TV

Swamp Kings Reveals Netflix Sports Documentaries Are in a Difficult Place


Recent Netflix sports documentaries like Swamp Kings can’t capture the full stories of their subjects for one big reason.

Tim Tebow in Untold: Swamp Kings
Photo: Netflix

To borrow a rhetorical device from ESPN’s great sports documentary series 30 for 30: What if I told you there exists the most dramatic college football team of all time?

Said football team was filled with enough off-the-wall stories and colorful characters to make any would-be documentarian salivate. These characters and their stories include: a megalomaniacal head coach who got fired from his first NFL job mid-season for feeling up an undergrad at a steakhouse named after him, a star defensive end who was arrested for a DUI just days before the NCAA Southeastern Conference Championship game, and a tight end who committed literal murder.

That team is real. It was the 2005-2010 University of Florida Gators. Now, what if I told you there is a just-released docuseries about said team … that completely omits all of the dramatic information cited above and more? That docuseries is also real.

Netflix‘s four-episode docuseries Untold: Swamp Kings was released on Aug. 22 and has been a steady presence in the streamer’s Top Ten feature ever since (it’s settled in at number seven as of the writing of this article on Sept. 5). The success of the show is unsurprising given how inherently interesting the Gators’ story is, even with the most prurient bits edited out.

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