Let’s start by making something abundantly clear: I don’t care what Rob Gronkowski does in his spare time, as long as he’s healthy and performing on the football field.
Gronk being Gronk is the new Manny being Manny, but with wilder, goofier antics and far better dance moves. We love everything he does, and we extend his figurative leash because when he’s on the field, he’s nothing short of a destroyer of worlds.
That said, is it time for the 26-year-old New England Patriots star to start growing up?
It’s a complicated question being raised after public videos of him sticking his face in a woman’s chest at a club and telling the world to “deflate deez nuts” in response to the Wells Report were released.
When Gronk appeared in a photo alongside Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel last Memorial Day, he nearly broke the Internet. It’s easy to sit here and argue, as some have, that the two have partied their way down the same path. There are two roads diverged in a wood, to borrow a phrase from my favorite poem, and the likes of Manziel and Gronk are dancing their way to hell down the same one.
But in reality, the two couldn’t be more different. Gronk didn’t write an erotic sex novel about himself — he just read an excerpt from it during media week and again on a Jimmy Kimmel set designed to look like a scene from “Anchorman.”
Gronk’s idea of fun is similar to that of a 5-year-old’s, except he has millions of dollars, an NFL career and the body of a god to accompany his adventures. The man is Earth’s version of The Mighty Thor — he’s just traded his hammer for a football and seemingly woos a different Jane Foster every night of the week.
He’s living every single guy’s dreams while simultaneously performing his job better than the majority of people in his profession. There’s nothing wrong with that, and he knows it.
“There’s definitely a time to party and a time to focus on work, but you need to let loose a little bit so that you can go back on Monday feeling refreshed and motivated to work hard again,” Gronkowski told DuJour Magazine in a recent interview. “People act like dancing is breaking the law and partying is a crime. Everyone thinks I’m in trouble 24/7, but what have I really done besides dance?”
What Gronk has done is tons of charity work, including visiting kids in the hospital, and winning a Super Bowl.
But how could the Belichickian-era Patriots allow Gronk to run so wildly amok? The simple answer is they don’t. They’ve asked Gronk to reel it in before, and don’t think for a second that if he so much as trips over the line he’s so carefully shaking his booty over, they wouldn’t do it again.
But the team has previously employed a now-convicted murderer and presently sports a quarterback whom everyone outside of New England — justifiably or not — wants to call a cheater.
In other words, a little twerking never hurt anyone, and if Gronkowski puts a smile on your face in the same breath as the team, that’s not exactly a bad thing either.
Two roads diverged in a wood. Gronk absolutely is taking the one less traveled by, and it really has made all the difference.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@OnlyInBOS