With more and more people ditching cable for streaming services, you’ve probably wondered how to watch 30 for 30 documentaries online without having to pay out the wazoo for regular ESPN. Hell, as someone who could literally sit around and watch every single 30 for 30 ever made, I know it can be tough trying to find some of your favorites without being at the mercy of regular programming.
Thankfully, there’s ESPN+, which is the new streaming service that, for just $4.99/month — or $49.99/year — sports fans can have some of the most exclusive content at their fingertips anytime they want. You can also bundle it with Disney+ and Hulu too!
How to watch ESPN 30 For 30 online via ESPN+
All you have to do is sign up for ESPN Plus. And, since the service includes all of the 30 for 30 documentaries ever released, you no longer need to go down dark alleys of the Internet to find the ones you want. Pretty sweet, huh?
You can binge-watch all of your favorite 30 for 30 docs in a weeks worth of time, while also playing around with in-depth content and coverage of things like the UFC and ESPN FC, as well as shows like Detail with Peyton Manning and LeBron James’More Than An Athlete. But because I’m all about how to watch 30 for 30 online, I’m giving you my rankings for the top-10 best sports documentaries and stories ever told by the series, so you can better plan how to enjoy them on ESPN+.
One of the most fascinating and polarizing athletes to very take the NBA hardwood. From homelessness as a kid to small college hopeful and, finally, to NBA stardom, Dennis Rodman’s 30 for 30 features interviews with some of Rodman’s more famous teammates, including Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, David Robinson and others, who all help define the man (and myth) known as “The Worm.” And the only place to watch it is on ESPN+, which is available for just $4.99/month.
Read our interview with Dennis Rodman about his 30 for 30 here.
O.J.: Made in America
O.J. Simpson was one of the most influential athletes in history, crossing cultural and racial barriers during and after his NFL playing days. What O.J.: Made in America shows is his rise from his days growing up in San Francisco to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and, of course, the double murder trial that captivated the nation’s attention in 1995. This documentary is the only 30 for 30 to win an Academy Award.
The Two Escobars
Prior to the release of the aforementioned O.J.: Made in America, The Two Escobars was at the top of my list of all-time favorite 30 for 30 docs. That’s because it shows the strange relationship between Colombian druglord, Pablo Escoabar, and the country’s captain on the 1994 World Cup soccer team, Andres Escobar, documenting how the nation’s cocaine business influenced the sport of soccer.
Showing how pro athletes spent millions of dollars after signing huge contracts, Broke shows the reality of giving young people lots and lots of money. This 30 for 30 tells sad tails of former All-Stars in a number of different sports losing it all because of poor business decision or, frankly, having the inability to tell people no.
Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies
It’s one of the best rivalries in NBA history, if not the best, so, even if you’re not a Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics fan, the three-part 30 for 30 showcasing the bad blood between these two teams is a must-see. Whether it was the flashiness of the Lakers or the more reserved approach of the Celtics, the two franchises — who have combined for 33 total NBA titles — are much more similar than they might want to admit.
Brash, cocky, wild and winners, The U documents what life was like as a Miami Hurricane football player during the heydays of the ’80s and ’90s. Winning multiple national titles during that time period, players were known for having more than just swagger — even once showing up to a bowl game in Army fatigues — but also pushing the limits between excessive partying. They were the kings of South Beach, and the stories are wild.
You don’t need to be a Cleveland sports fan to enjoy the 30 for 30 documentary Believeland. As someone who grew up a Cleveland sports fan, though, I can tell you that this is one that hits home, showing all the pitfalls of my favorite franchises over the past century or so. Thankfully, we had LeBron James end a title drought by delivering the city an NBA championship in 2016, which made for a cool alternate ending to this documentary from the original one that aired.
Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman probably regrets that fateful night he ever reached for a foul ball in Game 6 of the NLCS in Wrigley Field. To say his life changed forever would be an understatement, and Catching Hell shows different angles and fan stories about that night that cost the Cubs a chance at reaching the World Series.
Ric Flair is one of the most legendary wrestlers on the planet, and his life of excess has led to fortune and fame, as his persona is all about living a certain lifestyle. What the 30 for 30 documentary Nature Boy shows is the life and career of Flair, with him describing sexual escapades and wild stores of a life in professional wrestling that spans decades.
Brian and The Boz
Before Brian Bosworth, many college athletes were reserved. Not “The Boz,” though, who took things to an extreme level during his playing days at the University of Oklahoma and during a short career in the NFL. Brian and The Boz tells the real story of Bosworth’s struggles differentiating between a persona and his real self, allowing himself to get caught up in the limelight as a stud college linebacker.
One and Not Done
As a graduate of the University of Kentucky, you just know I had to add this one on here. Sure, I Still Hate Christian Laettner is awesome — and true, in my case — but seeing how John Calipari has stood in the face of critics and singlehandedly changed the landscape of college basketball is amazing. One and Not Done describes how Calipari’s way might be frowned upon my many, but it’s a method that has worked for him since his days as Memphis’ head coach, and has impacted college and pro hoops in a major way.
This Was The XFL
The XFL is making a comeback, but the 30 for 30 documentary, This Was The XFL, tells the story of the professional football league’s first go-round, focusing on the pitfalls it had while trying to compete with the NFL. While the league failed, the impact it had on media and TV broadcasts are described in the film, with the innovation from XFL games being used by other major leagues these days.
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