Today in sports: Major League Baseball is not happy its arbitrary and pointless ban on 9/11 uniform tributes was made public, Jon Huntsman lands the endorsement of Nike chairman Phil Knight, and a new NFL Films documentary raises the bar on future sports documentaries and overwrought press releases.
- Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is reportedly furious that the New York Mets made his tactless and pointless ban on wearing the hats of first responders to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 public. According to an unnamed Mets front office member, an "irate" Selig called club management after Sunday night's game against the Pirates and accused the team of throwing his office "under the bus" by revealing that the league office was responsible for nixing players' plans to wear NYPD, PAPD, and FDNY caps as a tribute. A "source familiar with Selig's thinking" let it be known the commissioner believes Mets management deserves the majority of the Keith Olbermann Special Comment scolding, since he says he never threatened to fine the players who defied the league's orders, which would suggest the team just "used [the] threat of a fine as a scare tactic in getting players to comply." [New York Post]
- Lagging in the polls and in need of an identifying trait other than aggressive levelheadedness to help him emerge from a crowded field of GOP White House hopefuls, governor Jon Huntsman named Nike chairman and University of Oregon superbooster Phil Knight to his campaign's business advisory council today. Knight will advise Huntsman on economic issues, although we imagine he'll have a few mockups ready just in case the former Utah governor decides to make a splash on the campaign trail with one of the hundreds of uniform combinations from the not-too-distant future that Knight has dressed Oregon's football team in since 1996. We think he looks good, and it would certainly throw Rick Santorum for a loop. [The Hill]
- NFL Films has won 105 Emmys and played a role in shaping what the public expects to see when it looks at sports on television, but the company's upcoming documentary Bill Belichick: A Football Life the 49 year-old film company's crowning achievement. For the project, the New England Patriots coach gave NFL Films camera crews access to every single facet of the team's 2009 season, from gameplanning sessions to team meetings to the sidelines on gameday. Belichick wears a microphone the entire time, much as Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Stram for NFL Films famous Super Bowl IV special in 1970. That's been considered the gold standard of access for 40 years, and it was one game. It shames the so-called "access" of shows like HBO's Hard Knocks, writes Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk. "Unless you’ve been on an NFL coaching staff, you haven’t seen an NFL coach like this before." Part one premiers on the NFL Network Thursday night, with the second hour airing the following after. (Fans of over-the-top press releases will be pleased with the NFL's advisories on the documentary, which spans "From the Shores of Nantucket to the Halls of Patriot Place.") [Boston Globe and Pro Football Talk]