The To-Do List: Jackie Robinson, Kate Upton, Coachella and Tribeca Film Fest
Extra Mustard’s weekly guide on what to watch for in movies, TV, music, books, websites, games and pop culture at large over the next seven days.
Jackie Robinson and 42
Jackie Robinson has one more hit with this weekend’s premiere of the biopic 42, starring Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers’ general manager Branch Rickey. The film, chronicling the racism that Robinson faced in breaking Major League Baseball’s color line when he took first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, “captures the quiet dignity that Jack had even when he was under attack,” his widow, Rachel, told SI.com.
Coachella is a state of mind
It’s the opening weekend of Coachella, the desert music festival turned must-attend cultural event for starlets looking for indie street cred and for bad boy athletes with actual street cred (Tony Hawk and Shuan White have been spotted at the festival in years past). This year’s acts include Wu Tang Clan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Modest Mouse, Phoenix, The Postal Service and a slew of others. No word on whether Tupac’s hologram — which made pro athletes, starlets and regular humans alike FREAK OUT last year — will be performing.
Return of the Veep
Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as foot-in-mouth-prone vice president Selina Meyer with a stellar cast including Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky as her incompetent staffers, returns to HBO for Season 2 on Sunday at 10 p.m. Here’s hoping Madame Vice President finds herself having to fake a passing knowledge of sports again this season, as in last season’s episode 6 in which she met real-life O’s Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, and Jim Palmer at Camden Yards. In a classic “Who’s on First?” bit, an aide feeds her stats so she can appear to be a knowledgeable baseball fan, but she fumbles the assist.
White House staffer: “That’s Jake Arrieta. He’s a starting pitcher. And on his left, that’s Tommy Hunter. He’s a starting pitcher. Oh, and that’s Jim Palmer. He’s a Hall a Famer. The guy’s a legend. He’s a starting pitcher as well.”
Meyer: “You don’t have multiple starting pitchers. There’s one mound. Do you see three mounds or one mound?”
Tribeca Film Fest tickets go on sale
- Let Them Wear Towels, about the controversy that exploded after SI reporter Melissa Ludtke was denied access to the Yankees clubhouse during the 1977 World Series and the struggle for female sports reporters to gain equal access to locker rooms.
- Big Shot, directed by Entourage’s Kevin Connolly, about John Spano, whose purchase of the Islanders in 1996 turned out to be based on a massive fraud.
- The Diplomat, about East German figure skater Katarina Witt who was at the height of her career during the fall of the Berlin Wall.
- Pat XO, about legendary Tennessee Vols coach (and 2012 SI Sportswoman of the Year) Pat Summitt and her decision to resign as after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers,
- The Rider and the Storm, about a Rockaway native, Freedom Tower ironworker and surfer who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.
- The Trials of Muhammad Ali, about Ali’s legal battle with the U.S. government after he refused to serve in the Vietnam War.
- And, adorably, Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop, about Wilt the Stilt’s summer job at Kursther’s Country Club, a Jewish resort in the Catskills, where he worked for $2 an hour during the day and played on the club’ s basketball team, coached by then-unknown athletic director, Red Auerbach.
Kate Upton on Conan
On Wednesday, two-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model Kate Upton appears on Conan (TBS, 11 p.m. ET) where she will presumably squelch rumors that she is dating P. Diddy and hopefully perform whatever new dance craze is currently sweeping (Dougie) the (Cat Daddy) nation (Harlem Shake).
Rally in support of gay athletes at UCLA
In response to widely-held expectations that a gay athlete in one of the four major athletic leagues will come out to the public for the first time in the next week, Athlete Ally, an advocacy and support group for LGBT athletes, will hold two rallies at UCLA on Monday to encourage athletes, coaches, parents, fans and other members of the sports community to respect everyone involved in sports, regardless of sexual orientation. The events will include an appearance by former Major Leaguer Billy Bean, who came out to the public in 1999 after his eight year career with the Tigers, Dodgers and Padres had concluded.
The NCAA gets the Daily Show treatment
Finally, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi’s segment on the NCAA and athlete compensation, perfectly executed in the show’s patented style of mock sincerity. Mandvi interviewed Joel Bauman, a University of Minnesota wrestler who recently lost his eligibility for the remainder of the season because he wrote and performed a song under his own name and identified himself as a Minnesota wrestler, and ex-UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, who is in a legal battle with the NCAA over compensation for the use of his likeness in EA Sports’s NCAA Basketball video game. Mandvi hooping it up to his own rendition of “One Shining Moment”, is priceless. (The NCAA wouldn’t license actual game footage to the Daily Show, of course.)