In a new documentary series that premiered on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. EST on DirecTV’s Audience Network and AT&T’s U-verse, the “Religion of Sports” takes an interesting look at how the spirituality between sports and religion intertwine to bring an allegiance to the sense of community that they bring.
Filmmaker Gotham Chopra has wanted to make a show like this all his life and one of his best ideas may have been bringing in New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady and former New York Giants Defensive End Michael Strahan to be executive producers.
Chopra has been a lifelong Boston sports fan, particularly of the Patriots. It doesn’t get more interesting than when he pairs up Brady and Strahan, where Brady came up short in two Super Bowls against Strahan’s Giants in the 2007 and 2011 seasons.
This isn’t the first sports documentary that Chopra has produced. He also directed “David Ortiz: The Last Walk Off ” in a multipart series that aired on ESPN at the end of the regular season for the Boston Red Sox.
He has always loved watching the Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox, but his favorite team has always been the Patriots. His 9-year-old son even has a fantasy football team that is composed of all Patriot players, the fandom definitely runs through the family.
The project “Religion of Sports” started about five years ago, where Strahan began to make his mark in a media career after he retired from professional football. Chopra met with Strahan and he particularly appreciated the former defensive end’s point of view because Strahan actually played on the field and knew what it was like out there.
Chopra hasn’t lived in Boston since he was 18 years old and now resides in Los Angeles, where he was able to meet Brady during the offseason three years ago to discuss plans for the project. Chopra liked how Brady is still at the top of his game despite all the criticism about alleged cheating, where Brady looks at the game in such a unique way that is unlike so many current players.
Brady was interested in being a part of this because he has never done anything like it and he enjoyed talking about how he sees sports as a spiritual experience. He knows what it’s like to have the faith for what sports bring to life and how every game on Sunday is always a spiritual exercise.
The show isn’t just about football, as it covers a variety sports such as minor league baseball, mixed martial arts, NASCAR races and esports. Chopra looks at it in a way that allows them to observe what other sports around the world are like. Chopra is primarily a football, baseball, basketball and hockey fan, but finds it enjoyable to watch a UFC fight or a European soccer match every once in awhile.
Chopra may even include a talk about an interesting high school ice hockey rivalry in Minnesota, or a cricket match between India and Pakistan. Whatever sport is being covered, Chopra sees that sports form a foundation of faith.
People from all backgrounds share a love for sports. Chopra believes that love is something that defines people and the communities they’re part of. The interplay between sports and religion all come together, where if you include yourself in it, something spectacular might happen.
“Religion of Sports” continues to air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Audience Network and U-verse at 8 p.m. EST, It’s a show that anyone, sports fans or not, should watch because it gives everyone an opportunity to see how sports can be a positive influence in the lives of people of all backgrounds.