Like every sportswriter this week, I’m giving my suggestions to what teams or programs should have the next “The Last Dance” documentary.
For those who don’t know, “The Last Dance” is a 10-part series on the Chicago Bulls’ dominance of the NBA in the 1990s. The story goes in-depth with a camera crew that followed the 1997 Bulls every step of the way.
I’ll admit I’m currently behind, but from the episodes I have seen, it has been pretty impressive.
This is going to be a two-part column for me. The first part, which is what you will read today, will be my picks as some of the most interesting professional and collegiate sports stories that could use the storytelling of the “The Last Dance” caliber. Next week, I’ll be doing a more local perspective on this list, so stay tuned.
5. Alabama football 2007 – current
Nick Saban’s dynasty in college football has and is one of the most dominant in all of collegiate sports history. It could be interesting to see a close up version of Saban leaving LSU to coach the Miami Dolphins and then going and taking the job with the Crimson Tide.
Of course, it would be interesting to see all the many talented first-round picks to recollect on their time at Alabama.
I think looking at the LSU-Alabama national championship in 2011 could be fun as well as the Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa quarterback controversy.
There are numerous directions in which the story of the rebirth Alabama football program could be told. In my mind, that’s what makes it an even more intriguing subject.
4. Patriots 2001-2019
It’s now become the greatest NFL dynasty ever. The story begins with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, who ended up coming away with nine Super Bowl appearances and six wins.
Some of the parts that could be fun to visit is the story of how the dynasty started, as well as the insights of Bellicheck’s coaching and Brady’s experiences.
While, it’s easy to say that the Patriots were successful, it surely did come with its controversies. Spy-Gate, De-Flate Gate, Robert Kraft’s solicitation accusation as well as the constant media storms surrounding Brady and Belichick’s dislike for each other which should make for great TV.
There is no doubt that this is the greatest NFL dynasty in the history of the league, but it did not come without any drama.
3. Virginia 2018-2019
Virginia basketball became the laughingstock of March Madness and in the basketball world. In the 2017-2018 season, the Cavaliers became the first-ever No. 1 seed to be upset by a No. 16 seed in NCAA tournament history. If you forgot, Virginia lost to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County or better known as UMBC.
That year Virginia was a championship contender with a 31-3 record and won the highly competitive ACC tournament. Instead, UMBC put itself on the media world’s map with its clever Twitter and edged itself in history books while Virginia left in shame and hit a tough rock bottom.
Virginia opened the next year with 16-0 start. But losses to No. 1 Duke questioned Virginia’s comeback. Virginia returned as a No. 1 seed despite not winning the ACC tournament. To start the NCAA tournament the next year, the Cavaliers trailed to No. 16 Gardner-Webb by 14 points at the start of the game, and immediately social media dug up Virginia basketball’s worst moment from the prior year mid-game. Virginia made its return to glory with a final second win over Auburn in the Final Four, and an OT win over Texas Tech.
In my book, this team will forever get overlooked because people don’t care to remember those great teams that experience successful rebounds. People always remember the unlikely stories and heroes, but I believe the story of Virginia basketball is the story of resilience and how the past cannot wholly define someone.
2. Coastal Carolina baseball 2016
This was a classic Cinderella story that unfolded in the realm of college baseball. Coastal Carolina, who was then a member of the not so mighty Big South, put together a 55-win season and was only ranked as high as No. 11 in college baseball’s top 25 rankings. It wasn’t until Week 13 in the college baseball season that the program was ranked in all four major polls.
You can’t forget, Andrew Beckwith, the pitcher who kept switching from side-arm to submarine-style pitching. Beckwith had batters seeing two different pitchers in one game. Not to mention, Coastal Carolina’s explosive offense that led the nation with 96 home runs.
Coastal Carolina’s road to the World Series was filled with exciting upsets. The Chanticleers upset North Carolina State in the regionals and swept LSU in Alex Box Stadium in the Super Regionals which was capped off with a ninth inning walk-off. Then Coastal Carolina came out of the loser’s bracket in the College World Series tournament to reach the finals. Coastal Carolina pulled off a comeback series win against Arizona after losing Game 1.
I’m probably just a college baseball nerd, but this championship team still blows my mind.
1. Saints 2006-2010
Maybe I’m sentimental because it’s my hometown team and I grew up watching this unfold. However, the Saints were the rally cry in helping rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It started in 2006 with the Saints’ NFC Championship run.
But what happens between 2007 and 2008, although were disappointing years, were imperative in finding the players that became significant parts of the Saints’ Super Bowl season.
The story of Drew Brees and Sean Payton is essential and would also be fun to watch.
In 2009, the Saints and the rebuild of New Orleans went hand in hand. This gets highlighted best as the Saints started the season 13-0. For context, the city went over 20 days without having a murder, which was caused by the Saints’ success. I have never seen excitement like that and may never again.
Seeing the cultural impact on the city could be fun to watch as well as the creation of the modern-day heroes that New Orleans loves.