The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.
Saturday, June 05, 2021
The global fascination with sports is, to some, a complete mystery. They’ll never understand what makes “a game” so important, why it matters or the emotional toll it can take on diehard fans. Then there are others (like myself) who find sports reassuring — a perfect world with rules and bylaws that actually make sense. This newsletter is for both the doubters and the fanatics. We’re not only introducing you to the best games happening this weekend, but also exciting sports-related movies, podcasts and gear that will make even skeptics reconsider. From a biopic about an Indian women’s badminton star to where to watch the unique game of “Aussie Rules” in Melbourne, this is your guide to all things sports.
The NBA playoffs have been a thrill ride. The second round starts this weekend, which, coupled with good weather, might prompt you to get outside and shoot some hoops yourself. The only problem is who to shoot them with. As with everything, there’s an app for that. Launched this year, digital basketball platform XvsX helps connect players to their communities — whether purely recreational, college-level or even semi-pro. The app also allows you to set up tryouts, organize games and find coaches or scouts. It was created by former NBA champion Metta World Peace to ensure elite talent gets exposure and to help hooping hopefuls find mates.
2. Regardez Le French Open
This weekend is the third and fourth rounds of the French Open, and if you’re not lucky enough to have tickets to Stade Roland Garros in Paris, you’ll have to stream it or watch from the comfort of your couch on NBC Sports, Peacock or the Tennis Channel. Even with the drama surrounding the withdrawal of four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, there’s still plenty of talent to follow — from America’s 17-year-old phenom Coco Gauff becoming the youngest woman to be seeded at a major in 15 years, to Rafael Nadal going for his 14th Coupe des Mousquetaires in an attempt to break the record for the most men’s Grand Slam singles titles. It’s not Wimbeldon, but why not get the strawberries and cream ready anyway?
When in Rome — or Melbourne, if you will — do as the Aussies do. And at this time of year, that’s watching football. No, not soccer like in the U.K. and not America’s big-shoulder-padded version either. It’s a favorite sport Down Under called Aussie Rules and colloquially dubbed “the footy,” but it’s played with what resembles a rugby ball. Confused? Well, if you’re in Australia, you can learn all about it by watching live with the locals. This Melbourne institution has 10 high-definition screens and will even open up its doors early if there’s a middle-of-the-night overseas match to watch. Plus, it has a massive beverage selection and classic pub grub, mate. If outside Aus, you can always check out the sport online.
4. Around the World in 80 Sports
There are also plenty of games to check out wherever you are in the world. In the U.S., 30 different MLB baseball games will be taking place this weekend. If cricket is more your pace, England and New Zealand will be facing off in a test match in London. And if you’re working on trying to lower your handicap, you’re not going to want to miss the 76th annual Women’s U.S. Open, pretty much the biggest tournament on the women’s golf calendar, which is taking place in San Francisco.
The newly designed F-150 is purpose-built to be the toughest, most efficient workhorse ever. This is what happens when you merge premium-grade muscle with finely tuned intelligence and design: a beast with brains. Its aluminum-alloy body carries the load with a torture-tested steel frame to help you work smarter and harder.
He’s a two-time NBA champion, MVP and multiple All-Star, but it wasn’t until Kevin Durant stopped hiding behind burner accounts, switched teams and won a championship that he became the NBA’s favorite villain. That’s just one reason his podcast is a must-listen. Catch one of the game’s most prolific scorers discuss what makes certain players hard to guard and interview stars like J.Cole, Draymond Green and Jerry Lorenzo.
2. The Game Football Podcast
This soccer podcast from The Times of Londonoffers in-depth analysis from aficionados Hugh Woozencroft and Gregor Robertson, as well as some of the publication’s leading football writers. You can catch them every Monday and Thursday as they cover the Champions’ League, big season moves and insider info you won’t find elsewhere.
3. Cheap Heat
Tell a pro-wrestling fan what they’re consuming isn’t a real sport and you’re just asking for a knuckle sandwich. As bizarre, scripted and juiced up as it is, for the fans, it’s sacred — a holy tradition that shouldn’t be disparaged. I’ve often been told you can’t get into wrestling unless you grew up watching it, but if there’s anyone who will make you a believer, it’s WWE 24/7 Champion Peter Rosenberg. His podcast breaks down pro-wrestling in a way even casual fans will enjoy.
She was the first Indian badminton player to win a medal at the Olympic Games in 2012, as well as the first Indian to win two women’s singles gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2018. Saina Nehwal is so beloved and famous in India she’s practically the subcontinent’s Michael Jordan, and this new Hindi-language biopic tells you just how she rose to the top, detailing her grueling training as a child and difficulties she faced even once she’d made it.
This gritty basketball drama is unlike any you’ve seen before. It follows a young Asian American protagonist who dreams of playing in the NBA. From writer and director Eddie Huang, who created the sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, and co-starring the late Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, this coming-of-age film explores identity and parental expectations.
While he’s still three wins away from breaking golf legend Jack Nicklaus’ majors record, you’ll have a hard time finding anyone who wouldn’t call Tiger Woods the greatest golfer of his generation. Released earlier this year, this HBO documentary takes you behind Tiger the famous golfer to look at his sometimes complicated relationship with his father and the pressure of being “thrust into the national spotlight at the age of 2,” as the film’s co-director Matthew Hamachek puts it.
Bring one of these to an open field with a ball and just see how many friends you score. I mean, it is the most popular sport in the world. Lightweight and portable, the neon yellow goal can be set up almost anywhere, from a beach to a park, and comes with a carry bag and ground stakes to anchor it down.
2. 4K HDR Monitor
Unless you’ve nearly pulled your hair out switching between two thrilling games at the same time, ordering a second monitor won’t make sense. But for those of you who are sports-obsessed, this one from HP will mean you never have to wonder what you might be missing. It’s super sharp with incredible color rendition, but more importantly, when the NBA double-books another game, your anxiety levels won’t go through the roof.
3. Clip Speaker
Much like driving, playing any sport with headphones is a bad idea, as you’re unaware of what’s going on around you. With this waterproof clip speaker, you can roam free with all of your senses uninhibited and your favorite album playing in the background for inspiration. It’s bluetooth-compatible with up to 10 hours of battery life. Now your play can have theme music too.