The #AusOpen Grand Slam is slammin’. Serena Williams is out. Milos Raonic got sassy AF. The Oilers said ‘Boy Bye’ to their GM. The Baseball HOF got some special new members. America REALLY loves football. Trouble in Leafland. Cristiano Ronaldo is still rich. Dah-rama in the WNBA. See what’s up this week. And see what the stars are telling us.
Alright. Before we get into this newsletter, we have some v exciting news to share with you. The GIST newsletter is expanding to Ottawa!
We know what you’re thinking, “that’s fantastic, but why… and how?!”
Why?: Well, #thegist of it is we recognize that sports talk and community can be super localized experiences. What people are interested in or passionate about in one city can be completely different in another. And, we want to provide curated content that is created specifically with you (ya, you) in mind.
Makes Sense. So, how?: Each city will have a different newsletter that GISTers can subscribe to. And our first stop is Ottawa! The content will be largely the same as it is for our existing Toronto-centric newsletter, but will pay special attention to Ottawa sports teams and events going on in the nation’s capital.
Can You Help Us?!: Expanding to a new city is going to take a lot of work, so we’re begging asking for your help. Could you help us out by spreading the word of The GIST newsletter to your friends, family, colleagues, frenemies, partners, old teammates, one-night stands and exes in Ottawa? We would love you so much for it.
So much, in fact, that for every person you get to sign up to The GIST in the next week (by using your unique referral link), you’ll be entered to win one of two of our GIST swag bags that include a GIST tee, Lululemon water bottle, Batiste dry shampoo, Niu Body face serum, a cute tote, oh and a few gift cards. Literally SO MUCH FUN STUFF.
Any questions? Learn more here. Any feedback? Reply to this email.
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TYSM for being part of The GIST community and for helping us continue to grow. It truly means so much to us.
Crikey, This is Fun
The GIST: It’s down to the wire at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tennis event of the season. Here’s #thegist on who’s left standing:
Baby Comeback: Okay before we get into the semifinals, we gotta take you back to Tuesday when No. 7 seeded Russian Karolina Pliskova knocked out tennis kween Serena Williams in the most drah-matic fashion. Get this. In the third set, Williams was up 5-1. It looked like Williams was cruisin’ for a win. BUT THEN, she awkwardly rolled her ankle. After that, Pliskova won the next five games to defeat Williams and head to the semifinals. We get that Williams was injured and all, but you just can’t deny how EPIC that comeback is. FIVE STRAIGHT GAMES! AGAINST SERENA! Get it, girl.
Semi-Sweet Please: In the semifinals last night, Pliskova played the reigning U.S. Open champion and No. 4 seed, Japan’s Naomi Osaka. Osaka ended up taking the match 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Meanwhile, No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova (pronounced KI-VIT-O-VA) defeated unseeded American Danielle Collins in straight sets and will meet Osaka in the final. BUT we’ve gotta give snaps to Collins. Before this tournament, she had never won a Grand Slam match. Simply amazing. Check out her underdog story here.
Canuck Controversy: On Tuesday (again), Milos Raonic (pronounced MEE-LOSH RAU-NITCH), No. 16 seed and our last Canadian hope, lost to No. 28 Lucas Pouille in the quarterfinals. But this match didn’t come without some controversy. *squints eyes, sips tea, reads intently* Late in the third set, Raonic was extremely unhappy about a call the umpire made. So, he told the umpire off, calling him “incapable.” Spicy. A fired up Raonic won that tiebreaker, but eventually lost the match (6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 4-6).
Tip of the Iceberg: As expected, the top two seeded men in the tournament, No. 1 Novak Djokovic (pronounced JOKE-OH-VITCH) and No. 2 Rafael Nadal, remain in the running. Earlier this morning, Nadal outmatched No. 14 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas(pronounced SEE-SEE-PASS), easily beating him in straight sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 to make it to his 25th career Grand Slam final. Casual. He’ll have to wait to see who he’s playing against as ‘The Joker’ plays his semi against Pouille in the wee hours of Friday morning.
Edmonton Oilers: Episode IV - A New Hope
The GIST: After almost four years of being the Edmonton Oilers’ general manager (GM), Peter Chiarelli (pronounced SHA-RELLY) was fired on Wednesday.
Why?: Because despite having Connor McDavid, literally the best player in the NHL, the Oilers record this season is a measly 23-24-3 (wins, losses, overtime losses) putting them in second-last place in the Pacific division. But, the Oilers haven’t just been bad this season, they’ve been pretty brutal throughout Chiarelli’s tenure, only squeaking into the playoffs once. So, TBH, it’s surprising he wasn’t fired sooner.
