By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The big news, as it turns out, is that Gronk is hosting a Super Bowl party. So there you go. Can we now stop with all the nonsensical and downright selfish talk of a comeback?
It’s not happening folks. Ever. If Rob Gronkowski knows what’s good for him, he’ll keep selling the image of Gronk – a football Shrek if ever there was one – and leave his helmet in mothballs. File the papers. Live a life. Move on.
And here’s why: because the best thing he has ever done – on the field or off – is acknowledge that the trauma from playing in the NFL sucked the joy out of him. When Gronk held a press conference to announce his partnership with CBD Medic a few months back, he all but broke down. Many of us believe that his emotions were authentic, and it allowed all of us a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the emotional and psychological damage the NFL can do, even to someone regarded as the football version of the Terminator.
Know what I developed for Gronk that day? Compassion. Respect. More than for anything he had done before. His size, strength and football abilities are God-given gifts. Off the field, Gronkowski has many of the same challenges as everyone else, which makes him human. And I don’t know about you, but the human part is the part I can empathize with.
Now, with regard to you, here’s a tip: stop wishing for him to come back. It’s selfish and unbecoming. Seriously. During his nine years with the Patriots, Gronk gave you 521 catches, 7,861 yards, 79 touchdowns and one of the most irresistible forces in football history. He was a five-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro, three-time Super Bowl champion. In 16 additional postseason games – the equivalent of a full season – he had 81 catches, 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He also had arm surgeries, back surgeries and concussions, the last of which many will never really know about.
America being America, admittedly, Gronk has milked his “retirement” so far for everything it is worth. To the best of our knowledge, he still hasn’t filed his retirement papers. Maybe he hasn’t done so solely to string everyone along toward his next endeavor. That is, in a word, manipulative. If Gronk were to come back now – or ever, for that matter – he would diminish the power of the message he delivered the day he joined CBD.
Meanwhile, cut the guy a break. Stop asking him to come back. He gave you enough.
In the end, after all, it’s one thing for Gronk to string people along to promote his brand.
It’s another thing entirely to ask him to potentially sacrifice his future well-being – which is probably compromised already – so that you can have a few more highlights.