Hello, hello! So much happening in the world this week. And while the ecosystems within sports don't always offer up buckets of joy, they exist and are shared. I am happy to offer them to you!
As we know, the Portland Thorns won the NWSL championship last weekend. If we couple the strides of Canadian WoSo (women's soccer) with the CANMNT going to the World Cup after 36 years, there has been so much talk about.
Let's begin with some AMAZING content created from CBC Sports. My colleagues have come up with a phenomenal show called Soccer North. This digital show is so necessary in the sports scene and I have loved every episode. I asked the show's associate producer and my friend, Aaron Dutra, why the program is so important in the Canadian landscape.
WATCH | Soccer North Ep. 2: Can Canada get out of the group stage?
"Canadian soccer audiences have been notoriously undeserved," Dutra said. "Soccer North is for those fans who have been calling for more attention for the Canadian men's and women's national teams. CBC Sports is committed to 50/50 men's and women's sport coverage and Soccer North is a further extension of that commitment."
A recent episode includes host Andi Petrillo chatting with Karina Leblanc and Rhian Wilkinson, the general manager and head coach of the Thorns, respectively. Both former CANWNT players offered great insight into not only winning, but how growth and evolution of the women's game is so important in the league. But soccer coverage that is succinct, relevant and excellent is what I need more of and watching the episodes was definitely joyous.
Captain Christine Sinclair released her book this week and I can't wait to read it. I read a great piece about it in The Athletic by my friend Stephanie Yang, a soccer writer in the US. Yang is what I like to call a "scholar of Sincy" and wrote about how this is a manifesto from our humble leader. Sinclair co-wrote Playing the Long Game with Stephen Brunt and it's an important opportunity to access the thoughts of one of Canada's most storied athletes.
Rihanna, one of my favourite artists, released her first new album in five years.
Her first single, Lift Me Up, is from the Wakanda Forever film and a tribute to the late Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer in 2020. The song is gorgeous but what made me happy is watching all the fans react to the song. There are some amazing reels and TikToks that the megastar (and new mama) shared on her own social media accounts.
She is someone who appreciates the love and support and right now her music is bringing a type of happiness and joy to people that we deserve. I appreciate this tremendously
Please enjoy her newest jam and hold up the people you love and let them hold you up, too.