What we watched: The surprise isn't that Bill Belichick showed so much personality in A Football Life; it's that Belichick allowed that kind of genuine emotion to be displayed in the first place by granting NFL Films the access it had for its two-part documentary, the first of which aired last night on NFL Network.
The pack journalism carnival that now permeates major sports coverage makes it easy for athletes and coaches to carefully construct their own public personas. But there always had to be much more to Belichick than the bland, wooden automaton we've always seen, since his job involves relating to millionaire players as much (if not more so) than whatever machinations of Xs and Os he might devise in his Frankenstein lab between Sundays. And his success has really had as much to do with the culture he's cultivated—a culture he was defiant about us never seeing, at least until last night—as anything else.
In today's New York Times, Richard Sandomir explains that Ken Rodgers, an NFL Films producer, was granted whatever access he wanted, on the field and off: "Rodgers suggested that Belichick, after winning three Super Bowls in New England, knew his place in N.F.L. history, and understood that letting the league's official film studio wire and film him would let fans grasp who he was more fully."
To our eternal benefit. Part One airs again today at 4 p.m. Eastern, and again tomorrow at 9. It's worth your time.
LOL Mets never quits: "After defending his team's fight and will all season, the New York Mets manager said his team has 'folded it up' following a 10-1 loss on Thursday to the Nationals. ... 'Perception is reality in our game and the perception I have right now is we've folded it up,' Collins said in a passionate postgame news conference. 'You want to see intenseness? You want to see me be intense? You guys are going to see it. I won't play that game. You come and play the game right. I don't care what the situation is. I don't care about anything but playing the game correctly. That's all I care about. Our fans should be upset.'" [Truth & Rumors]
The Sawks Ah Fackin' Slidin': "With 13 games remaining, including three against the hard-charging Tampa Bay Rays, the Sox must put together a finishing kick, one last sprint to the tape, to keep their dwindling lead in the American League wild-card race. Last night, the Rays whittled it to three games after they pounded out nine hits, including three home runs, in a 9-2 romp before a Fenway Park crowd of 38,017 who felt a sudden chill descend upon the old ballpark." [Boston Globe]
Your Endless Motorbike Traffic In Saigon Interlude:
Party pooping: "Just three months after Prokhorov was introduced as the leader of a fledgling Russian political party, Right Cause, the billionaire Nets owner has abandoned his position while accusing the Kremlin of sabotaging his aspirations. According to reports, the Kremlin felt Prokhorov was getting too ambitious and infiltrated his pro-business party with ‘fake' candidates. Prokhorov didn't like that. In a meeting Thursday with his followers, Prokhorov said his party was "bought by the Kremlin" and then insulted a Kremlin political strategist, Vladislav Surkov - a bold tactic considering the last tycoon who got involved in Russian politics and criticized the system, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, sits in prison." [New York Daily News]
Straight done, homey: "Moss was back in the area Thursday, playing a round of golf at Bungay Brook Golf Club in Bellingham, when Dennis & Callahan producer Ian Meropol and WAAF morning show co-host Lyndon Byers caught up with him in the parking lot. Meropol asked: 'Any chance we'll see you in Gillette, Randy?' Replied Moss: ‘No, I'm done.'" [WEEI]
Ravers and Dubstreamers? Ravers and dubstreamers: "The Identity Festival came to a close this month, so there were tons more rave photos in miscellaneous locations around the country. We are continuing to monitor the proliferation of electro culture. Yes, 'electro music' has been around for a long time, but we are witnessing history as it continues 2 'go mainstream'. The modern rave is a threat to the traditional music festival because Generation Z kids might not care about Generation Y's boring ass indie music." [Hipster Runoff]
Merch: Managing editor Tom Scocca and contributing editor Drew Magary have both written books. You can buy Scocca's Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future here, and Magary's The Postmortal here. Now do it.
Send stories, photos, and anything else you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.