🏆Best of the rest
Australian Open: The Super Bowl wasn’t the only championship match played this weekend. The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam event of the tennis season (the others being the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open), officially came to a close with two monster matches. In the women’s final on Saturday, 21-year-old American Sofia Kenin beat Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza to win her first-ever Grand Slam title. And get this: it was also the first time Kenin had ever played in a Grand Slam final! From what we saw, it definitely won’t be her last.
- In yesterday’s men’s final, living legend Novak Djokovic (pronounced JOKE-OH-VITCH) held off the young gun Dominic Thiem (pronounced TEAM) in a five-set nailbiter to win his record eighth Aussie Open title and 17th (!!!) career Grand Slam. With the come-from-behind win, Djokovic is now World No. 1 and the first man to win a Grand Slam title in three different decades. Cool, no?
Soccer: Our Canadian women continue to LIGHT. IT. UP in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament. Team Canada put on another showcase this weekend, beating Jamaica 9–0 in the second of three group-stage matches. Jordyn Huitema (pronounced HEIGHT-AH-MAH), the teenage phenom from BC, scored five goals (like, how?!) and Janine Beckie recorded a hat trick.
- Captain Canada Christine Sinclair sat this one out, but she’ll have another chance to extend her lead as the world’s top goal-scorer of all time (yasss queen!) when they take on Mexico tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. ET in the final group-stage match. The semifinals (which Team Canada will definitely be playing in) are set for Friday.
Rugby: Apparently team sports are, like, our thing? On top of soccer, Canada had a wild weekend at the women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Sydney, winning their third silver medal of the season. Team Canada has medalled in four of the five events this season, putting them in third place in the standings with just three events left. Oozing with pride!!
Basketball: The Toronto Raptors have straight up forgotten how to lose. With the help of NBA All-Stars Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and head coach Nick Nurse, the boys from the #6ix won their 11th straight game yesterday, defeating the Chicago Bulls 129–102 and tying the franchise record for longest win streak. About that 2020 energy, baby!
The GIST: After last year’s unmemorable Super Bowl halftime show, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez were under big pressure to bring us a good show. And hot damn, did they deliver!
Shakira, Shakira: The Colombian queen kicked off the show in some v. practical footwear with “She Wolf,” before giving us a medley of her biggest hits, including “Whenever, Wherever” and “Hips Don’t Lie” (which ended in an epic stage dive!). Yesterday was Shakira’s 43rd birthday and she belly-danced her way around that stage like she was 23. We’re still gagging over it.
Jenny from the Block: JLo, who is FIFTY YEARS OLD (ahem, can we please have their skin-care routine?), picked up right where Shakira left off, with a Hustlers-inspired performance, and our jaws are literally still on the floor (seriously, how is she 50?!). While she was pumping out bangers like “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and “Waiting for Tonight,” we were googling “JLo hair inspo.”
Collab of the century: These two together were legen — wait for it — dary. Seeing them shake it to “Waka Waka,” channel Cheer and rock out to “Born In The USA” with Shakira on drums and JLo and her daughter, Emme, on vocals was the most Girl Power performance we’ve seen in a while. Lucky for us, we can relive it over and over again.
Our take: We need these two every year. EVERY. YEAR. Surprisingly, we’re actually fine that they didn’t really perform together. Each gave us totally different vibes but paid homage to their Latina roots and kept us dancing the whole time. This is the halftime show that people will be talking about for years and one that they will compare all future halftime shows to. Good luck to whoever has to follow up on this act next year.
Oh, and a quick shoutout!: To one of our faves, Demi Lovato. She killed the pregame national anthem. She’s had a rough go the past few years, and we’re so happy to see her looking and sounding amazing. The girl’s got pipes!
🎾Crikey, that’s good tennis!
The GIST: Believe it or not, we’re almost down to the final matches of the Australian Open — the first grand slam tennis tournament of the season!
