As 2022 draws to a close, Sports Illustrated looks back through the themes and teams, storylines, and lines that shaped the year.
Performance of the Year: Shante Adams, own league
30 years after release, Penny Marshall’s movie own league It remains a family favorite, and for good reason. But as it ages, it ignores the original (except for one scene) experience of black women and avoids the idea that players (even those played by Rosie O’Donnell) may not be straight. becomes more pronounced.
Still, the film’s enduring popularity has made it ripe for a reboot that’s a little more edgy and broader in scope than the original. I created a series for Prime. One focuses on the all-white Rockford Peaches members.
The second features Shante Adams as Max Chapman, a hairdresser’s daughter who only wants to play ball. Adams said she was puzzled at first when she was offered an audition, given that she did not have a black face in the original. “I definitely remembered that movie,” says Adams. “But I also remembered the iconic scene of the black woman in the movie, because it was like 30 seconds where I could see myself in the movie.”
However, Adams was intrigued by her character’s arc, which focused on Max’s relationship with her mother (who is against baseball), her sexuality, and life as a black woman in the 1940s Midwest. was given. Sometimes baseball seems like an afterthought. Max barely touches the ball until halfway through the eight-episode season.
alliance It doesn’t gloss over the hardships faced by Max and those in her orbit, but it doesn’t ignore the underside of ugliness either. The first thing you see about black bodies and television is black body pain, struggle and torture,” says Adams. (Indeed, perhaps the best scene of the series has to do with Max and her friend Crance on a quest to procure crabs for a crab boil.)
Growing up in Detroit, Adams delved into his family history to learn about the black experience in the 1940s. (Many of the photos at Max’s house are of Adams’ own relatives.) In preparation for her baseball, she and the rest of her cast attended her two boot her camp.
Minor spoilers: Camp was one of the few times I actually interacted with the actor who plays Peaches. Jacobson and Graham never quite blended his lines in the two stories. It’s the perfect Hollywood setup. A black pitcher wins over a white player, and a white player gives an impassioned speech to the commissioner, who relentlessly allows her into the league. But that didn’t happen in her 1940s, so it won’t happen here.
Instead, the season ends with Jacobson’s character starting a relationship with a teammate, pondering the status of her marriage, and Max trying to move on with baseball without blowing up that familial joy.
Fun to watch, just like the original. Only this time, it feels a little more substantial and a little more real.
New TV: El Presidente
Lucky for fans who have just finished the World Cup season and are trying to remind themselves how horribly corrupt international football is.They have a choice! Netflix FIFA revealed An exhaustive 4-part documentary (perhaps it should have been a more punchy 3-part documentary) focused on the cup bidding process in Russia and Qatar. However, we spend some time on the history of the Governing Body, highlighting the misconduct of long-time FIFA president João Havelange.
Havelange is at the center of the second season of Amazon Prime’s great production. El Presidentea dramatization of the 2015 FIFA corruption scandal, created by Oscar-winning screenwriter Armando Bo. birdmanBrazilian-born Havelange was tired of being looked down upon by the European officials who ran FIFA, so in 1974 he mobilized countries in South America and Africa to become FIFA’s president. He sits on the board of directors and occasionally liaises with South American military governments as needed. And line his pockets every time.
It may not sound like a fun watch, but it is a fun watch. El Presidente Smart and loud, it’s a series that shows just how messed up FIFA can be, without inciting hand tremors from spectators.
• not in years Ted Russofans could satisfy Fishy Jones on Hulu Welcome to Wrexhama surprisingly moving series about struggling club Wrexham United after being bought by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
• Journalists are taught not to write, but we forgive Marty Smith. ESPN’s affable co-host marty and maggiewas one of the most consistently enjoyable shows of the year, setting a world record for the 76-foot cornhole shot on November 5th.
HBO’s winning time It often brings its disadvantages.But John C. Reilly He has had a wide range of roles in the perfect role of Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Reilly boogie nights When walk hard His performance was one of a kind.
New movie: swimmers
You could do worse things as the elevator pitch progresses. Olympic swimmers pull boatfuls of refugees to safetyIn 2015, Yusra Maldini and her sister Sarah left war-torn Syria. Their journey went to Turkey, where they were huddled in an overloaded dinghy that broke down en route to Lesbos. Yusra and Sara managed to get the boat to safety. This was just one step in their journey to Germany, where they finally found exile and Yusra was able to resume his Olympic training. (She competed in 2016 and ’20.)
If the new Netflix release is flawed swimmersWhen Yusra’s swimming pool is hit by a missile attack, an unexploded ordnance sinks to the bottom, and an extended shot of her screaming underwater appears. If not, we know it’s traumatic. But it’s mostly boring. Real-life sisters Natalie and Manal girlfriend Issa, who neither knew how to swim before being cast, deliver powerful performances. Director Salih El Hossaini has made a visually striking film. Sometimes a harrowing drama, a meditation on the plight of the oppressed, a good old-fashioned uplifting sports movie. Ruined so many movies in each of those genres.
• Baseball fans are sure to eat up archival footage Hey Willie Mays! But the best part of a good HBO doc is Kidd himself reminiscing about his career and his place in history. May all of us in our early 90s look healthy and happy.
• Oscar Winner Mark Rylance gave his best performance of the year in a sports movie open monster, the true story of Duffer cheating on his way to the 1976 Open Championship. It’s funny, but Rylance brought plenty of sympathy to it.
• It’s been a good year for Adam Sandler. Not only did we not submit to another, grown ups Sequel, but Sandler’s performance as a tired basketball scout Hustle It was another reminder of how good he is when he tries to act.
New book: Field switching
Since the United States lost to Trinidad and Tobago in the final qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, preventing the Yankees from going to Russia, there have been tons of ink spilled and countless pixels pixelated about what went wrong. A nation that dominates so many sports can fail so badly at the world’s most popular game.Anyone who follows George his Dorman on social media knows he’s the United States I know you are unashamed to share your feelings about the current state of football in the United States. Of course, Twitter is made for 280-character hot takes, and Dohrmann can throw them. Field switching Few can match the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter.
Dohrmann’s new book is not a post-mortem analysis of a particular failed qualifying cycle. Rather, it’s a meditation on what we can do to keep it from happening again. It is relentlessly reported and reaches many subjects: Why does the United States dominate the women’s game and not the men’s game? Why couldn’t we find a way to include players? How did bad youth soccer coaching lead to failure at high levels? Field switching I strongly argue that these mistakes can be corrected. The resources are in place and the blueprints are there. Now the question is to get out of Qatar and follow suit.
• Sometimes I want to see how sausages are made.Case in point: writer-director Ron Shelton’s brilliant baseball churchMaking of Bull DurhamIt’s part Hollywood deep dive and part memoir of worship at the altar of entertainment.
• Many people tell me what to do to develop an athlete.of quarterback dadMore a didactic story than a how-to, this book is an essential eye-opener.
• Nathan Chen is one of the most awarded skaters of all time and one of the most thoughtful people. one jump timeThis memoir tells the story of the sacrifices made on the road to gold in Beijing, the city his mother moved to in 2022.