Everyone was talking about the shark. It was huge. It was monstrous. It was the biggest they’d ever seen. They said I had to see the movie. They warned me I would never want to go swimming again — never want to go near the beach ever again. Back before the word “hype” was even a word, that shark had a buzz that every Silicon Valley company today would love to have even a fraction of.
Then I finally watched Jaws. I won’t date myself by telling you how long ago this was, but suffice it to say it was not on Netflix or even on a DVD. And I have to admit, my main reaction for more than an hour was, “Where the heck is this shark everyone’s talking about?” All I’ve heard about for weeks is the shark, the shark, the shark. But now it’s just a bunch of people talking about the shark, looking for the shark, not finding the shark, and then talking more about the shark. Eighty minutes of that went by, then Mister Great White finally appeared, and I realized all that talk wasn’t just talk. It was huge. It was even bigger than all the hype had made it out to be. And all the 80 minutes of meticulous preparation the characters had done was not going to be enough, leading Roy Scheider to stagger backwards and say those famous words.