There are competitive sports, but there are also scandals. From Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox in 1919 to DeflateGate and the Houston Astros in 2017. The crime and controversy that has long gone hand in hand with the athletics. In Bad Sport, a new series of the six standalone documentaries. That debut’s simultaneously on Netflix, we get an in-depth look at some of the scandals. That might be on your radar but are no less surprising.
There are sports stories we remember and stories we forget:
But just because we forget them, it doesn’t mean the crime is more diminutive. In six standalone films, Netflix’s “Bad Sports” reveals stories that clinched titles in their day. But largely escaped the collective memory of sports fans. This slick, well-produced documentary offers compelling insight. Into a shocking scandal, most of which is told by the people at the centre of the story. From shaving basketball to match-fixing, drug smuggling, horse killing and bribery – Bad Sport has something for everyone. Chasing the dirty underbelly of competitive sports.
There are no artists themselves here, but, as we saw in the UNTOLD series. The strength of Netflix sports documentaries lies in the access it gives filmmakers. Many of the central characters in these stories appear to tell their sides. Including, in many cases, people who have had dire consequences for their past actions. Hearing his own words made him more than just retelling; we get the inner view.
Have you ever wondered what the best way to make money playing basketball is?
Joe Galliano will be happy to explain it to you. Money isn’t about losing favourites – it’s all too obvious, and loved ones don’t like losing. The most ingenious strategy presented by former bookmakers. It is to bet on the favourite to win for less than what was expected. It’s really easy for the better team to control the game, and simple mistakes. A wrong pass, a missed free throw with a delay. That are easily presumed innocent but can turn a win from 20 to 7 points. And tens of thousands of dollars you bet like a few.
I explained this at the start of Hoop Schemes, the first in a six-part documentary series on Netflix. And it’s easy to see why they did it. The 1994 film, which exposed the 1994 shaving scandal that rocked the men’s basketball program in Arizona. Which makes the incident perfectly understandable from one perspective, at least. (This is an unfortunate angle, keep that in mind.) Yes, it’s completely illegal. Yes, both bookies and gamblers were in jail when the scheme was exposed.
The inclusion of critical characters from lesser-known sports stories is a hallmark of recent Netflix documentaries, and here are six chants: It might not be all that exciting to hear about the 27-year-old college basketball scandal — especially now that we’re in an era. When college players can finally get paid on the table – but it’s exciting to hear from the people who do.
While Scheme Hoop is best of all, there’s great stuff to be found throughout the six-part series.
Including the story of Randy Lanier, a professional racer turned drug smuggler; Luciano Moggi, former director of Juventus’ Italian football headquarters. Who urged staff to be positive; Marie-Rhein Le Gunn, a French skater who misjudged the figure skating competition that happened at the 2002 Winter Olympics in favour of Russian athletes. Tommy “The Sandman” Burns, a man who is killed an insurance fraud horse on the orders of its owner, and Hansi Krone, a South African cricket star who was eventually banned from match-fixing for life. Even if you have never thought about equestrian or cricket sports, they are all interesting, and each is worth the time.
Netflix’s recent foray into sports-oriented programming has excellent content and looks high, and bad sports continue that trend. Let’s hope they stay firm.