Original “80 for Brady” members love new movie, wish to meet Tom

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Betty Pensavelle and Elaine St Martin, the two founding members of the Over 80 for Brady fan club at the premiere of “80 for Brady.” The club was the inspiration for the movie. Courtesy photo/Michelle St Martin
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abass@northstarreporter.com

It isn’t every day that your fan club for seven-time Superbowl champion Tom Brady inspires a story for the silver screen.

Betty Pensavalle and Elaine St. Martin of North Attleborough, founding members of the Over 80 for Brady fan club, are now local celebrities, as they inspired Director Kyle Marvin and the legendary quarterback to tell their story in the recently released film, “80 for Brady.”

The film stars Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field, as they embark on a journey to Houston to watch the New England Patriots face off against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Throughout the film, the club members encounter different celebrities, such as Guy Fieri of Food Network fame and comedian Retta.

Pensavalle, 94, and St. Martin, 95, may not have taken the same trip as in the movie, they both enjoyed the film during a special screening. Pensavalle said the movie was like a love letter to the fan club.

“I think this movie was really good, especially for seniors,” Pensavalle said.  “These days there aren’t many movies for older people so I think this was quite good.”

St. Martin said she remembered Super Bowl LI, when Brady threw the ball to receiver Julian Edelman during the fourth quarter.

” I remember everyone in the living room telling me I had to come quick,” St. Martin said.  “I was screaming.”

The idea to film “80 for Brady” came from Pensavalle’s grandson, Max Gross. A talent agent, Gross pitched his grandmother’s story to different producers until it caught the attention of Brady and his production company, 199 Productions.

In 2020, Pensavalle received a FaceTime call from Brady asking about the idea for the film.  Pensavalle said she was shocked when she saw her favorite quarterback face-to-face with her.

St. Martin, however, said Pensavalle had a different reaction.

“She fainted,” St. Martin laughed.  “She fainted when she saw him.”

Pensavalle denies this description, arguing that she “almost” fainted.

“My daughter passed me the phone and I asked, who is it,” she said.  “As soon as I looked at the phone, there he was. Tom Brady.”

The friendship between Pensavalle and St. Martin has lasted for more than 60 years.  St. Martin, who lived in North Attleborough for her entire life, said she met Pensavalle at the grocery store near her house.

Pensavalle—whose husband was the coach for the Red Rocketeers Football team—moved to North Attleborough and immediately formed a friendship with St. Martin over their love of football.

“This pretty girl was there, and I was told she was the head coach’s newly wedded wife,” St. Martin said. “After the game was over, I asked if they had met any friends in North Attleborough and she said no. Then I said, “This Saturday, I’m having a little dinner party and I would like to invite you.”

She said after that—the rest was history.

The Over 80 for Brady Club consisted of Pensavalle, St.Martin, and their friends Anita, Claire, and Pat.

The five would get together, set up game nights, and have appetizers and hors d’oeuvres.

According to Pensavalle, there was plenty of “yelling and screaming” at the parties.  The group even had T-shirts with the club’s name across the top and a picture of Brady on the bottom.

“It’s becoming hard to do these kinds of events these days,” Pensavalle admitted.  “Clarie passed away a couple of months ago and the other two are in assisted living.”

Pensavalle and St. Martin are still watching football games to this day.  Both say the Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites to win this year’s Superbowl—much to the chagrin of St. Martin’s granddaughter, who said she doesn’t like quarterback Patrick Mahomes.  Pensavalle admitted while she liked Mahomes, she doesn’t think he’s at Brady’s level as an athlete just yet.

“Mahomes is a good quarterback,” Pensavalle said. “But he’ll never be the GOAT.”

St. Martin said she also was “tired” of NFL commentator Tony Romo’s constant praise of Mahomes.

As for Tom Brady, who recently announced his retirement from football, the two hope to see him in person soon.

“I hope he takes Bob Kraft’s offer to retire as a Patriot,” St. Martin said. “He would start his career as a Patriot and end as a Patriot.  I hope to meet him in person at some point.”