What’s up with the women?: The stage is set for Saturday’s finals with Sofia Kenin taking on Garbiñe Murguruza. How’d this happen? Well, last night, or we guess early this morning, World No. 1 and Aussie-standout Ashleigh Barty took on No. 14 American Sofia Kenin, with Kenin upsetting Barty in straight sets. Meanwhile, Simona Halep was also upset by Garbiñe Murguruza in straight sets. TBH, we didn’t see these two upsets coming, but you have to love an underdog story.
And how about the men?: Two of the biggest names in tennis history, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (pronounced JOKE-OH-VITCH), played their semi in the wee hours of this morning with Djokovic completely dominating Fed also in straight sets. We guess straight-set energy was in the air last night?
- As for the other semifinal, Alexander Zverev (pronounced SVAIR-EV) and Dominic Thiem (pronounced TEAM) take the court on Friday at 3:30 a.m. ET. And this match could get interesting — Zverev has quietly beasted the competition on the way to his first Grand Slam semifinal, but Thiem upset Spanish legend Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals. Tricky, tricky.
Who will win it all?: You can never be too sure in sports, but our bet would be on young-gun 21-year-old Sofia Kenin to win her first Grand Slam title and that Djokovic will walk away with his second-straight, and record eighth, Aussie Open.
🏈Nacho average football game
The GIST: The Big Game is right around the corner! Here’s #thegist of Super Bowl LIV (that’s fancy-speak for 54).
First, tell me when the game is: Action kicks off on Sunday, February 2nd, at 6:30 p.m. ET. And if you’re not lucky enough to be at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, you can find out where to watch here.
Great! Now who’s playing?: The high-flying Kansas City Chiefs (who won the American Football Conference, aka AFC, and are heading to their first SB in 50 years) will play against the top-ranked defense of the San Francisco 49ers (who ran away with the National Football Conference, aka NFC).
- Even though San Fran is basking in their reclaimed dominance, KC really wants this one for their head coach’s legacy. KC’s Andy Reid is one of the most accomplished head coaches in NFL history, but he’s missing a Super Bowl win. It’s also been 15 years since his last chance at a title, so we’re guessing the boys will be pretty motivated to get Reid his celebratory cheeseburger.
So, who will win?: These two teams can’t be a closer match, with San Fran finishing the season at 13-3 and KC at 12-4. KC is just a one-point favorite to win, which basically means even the oddsmakers have no clue who TF is going to take this one. The one thing we can guarantee? Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes (KC) and Jimmy Garoppolo (San Fran) will both have to bring their A-games if either one wants to pull out a victory.
What about the halftime show?: Who would be more perfect headliners in the American capital of Latin music than Jennifer Lopez and Shakira? Nobody. And our
hips words don’t lie when we say their performance might be what we’re anticipating most.
Anything else?: Don’t forget that herstory will also be made when 49ers offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers becomes the first openly LGBTQ+ and female full-time coach to get to the NFL’s biggest stage. Cheers to shattering not one, but two glass ceilings!
Want more?: We thought you would. Our special edition launch podcast is all about the Super Bowl. Click here to get The GIST of It.
⚽Just kickin’ it
The GIST: The CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament is underway in Texas. Yes, you read that right: this tournament, which runs until February 9th, decides the Olympic fate of each squad. Not, not anxiety-inducing.
How it works: The teams are split into two groups of four: Groups A and B. After each team plays every team in their group, the top two from each group advance to the semifinals, which are played in California.
- And winning the semifinal is a BFD, as the top two teams from the tournament clinch a spot in this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo! No pressure.
What’s happened so far: Our Canadian Women’s National Team (CANWNT) is off to a fire start in Group B, beating Saint Kitts and Nevis 11–0 (no, really) in their opener. But the real story is that our Captain Canada, Christine Sinclair, scored her 185th international goal to break Abby Wombach’s all-time international scoring record for both women and men.
- Yes, the world’s greatest goal-scorer, in the world’s most played and most popular sport, is CANADIAN and we are so goddamn proud. What’s next? Saturday’s tilt with Jamaica at 5:30 p.m. ET. Click here to find out where to watch.