really one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.

American Girl

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These are just four out of many many American Girl characters. These books were amazing and they also taught me a lot about history which is always a plus. The dolls were great but I personally enjoyed reading these since you become so invested with the stories and characters within these stories. I’m not sure which one is my favorite. The only doll I ever had was Kit but I always loved Samantha and Molly’s books were the ones I found myself reading the most.

Goosebumps

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I still have nightmares about these books sometimes. They are so haunting and just straight up creepy. The one that always got me was Phantom of the Auditorium. I’ve read it about three or four times and I think the plot twist just shocks me no matter how many times I read it. I even watched the episode of Phantom of the Auditorium hoping that would cure my fears. Nope, I’m still creeped out like 10 years later.

Harry Potter

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I didn’t get into these books until like 8th grade. By that point, a majority of the movies were already out but I was still a big fan of the story. I loved Hermione Granger and how intelligent she was and I was so envious of her being a witch and everything. I just really loved the first four books. I couldn’t get through the fifth one but the first four were amazing to me! They really got me back into reading.

A Mango Shaped Space

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This book is probably the least known of the bunch so far. It really intrigued me the first time I read it. The main reason I included it on this list is because it’s the first book I remember crying over. The story was just so incredible and I’d never read anything like it. The book is about a girl who has synesthesia, which is a neurological phenomenon where you see letters and numbers as colors. It’s a really unique and rare thing that you never read about in fiction young adult books. It was a book that really blew me away and I still love it today.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

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Another series that I read in the fifth grade and really loved. It just taught me a lot about what it means to be a real friend. What these four characters have is something that every person longs for. They go through boys, deaths, sickness, pregnancy, and everything in between but they always stick together. And when they can’t physically be together, they just send the pants and it feels like they are really together. This is a book that I will always love, even though the last book was actually insane and weird.

Now and Then

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As a kid, I remember watching the movie Now and Then. There’s one scene in particular that I remember clearly. It’s the one where two of the young girls have to get a bracelet that one of them dropped out of the sewer. That scene has always stayed with me for reasons I don’t really know. I remember other aspects of the movie like when the girls summon spirits at the cemetery. I also remember that one of the girls lost her mother and was still grieving over it. I watched the movie for the first time since I was a kid recently and it wasn’t the way I remembered it.

That’s the funny thing about time, sometimes things aren’t how we remembered them to be. Rewatching the movie made me question why I ever liked it in the first place. The movie doesn’t have a well developed plot. I get the sentiment of the movie but it’s rather pointless to have the girls as grownups at all. Much of the movie focuses on them as younger girls and so it doesn’t make sense why they don’t have balance between them as kids and adults. There’s really only two scenes with them in it and all plus Demi Moore narrating some of the movie.

The movie has some positive qualities that I didn’t recognize when I was younger. For example, I never really noticed the music besides the song My Girl since I’d heard that song other places. Now that I’m older, I love pretty much all of the songs. I loved the scene where one of the girls is an adult and singing I’ll Be There as she gets ready. It also fits considering the girls sang along to all of the songs they played when they were younger. I think it was overly cheesy that they recreated several things the four did when they were younger. They could’ve just did the Red Rover scene but instead they also included going back to the treehouse and playing truth or dare.

I think it’s strange how different things can be to us when we’re older. We see things from a new point of view that we hadn’t developed when we were younger. Now, I observe more than I once did. I notice things that go on and am a lot more critical of things. I think I see this movie through a new pair of eyes because I hold higher standards in regard to movies. I’m a bit of a snob and so I found a lot of flaws when I watched this movie again. I think it can be good to have a new point of view and to see things differently than you used to.

The Transformation of Taylor Swift

At the young age of 16, Taylor Swift released a country debut album that put her on the map. She sang relatable songs that she wrote herself based on relationships, friendships, and the everyday high school life. Her lyrics were honest, angry, and full of angst. Her image wasn’t as angsty- she dressed in cute and bright colors with her trademark curly blonde hair. She played the guitar and openly embraced who she was. She continued to release albums that spoke to teen girls going through similar problems. Her songs weren’t always catchy pop songs, though many such as, “Love Story” “You Belong With Me” and “Our Song” were. It was the more personal and acoustic songs that appealed to listeners, “Fifteen” “White Horse” “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops On My Guitar” told beautiful stories and were more country than anything else.

Taylor Swift began experimenting with other genres long before “1989.” “Teardrops On My Guitar” on the first album had its own pop single made just for radio. On her second album “Fearless,” “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” were the two pop hits. Her third album, “Speak Now” was filled with more and more pop radio friendly songs. “Mine” and “Back To December” were two of the songs that was played on pop radio. Her other single “Mean” echoed with more of a country vibe than a pop one. “Red” was filled with more mature lyrics and even more pop songs which led to her first fully pop album, “1989.”

I’ve talked a lot about the change within her music, but her image and fashion in general has also evolved rather dramatically. One of the most notable being her view about feminism. This article

T Swift

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Here are two early Swift classy and modest fashion choices. Both also feature her signature curly hair.

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This one isn’t all that different from the first two. It was taken in 2010 during her Speak Now tour. I love her cowboy boots.

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Two years after her Speak Now tour, Swift transformed while on her Red tour. This was the first time she ditched the curls and she’s embraced straight hair. Besides the obvious red lipstick and pretty much everything red, Swift also frequently wore high waist shorts. She also rocked the Stevie Nicks hat.

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Here’s Swift earlier this year with her chic hair, the usual red lipstick, and classy vintage outfit.

Taylor Swift goes to florists and pottery shops in New York City

I love this outfit because of the vintage hair. I’m also obsessed with her hair piece. She also looks stunning in this dress and her purse is simple yet brings her outfit together.

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This is my favorite Swift outfit- besides the weird trimming on the mint outfit. The trimming feels out of place. But I do believe that this is a classy outfit that works for her. It’s vintage and the bangs always work for T Swift.

I think that these pictures give some idea as to the change that has happened with Taylor. People give her a lot of flack for changing her music, lyrics, and her image in general but people need to realize that she’s 25 years old. Since she is that age, it wouldn’t make sense for her to be writing songs meant for a younger audience. She has respect for her young fans but she’s also changing so why not represent that in her music?