In the future when local fans think back to the summer of 2012 in New England, there is only one thing that will truly stick out from the sports landscape: not Bobby Valentine’s one forgettable season as Red Sox manager, Tim Thomas losing his last ounce of dignity or Ray Allen’s departure to the Heat. It was all about the Summer of Gronk.
There were plenty of signs that this tidal wave was coming last season as Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski not only became the top player at his position in the NFL but hung out with a now retired porn star in Bibi Jones and reacted to a brutal Super Bowl loss to the Giants by dancing the night away, shirtless at a Pats team function. Always shirtless.
At the ripe old age of 23 and as the highest paid tight end in NFL history, I’m not sure what else we can expect out of a guy who I would describe as Meathead 2.0, straight out of a bad 80s movie. When you think about it, Gronk’s life is better than any reality show: four brothers that were raised in upstate New York all become professional athletes (three in the NFL and one in minor league baseball). It only makes sense that Hollywood wants to make a show about their cartoonish life and antics, but then again, why script the zaniness? Truth is always better than fiction.
Before the Patriots supposedly shut down the Summer of Gronk (I’m going to guess owner Bob Kraft didn’t handle that conversation given his latest film work), some highlights included: grinding with a woman at a Children’s Hospital benefit, being a guest on “The Choice,” an awful dating show on FOX, participating in a Home Run Derby at the Triple A All-Star game in nearby Buffalo, appearing naked on the cover of ESPN’s body issue and going to the ESPYs with his bros (the biological ones).
What guy in the same position wouldn’t act the same way as Gronk? He’s having the time of his life on and off the field.
Sure, if his production plummets this season, you know the No. 1 reason (true or not) the media will trot out will be his partying ways.
And yes, it’s one thing to go wild in a mostly harmless manner when you’re one of the NFL’s top players, but nobody wants to see Matthew Slater act like a dink everywhere he goes.
In the end, however, as long as there will be bad techno/pop beats and endless invites to cushy events, expect Rob to be himself for the foreseeable future.