Teddy Bridgewater kept his promise, his mother is likely still beaming and filmmaker Spike Lee captured it for eternity.
Bridgewater, the former Miami Northwestern High and University of Louisville quarterback star who could be chosen in the first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft, on Monday presented his mother with the pink Cadillac Escalade he promised her as a 9-year-old.
That’s a few shades deeper than cotton-candy pink, custom-ordered by Bridgewater and paid for by Cadillac.
Lee included the presentation as the climax to a seven-plus minute documentary — A #Promise2Rose — he filmed about Bridgewater’s journey from the Bunche Park neighborhood to the cusp of his NFL career.
“People cry when they see this piece. It touched nerves," Lee told the Miami Herald by phone Tuesday evening. “We didn’t have to stage anything. We just had to turn the cameras on."
The 2015 Escalade’s suggested retail price: $71,695, “including our destination charge," said Cadillac spokesman Donny Nordlicht, who was at the midtown Manhattan luncheon that was filmed by Lee as Rose Murphy got her dream car. “She was 110 percent surprised. We were all crying."
Murphy told the Miami Herald in December, just days before Bridgewater’s Louisville Cardinals defeated the Miami Hurricanes in the Russell Athletic Bowl, that when Teddy was in third grade and riding home from practice, he broke the silence by saying, ‘Mom, you know what? When I go to the pros I’m going to buy you a pink Escalade."
Added Murphy, who turned 52 on Tuesday and had been driving Teddy’s old 2001 White Crown Victoria, “Pink represents breast cancer. I’ve realized what we both went through was bigger than us."
Murphy, a former Miami-Dade Schools bus driver and current field operations specialist, underwent lumpectomy surgery when Teddy was 14 and still attended every one of his football games during her chemotherapy treatments.
She is now in remission, and was joined at the luncheon Monday by breast cancer survivor Robin Roberts, a host of Good Morning America. Roberts had Bridgewater and his mom on the show Tuesday.
“I stuck with the color pink just because, you know, she was diagnosed with breast cancer," Bridgewater said in Lee’s documentary. “When I was 9-years-old I was just thinking, ‘Hey, pink is the color that any woman would like."’
Lee, whose advertising agency Spike DDB “is the African American agency of record for Cadillac," was approached by Cadillac to tell Bridgewater’s story. He said he came to Miami two weeks ago to begin filming Bridgewater and his family.
“It was a natural fit when they heard the story of Teddy promising his mother a Cadillac when he was 9 and at the time not even knowing the significance of the color pink," Lee said. “Everything clicked and it came together very quickly, even though we didn’t go home until 4 a.m. [Tuesday] because we had to edit, mix and color correct.
“Not just Teddy, but Mama Rose and her children are a beautiful family."
Lee said he was well aware that Bridgewater’s draft status has recently gone down after a poor showing at his own school’s pro day. At one time Bridgewater was projected to be the No. 1 pick.
“You can’t go by that stuff," Lee said. “There have been a legion of No.1 picks that were busts and a legion of guys who came in later rounds who were dreams. One of them – Russell Wilson – won a Super Bowl this year. So, I’m not worried, Teddy’s not worried and Ms. Rose is not worried. It’s going to work out because they have faith, and to me, that’s the backbone of the whole family.
“They have faith in Teddy’s ability in football and they had faith that Rose would overcome her breast cancer."
Toward the end of the documentary, Bridgewater walks his mother outside, where she is surprised with the pink Escalade.
“Just like I promised you," Bridgewater said, as his mother is overcome with emotion. “Your new car."