TV Review – “Bullies of Baltimore” is a Wildly Entertaining Documentary That Breaks the “30 for 30” Mold

ESPN’s 30 for 30 series of documentaries has covered a wide variety of incredible stories that have transcended their respective sports and bleed into much bigger topics. Sometimes though, it’s fun to just get back to basics and examine one of the best teams to ever play the game, especially when that team was loaded with big personalities.

Bullies of Baltimore looks back at the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, which boasted arguably the greatest defense in the history of football en route to a Super Bowl victory. The documentary gets some of the major pieces of that team together to reminisce and share their stories from that season.

This new documentary, in some ways, breaks the typical 30 for 30 mold. The formula of old footage from the games in in the locker rooms combined with individual interviews, is blown up when several coaches and players from the team are brought out on stage to relive their historical season together.

Documentaries are primarily informative, exploring interesting topics and shedding some light on lesser known information. The great ones though, are also incredibly entertaining and Bullies of Baltimore fits that bill. With so many outspoken players and coaches on the team – including Ray Lewis, Tony Siragusa, Shannon Sharpe, head coach Brian Billick and more – it was bound to be a whole lot of fun seeing them get back together.

Perhaps even more entertaining this the old highlights that allow football fans to get to see these big personalities in their prime. Whether it’s watching them make plays on the field or talking trash off the field, they were certainly in the spotlight and loving every second of it. This doc lets football fans see all of the dramatic and hilarious moments from that season.

There is also a big emotional component to this documentary, with Siragusa passing away last June, shortly after this reunion was filmed. Old interviews with the defensive lineman are beautifully worked into the doc as a tribute and some powerful words from Lewis make for a very emotional moment to really bring it all home.

Overall, Bullies of Baltimore is a must watch for football fans. Even those of us who actively root against the Ravens at least twice a year will find something to enjoy about this documentary. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments thanks to the characters involved as well as a whole lot of hard-hitting football. If nothing else, it’s a great historical look at how much the game has changed in the past 20 years. This is certainly different from almost every other 30 for 30, but it still hits all the notes that have made the series so great.

Bullies of Baltimore premieres on ESPN February 5 at 8:30 p.m. and will be made available on ESPN+ immediately after its premiere, along with the rest of the 30 for 30 library.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."