WORCESTER, Mass. — Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was the subject of some criticism after he was spotted dancing at the team's party after the Super Bowl XLVI loss to the Giants.
Whether it was warranted or misplaced, the storyline took off in the fallout of the game, mostly due to the ankle injury that limited Gronkowski and later required surgery.
Gronkowski got his first chance to address the episode Friday night when he attended the Worcester Sharks' game against the Providence Bruins at the DCU Center. The injury was so severe that Gronkowski was still on crutches.
"It was a great season overall," Gronkowski said of the Patriots' 2011 campaign. "The whole team gave everything they had, every ounce of sweat, every ounce of blood in them. Myself, too, I gave everything I had from the Baltimore game to the New York Giants game. I gave every single ounce of sweat. It just happened. I was with my family, my friends, people I never see over years, and we were just having a fun time together. Obviously, the emotions — you don't want to lose that game. You don't play that long to go to the Super Bowl and want to lose."
"Obviously, that was an emotional game, and still deep down, that's what's motivating us throughout this offseason. It's motivating me, definitely. I can't wait to get back. I can't do anything right now on my feet, but I'm doing everything I can with my upper body, my core workouts and everything because you're just so motivated. Losing that last game, you just want to keep on grinding, so when it does happen again and you're there, you can get the win."