Monthly Archives: September 2017

Season 2 of Religion of Sports Premieres at Tribeca TV Festival

The first episode of Religion of Sports’ second season premiered at Tribeca TV Festival this past weekend. The episode screening was followed by a Q&A with executive producers Gotham Chopra and Michael Strahan.

The second season of the show incorporates everything fans have grown to love from the first, highlighting just how impactful sports are across mediums, countries, individuals, and identities. Over the course of the season, we venture further away from US borders and mainstream sports, covering everything from ultra cycling to rugby.

Episode One takes us to St. Pauli, a liberal district in Hamburg, Germany that has recently received a large number of refugees. The local soccer team, FC St. Pauli, has sponsored an amateur soccer team for the local refugees called FC Lampedusa, that has in turn developed its own sort of community. This sense of communal strength and identity hits straight to the core of the show’s theme, evidenced by the sense of belonging and home these refugees find within their local league.

Religion of Sports premieres on AT&T AUDIENCE Network this fall.


Why Sports Matter

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”
Nelson Mandela

On the surface, sports might seem to be about wins and losses, celebrity status athletes, and physical domination. But, as Mandela pointed out, sports are about much more than that. Sports unite and inspire in a transformative way.

Sports provide a system of beliefs. They teach lifelong lessons through their stories and show us countless miracles. Sports mirror religion in the way that they unite and inspire people, from those deeply involved to those watching from afar.

We see it often on the world stage. From the Chicago Cubs first world series in 108 years to Usain Bolt completing his Olympic triple triple, there have been countless moments in even the past year that remind us how inspiring sports are. These wins reverberate through communities, cities, countries, and throughout the world and embolden in a way that only sports can.

But it’s not just on the biggest stages that sports lead, inspire, and connect. In Religion of Sports first season, we see it in the rituals of NASCAR and the dedication and heart break on the road to the Calgary Stampede. These stories prove how invaluable sports are to both fans and athletes alike. “People draw meaning and purpose from sports the same way we do from religion, and I think that’s kind of the lens we’ve brought and I have been obsessed with for […]


A Look Back at Religion of Sports Season One

Season one of Religion of Sports kicked off last year with six episodes that drew on tropes of religion, from rituals to miracles and gods, and how those themes manifest across various sports. Created by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, and Gotham Chopra, the series premiered with hourlong episodes that explored the dynamics of sports beyond just their entertainment or surface-level values, instead focusing on their intersection with society and culture in a more impactful way.

Airing on AT&T’s Audience Network last November, each chapter looks at the varied world of sports, from NASCAR to the Calgary Stampede, baseball in Brooklyn, MMA fighting, e-sports, and even a storied football rivalry in Glasgow. While the show takes a global scope, every episode hones in on individual narratives and interviews, looking in on the community members who give and receive so much to their favorite games.

From a story of sacrifice in the midst of heartbreak with Cat Zingano in Alpha + Omega, to the long history of baseball in Brooklyn, Religion of Sports’ first season offers compelling true stories filled with the emotional resonance that pays testament to the idea of sports as a religion. Season two picks up where the first left off, with another six episodes covering sports like rock climbing, fencing, soccer in German refugee camps, and baseball in the American prison system.


Kobe Bryant’s Muse

Go behind the stats to reveal the story of Kobe Bryant’s career, exploring the mentorships, allies and rivalries that have helped shape his stellar 18-year tenure in the NBA, and offering access to his daily experiences, his lifelong inspirations and the battle with his greatest personal challenge yet.

Few athletes are more polarizing than Kobe Bryant, whose storied career with the Los Angeles Lakers has been punctuated by controversy both on and off the court. Moreover, with injury again jeopardizing Kobe’s basketball future, the Showtime documentary “Kobe Bryant’s Muse” is a guided tour that sacrifices editorial perspective for up-close-and-personal access. Coming on the heels of docs devoted to Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard, the highlights should hold some interest to NBA fans, while shedding light on the notoriously guarded shooting guard only to the extent he’s comfortable allowing.

Produced and directed by Gotham Chopra, the film uses black-and-white footage to create a spare, almost clinical atmosphere around Bryant’s rehabilitation efforts, as he diligently seeks to ascertain if his body can bounce back after putting an ungodly amount of on-court mileage on it as a pro and talks candidly about how he’s not sure he’ll ever know the precise moment when it’s time to hang up his lucratively endorsed sneakers.

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Why We Fight Trailer

An immersive, gritty docu-series that dives into the worlds of fighters across the globe, joining them as they train and prepare for the fights in which the stakes are high, and the dangers are real.

“Why We Fight,” a documentary series executive produced by UFC champion Ronda Rousey about a talented but troubled young boxer, is set to premiere on Verizon’s Go90 free video service later this month.

The series follows Zac “Kid Yamaka” Wohlman on his pilgrimage across the globe, where he encounters fellow fighters with their own issues and reasons for stepping into the ring. “Why We Fight,” comprising eight 45-minute episodes will premiere Oct. 18 on Go90.

The series was inspired by the short film “Kid Yamaka” directed by Matt Ogens. It’s produced by Dirty Robber and Religion of Sports, the sports-media firm founded by Gotham Chopra, Michael Strahan, Tom Brady. “Why We Fight” is distributed on Complex Networks’ digital channel on Go90.


Unlimited Serena Williams

Work ethic of an underdog. Willpower of a champion. This is Unlimited Serena. In her words, “There’s no day that goes by that I feel like losing.”

At the 2016 U.S. Open, sports fans waited with baited breath to see if Serena Williams would break a major record and claim her 23rd Grand Slam singles title. Such a win would pull her out of her tie with Steffi Graf for most Major wins in the Open Era of any tennis player, male or female,

But whether she wins or not, she’s already cited by many to be the greatest female tennis player of all time — and in the case of Nike’s latest “Unlimited” ad, perhaps the greatest athlete period.


I Am Giant: Victor Cruz

Documentary chronicling Victor Cruz’s improbable rise to football stardom, the life shattering injury that derailed his career and his dramatic attempt at a comeback, revealing the man behind the mask, as he faces the biggest challenge of his life.

As the regular season began and week after week was ripped off the calendar in September and October, wide receiver Victor Cruz was supposed to be racking up catches and touchdowns for the Giants. There was no way a knee injury he suffered last October would keep him out until the second half of the season.

Cruz thought he would be ready for Week 1 of this season. Then along came a calf injury. And with it came frustration that ruined the storybook ending that Cruz, Showtime and Giants fans envisioned for “I Am Giant: Victor Cruz.”

Against the odds, the documentary will end up preempting the return. It wasn’t supposed to be that way, and it has naturally left some of Cruz’s most vocal critics to wonder why he is so busy with outside endeavors as he tries to get back on the field.

The documentary covers Cruz’s childhood, his football career, his torn patellar tendon suffered last year against the Eagles and runs right up until his most recent setback.

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