Give Gronkowski a break


I’m not exactly one would call a Patriots fan. Do I hate them? Not really. Do I like them? Depends on the situation. Do I respect them? I’ll just say that I give credit where and when credit is due.

So when camera phone footage of tight end Rob Gronkowski partying mere hours after the Pats lost Super Bowl XLVI was splattered all over the internet, ESPN and the like, my first thought was “ok, that’s odd”. I didn’t throw a fit or get steamed about the amateur video because honestly, I don’t care. Neither should America.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was called out by ESPN analysts for partying just hours after Sunday's Super Bowl loss. Photo by: Angie Six / Flickr

Sure, it was pretty surprising to see Gronk on a dance floor just going to town, probably under the influence of some intoxicating liquids. Even more surprising because he has a bum ankle that limited his play in the Big Game, probably the main reason for the Patriots’ loss.

As such, this game was five days ago and the partying was done the same night. So, why does it keep popping up on SportsCenter, Mike and Mike, The Dan Patrick Show, etc.? Its time to kill this bird with two stones and never let it resonate again.

The dude should be able to party his ass off with no ramifications. Even though his team lost four or five hours before the game was played, he has a right to do what he wants. If he feels that raging in the club is the best thing to get his mind off what just happened, then who are we to judge him? Especially you, Rodney Harrison, who had this to say on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

“I guarantee you this, if Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Larry Izzo, Richard Seymour or myself had been at that party, [Gronkowski] probably would have got his head rung,” said Harrison.

Rodney, just keep doing what you do best — not being able to guard David Tyree and trying to make yourself sound smart on NBC’s pregame show. The NFL, and professional sports for that matter, isn’t what it used to be when older traditions governed the leagues. It is now a youth movement with the byproducts of Generation Y making headway and creating a younger flow of ideas, thoughts and processes, including partying.

Gronkowski and his teammates have five months to fully reflect on what they did wrong and that is plenty of time to make amends and go hard next year. Lets also not forget that Gronk is just a second year pro and still has a youthful exuberance about him. He is a fun-loving individual but is now also one of the more feared tight ends in the NFL, after breaking out this season.

The bottom line is that Gronkowski is well within his rights and should be free from judgment for his actions. He’ll probably come to the realization one way or another about the decision he made and will live with it. But for now, let the kid be. 

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