Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tom Brady before Tom Brady was Tom Brady

It's been a bit of a melancholy ten days or so, as my Patriots did not make the Super Bowl, ending what might be Tom Brady's last, best shot at another ring. We don't need to debate Brady's ethics and personality for the moment, nor do we need to recognize that he won a nearly unprecedented fourth ring just last year, further cementing an already fully cemented hall of fame resume. For the purposes of my own melancholy, the only relevant factor is that I'm a sports fan and I like to see my teams win whenever possible, especially when they are this close to getting to the championship game.

So the timing of watching John Stockwell's Blue Crush for the first time since 2002 last night was interesting indeed, as this movie contains a character who is basically Tom Brady.

When Blue Crush came out, Tom Brady was already Tom Brady, but only just barely. When it was released on August 16th of 2002, that was less than eight months after Brady won his first Super Bowl for the Patriots, ending a highly improbable season in which starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe suffered a season-ending injury during the game that dropped the team to 0-2. That elevated no-name Tom Brady to starting QB status, a title he has yet to relinquish more than 14 years later.

So the character in the movie that resembles Brady -- Matthew Davis' Matt Tollman -- could not really have been based on him. It would have been too soon.

But consider the resemblance. Here's Brady:

And here's Davis:

Which probably just suggests that Brady has that "prototypical quarterback look," and the same sensibilities were used in casting Davis in the role of an NFL quarterback visiting Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. That's a place Brady has been quite a bit, as he has been selected to participate 11 times. In fact, he might have actually been in Hawaii for this year's Pro Bowl when I watched the movie, but he declined to participate -- probably since it's hard to get up for that type of exhibition event when you're still sulking over not making it to the Super Bowl.

That's the other thing -- someone quotes a date early in the movie, and it's Wednesday, February 3rd. I watched the movie on Tuesday, February 2nd, meaning that not only was it almost the exact same day on the calendar, but the days of the week were even lined up correctly.

All of this wouldn't be such a coincidence if I'd watched the movie last Tuesday, Australia Day, as I was initially expecting to do. But we ended up somehow deciding we had the stamina to watch The Wolf of Wall Street, even though we'd been to the beach that day. In fact, going to the beach was what put me in mind of finally rewatching Blue Crush.

I say "finally" rewatching Blue Crush because I've actually owned this DVD for more than two years. I didn't buy it, but rather, took it from a curbside, where a homeowner had left a bunch of stuff that had gotten water damaged either because their home had been flooded or because it had been left out in the rain, which was now "free to a good home." Sure, the paper lining for Blue Crush was waterlogged -- sort of appropriate, given the movie's surfing milieu -- but that had no effect whatsoever on its ability to properly play in a DVD player.


I remember loving this movie when I first saw it. In fact, it came in at a lofty 17th out of the 80 movies I ranked in 2002. And though I still saw its charms and it was perfect for the mellow mood I was seeking last night, the only thing I still felt very strongly about on this viewing was its cinematography, especially the surfing stuff. The rest of it was fluffy and agreeable but generally forgettable.

If they film Tom Brady's life story now, Davis could still play him -- at retirement age. Davis is actually only nine months younger than Brady, born in May of 1978 while Brady was born in August of '77.

Which means hey, Brady still has one whole NFL season where he'll be "only" 39.

Maybe he still has a ring or two left in him.

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