Bradford: Admit it, the Tom Brady movie was a good idea

Rob Bradford
January 28, 2018 - 2:53 pm

Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

I am always at least a bit skeptical when it comes to the authenticity of documentaries, and certainly reality shows. There are always going to be agendas and a hefty amount of editing. And I do mean hefty.

Just a few months ago, I was walking by a hotel near Fenway Park to find a film crew rolling on what looked like a groom getting ready for a wedding. Ten takes later, they finally reached the limo. Remember the first "Behind the B" episode? It was thick with Bruins executives piling on recently traded Tyler Seguin. Guess who had final editorial say in that one? Hint: Not Seguin. There was also the comedian I ran into who also dabbled in acting. I asked him what he was in, and his response was a laundry list of reality shows, one which he actually had to get fake-married. ("None of it is really real," he said.)

All of it is OK. It's a glimpse. It's entertainment.

And Tom Brady's "Tom vs. Time" is no different.

We've now gone through two episodes of the Facebook Watch series, and have a pretty good grasp of what we're dealing with. This is a peek -- nothing more -- into a level of Brady (and his wife) we haven't really been privy to. And that's fine. Who cares about the timing of the film's release? Why try and decipher what is reality and what isn't? It doesn't feel like there is out and out deception, and there is certainly no distraction.

For a guy who has previously only let us in via cookbooks, pajamas and some banter with Kirk & Callahan, this is about as positive a step forward for Brady's persona than any off-the-field venture.

Admit it, Brady's first go-round of offering his lifestyle to the public has come with mixed reviews. A lot of it has simply come off as kind of weird. The kind of strange that was buffered by the notion that he was the most iconic athlete in the history of our region. And what has kept that uneasiness in play has been the quarterback's relationship with Alex Guerrero, the man who represented so much of what of made Brady's existence somewhat of a mystery.

It was discomfort that was slightly chipped away at in the series' first episode, with Brady's wife, Gisele, introducing more of a human element to the couple's relationship. (You can always count on the supermodels.) Tom has a big kitchen! Tom goes to his kids' soccer games! Tom swears! Tom has his suspension letter in a safe!

Yet the first 15 minutes was heavy on Guerrero, giving the whole thing a bit too much of an infomercial vibe. If it kept going down that road, that aforementioned weirdness was going to linger. But in Episode 2, it took a turn. Other than appearing in the background of his workouts with throwing guru Tom House, Brady's sensei was nowhere to be found.

What we have been introduced to via this Facebook contraption was a productive exercise: offering up layers of explanations for Brady's greatness. That's all. And that's enough.

As for the timing, perhaps if the Patriots lost in either one of their two postseason games the introduction of the series would seem a bit bizarre. That's certainly how it felt after the first wave. But even then, I don't think it would have mattered all that much. For me, this is almost as much about what makes the guy going forward as it is regarding the here and the now.

Tell me you aren't going to pay attention to where Brady's left elbow is when he throws from here on in. Or how about the perception of his interactions with his new offensive coordinator? Even the quick moment Gisele worries about her husband getting hit in the stomach offers thoughts of how Brady's family views his mortality.

Let's not look too deep into this. This could have run on the Super Bowl pregame show and nobody would have questioned the timing or the ulterior motives. After all these years, Brady is still a figure we want to know more about, and this offers that opportunity, albeit in a somewhat controlled manner. 

I'll take it. And so should you.

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