TThe New England Patriots had Rob Gronkowski taken away. Perfection still hurts. On Sunday afternoon, the fun frat-boy turned the NFL superstar from football before his body completely betrayed him.
Gronkowski was loved because he was alone. It was a neapologetic meathead; ultimate football bro. Not many Patriot contempt fans could turn to Gronkowski, umm, idiosyncrasies. It is the man who says he made his collegiate choice based on romantic elections rather than program pedigree, turning Ohio State and legendary coach Jim Tressel in favor of Arizona. The weather was also nicer. "If you ever went to a party in Arizona, you would understand," he told his father.
His intellect was a running gag, despite the understanding of the game and the business wits of a Ph.D.
Gronkowksi was given by the fans, media and patriots landing strip rarely given to athletes in particular, it must be said, African American. He was seen more as an adult toddler than a distraction team. Just compare the coverage of Gronkowski's Gronk Cruise with the infamous cruise ship Odell Beckham and New York Giant players took in 2017. Gronkowski was a goofball, not an unprofessional or a loaded phrase "robber".
There were circumstances in the Wrestlemania that did not know the patriots. Shock Ads Tide Pod; photos with pornstars and kittens; numerous turns; lots of drinks and party. But none of this mattered because he was big and authentic. And it should be remembered that he was a phenomenal athlete who plays the biggest role in his position.
Gronkowski's two-man tandem with Aaron Hernandez changed what we thought was a tight end position. He was a revolutionary, at the same time the best blocking league match and unguarded receiver. Its 17 landings in 2011 remained the most from a close end in one season in history.
Soon he played with grace and guilt and aggression that borders on violence. He was blessed with agile legs and a huge frame. Blocked as a tool. He was the cornerstone of the Patriots match and the most devastating chess piece of the league: safety was too small to block him; linebackers is too slow to cover. And he did it all despite having suffered a number of debilitating injuries. In total, Gronkowski missed 29 games in his injured career. And he still ended up with the most receiving landings of any player between 2010-2019, 73 total in 115 games.
Jimmy Graham played 22 games more than Gronkowski during this period, which is eight fewer points. And Gronkowski had on average more than three yards at the reception. He is the only tight end in history with five 10-plus touchdown periods. No one in the defenders had inspired as much fear as when Gronk had passed in the middle.
The punishment that he set out and accepted took his toll. Here is a list of the injuries Gronkowski has suffered at college and in the NFL, including those who didn't keep him out of play or undiagnosed questions:
• Backbone hernia
• High ankle sublayer
• Inguinal hip pull
• Forearm fracture
• Forearm fracture
• Back vertebral fracture
• Torn ACL
• Ripped MCL
• Knee tribe
• Chest bruise of lungs
• Backbone hernia
• Thigh Thighs
• Back / Ankle Injury
By the end, he was part of a human, sub-machine, part of the scotch tape, held together by scrap metal as Belichick and Patriots attempted to squeeze the final drops out of its size.
There was a nixed store in 2018. Belichick saw the end of coming, and he was to establish a shop with Detroit, whose general manager, Bob Quinn, is Belichick protégé as was the incoming head coach, Matt Patricia. Gronkowski caught the wind and threatened to retire. The agreement was settled before its completion. "Yeah, it happened," Gronk told reporters. "Brady's quarterback. … I didn't go anywhere without Brady. "
The Patriots developed Gronkowski's game in 2019 to avoid further physical punishment. He still crossed the center, but less often. He moved to a larger block and turned his repetition. He didn't miss the game.
In the regular season there were places where Belichick could see if Gronkowski could still hit the top speed. But much of his Gronk-ness was reserved for his final playoff run.
Gronkowski was at his dominant best spot during his last playoff run as a blocker and receiver. He lunged at the team's violent attack as the chargers leaned in New England. When it mattered most, on the road in Kansas City, Brady looked at his old favorite to go through the clutch in the AFC Championship game. And the pair reunited in the Super Bowl, where Gronkowski pulled in his last income as a Patriot, creating a game victory.
Now, after nine years, Hall of Famer and a three-time NFL champion are fired. Long life is overrated when your peak is as high as Gronkowski. Within ten years he has achieved what other greats could not achieve in their football lives. He had nothing else to do.
He leaves the game he gave as much as it could take too much. This is an admirable decision. Now awaits a match or acting or comedy or all of the above. But Gronkowksi will always be remembered as a giant who redefined what it was supposed to be a close end in the NFL and an athlete in the age of social media.