Advertisement

'The Great Brady Heist' is Legitimately a Great True Crime Documentary. I'm Being 100% Serious.

When I sat down to watch "The Great Brady Heist" yesterday, I think I pretty much had this blog all written in my head. That I was going to write an over-the-top thing about how Brady's Super Bowl LI game-worn jersey getting stolen was the crime of the century and there'll be no peace until the thief behind it is brought to justice, yadda yadda. Pretty much like I did when the jersey turned up missing from the Pats locker room and Mexican reporter Martin Mauricio Ortega Camberos was ID'ed as the culprit.

But having seen the show - which is being repeated on all the Fox networks and is not hard to find - I'm going to break character. And instead of talking in my Middle Aged Brady Fanboy voice, be totally sincere when I say this is a fascinating crime documentary. Regardless of where your football loyalties lie. Plus it's only an hour long, so it's an easy viewing. But they pack a lot into those 60 minutes. 

I suppose it's hard to worry about spoilers in a whodunnit when we already know whodunnit, but I'll try to avoid them anyway. I'll just say that, like any really worthwhile documentary, this one ends up being about a lot more than just its subject matter: That a jersey was stolen right out of Tom Brady's duffel bag in the middle of a crowded locker room. It involves everything. From his mom's battle with cancer. U.S.-Mexican relations (Trump was inaugurated mere weeks before the incident). Cooperation between the federal law enforcement agencies of both nations. The extradition of El Chapo. Forensics teams pouring through hours of footage from 99 cameras. The subculture of Sports Collectibles and the people who inhabit it, who are like characters in a Carl Hiassen novel. Interviews with everyone involved, including Brady, NFL Security, the FBI, Mexican authorities. And then, finally, the perp himself. 

Again, I won't spoil it. But the payoff is when you get to meet Camberos and get a glimpse into his world. Especially his office, which is the equivalent of the trophy room that Brad Wesley had in his mansion in "Road House," but with sports celebrities instead of taxidermied wildlife creatures. 

And finally, Camberos's interview, which is fascinating in that he's one of those people capable of looking right at you and lying to your face, but who has no plan for what to do when you call him on the lie. I couldn't help but think of that Monty Python skit about the talk show "State Your Claim":

Host: "You claim that you are responsible for writing all the works normally attributed to William Shakespeare."

Guest: "That's right. I wrote all of Shakespeare's plays, and my wife and I wrote his sonnets."

Host: "You do realize that all of his plays were performed hundreds of years before you were born."

Guest: "Yup. I was actually hoping you wouldn't make that particular point. But I can see I won't last a minute with you." 

Host: "Our next guest …" 

Guest: "I was right."

Again, it doesn't matter if you're an aging Masshole with a strange and possibly self-destructive fixation on Tom Brady, you don't like him or you don't care either way. "The Great Brady Heist" is outstanding TV. Certified Fresh on Thornton Tomatoes.