How’d It Get So Bad?: To be fair to Chiarelli, he inherited a v messy Oilers team that hadn’t made the playoffs for ten straight years. But still, he made a lot of really, really dumb decisions. For example, instead of building a supporting cast of characters around McDavid, he traded away top talent like Taylor Hall (last season’s MVP) and Jordan Eberle (now looking mighty fine for the New York Islanders) for basically chump change (Oilers' fans, don’t @ us).
How Are Oiler Fans Feeling?: Happy! So. Freaking. Happy. As you could guess, Chiarelli has long been loathed for running the team into the ground. “Tell that boy bye, boy bye.”
So Who’s In Charge Now?: Keith Gretzky. Yes, the brother of Wayne Gretzky… ‘The Great One’... the dude who’s the best hockey player of all time, is an Oiler legend and who also makes a killer pinot noir. Wayne is also a part of the Oilers’ front office, so maybe this family is just what Edmonton needs to right the ship until they can find a more permanent GM. Then again, Keith was Chiarelli’s assistant, so the Oilers could just get more of the same BS.
GIST Some other Sh!t You Should Know
- Every year, a group of sports writers vote on who will be the new additions to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This year, for the FIRST time ever (that’s over 83 years!), all 425 people voted unanimously for one man: Mariano Rivera. Not familiar with Rivera? No sweat. He was an impossibly good Yankees’ relief pitcher (a pitcher who closes games rather than starting them) from 1995-2013. And his reaction to getting the news is the best thing you'll see all day. We’re not crying, you’re crying. Rivera is joined by three other legendary players including Roy ‘Doc’ Halladay, who tragically passed away in 2017, and who was one helluva pitcher for our Toronto Blue Jays.
- As the great Taylor Swift once said, “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” And there’s a lot of people hating on the Toronto Maple Leafs right now. Why? Because the Leafers have lost seven of their last 11 games. HOW-EV-ER let us reposition this. The good news is that the Leafs have won two of their last three games and both wins were pretty massive: one against the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning and one being last night’s 6-3 win over the reigning Stanley Cup champs, the Washington Capitals. We know the boys will “shake it off.”
- In an additional scandal for the Juventus soccer star, Cristiano Ronaldo was fined about $29M CAD for tax fraud on Tuesday. But, Ronaldo successfully avoided 23-months in jail after pleading guilty and settling for about $27M CAD. Still, this fine is truly just a drop in the bucket for a man whose net worth is somewhere near $450M. SMDH.
- There’s something fishy in the water and we’re not talking about Tatiana from RuPaul’s Drag Race. One of the most dominant WNBA players of her generation—Maya Moore—might not hit the court for her Minnesota Lynx team in 2019. Moore has said she might take a year off, retire (at only 29-years-old we think this is unlikely) or ask to be traded. However, the reasons for her not playing for the Lynx have not been revealed. Moore has spent her entire career with the team and won four championships. What TF is up?
What’s Up This Week
Right Now: It’s almost time for the Super Bowl. And of course, we’ve got you covered. Step one: buy your (v reasonable) tickets to The GIST’s Super Bowl Party taking place on Sunday, February 3rd. Step two: Read our guide to the big game here. You’re welcome.
Friday: The Toronto Raptors are taking on James Harden and the Houston Rockets (8:00 p.m. ET). Reminder: Harden has been absolutely lights out this season, scoring 30+ points in 20 straight games. The Raps are going to need to dig in to shut this guy down.
Friday-Sunday: Canada’s men’s rugby sevens team is competing all weekend in New Zealand, the next stop on the World Rugby Sevens Series circuit. Check herefor a complete schedule and links to watch the games. CWHL (Canadian Women’s Hockey League) games are also taking place this weekend with the Markham Thunder hosting Montreal. Check out the schedule and get your tickets here.
Beach Puh-lease: It’s dreary AF outside. Wanna escape the cold Canadian winter? We thought you did. Get 40% (!!!) off when you book your 5-star resort in Mexico and Dominican Republic (like Cancun, Vallarta, Punta Cana and Riviera Maya) with The GIST. Chat with our GIST travel agent today to learn more and book your trip. Enjoy the vitamin sea!
P.S. This company is one of The GIST’s affiliate partners. This means when you book your trip through The GIST, we get something in return. Thanks.
Virgo-ing to Win
The GIST: After Alex Ovechkin blew TF up on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks, scoring his 23rd career hat trick, he had a quieter one goal game against the Leafs last night. Unfortunately for us, the Leafs’ Patrick Marleau didn’t crack the score sheet so it looks like our Virgo prediction was only half right! Current horoscope tally: 2.5-1.
Horoscope: We’re vibing with Virgos right now and have a real good feeling that James Harden (August 26, 1989) will channel his inner-Virgo discipline to get the job done against the Raps on Friday night (not that we want him to!). Expect yet another 30+ point game for Harden and a ‘W’ for the Rockets (sorry 6ix gods).
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