Rob Gronkowski ruffled some feathers Monday during Super Bowl Opening Night.
The New England Patriots tight end was asked to put a percentage on the chances he’ll retire after Super Bowl LIII — a question stemming from Tom Brady recently placing a “zero” percent chance on his own retirement — and Gronk’s response was about what you’d expect.
“You guys know my favorite number,” Gronkowski joked, referencing No. 69, which has long been a subject of laughs for the Patriots star. “You know what I’m talking about. She knows what number I’m talking about (pointing to a female reporter). Ask her. That’s the answer.”
This isn’t the first time Gronkowski has dropped a “69” joke, but it still drew the ire of some folks because the 29-year-old pointed out a female reporter amid his response. And he didn’t do himself any favors by dropping a crass brain teaser when going back and forth with Barstool Sports’ PFT Commenter.
“I’ll give you a math problem,” Gronkowski said. “What’s six times nine plus six plus nine?”
Reports indicate the female reporter Gronkowski interacted with had been laughing at his “69” joke. Gronkowski’s attempt at being playful didn’t sit well with everyone, though. And Gronkowski’s brother, Dan, couldn’t help but find the backlash absurd.
“Yeah, that’s ridiculous,” Dan Gronkowski, a former NFL tight end who spent time with the Patriots, said Wednesday on WEEI’s “Mut and Callahan.” “You’ve got to put yourself in his shoes. He gets asked that (retirement) question every single day. He’s going to start messing around with people. Because like I said, he hasn’t even sat down and thought about it.
“So yeah, it’s just ridiculous, those kinds of things. He’s just having fun down there and enjoying himself, and the media can any story however they want it and go from there.”
Gronkowski’s future has been a major storyline leading up to the Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII showdown with the Los Angeles Rams. The four-time All-Pro considered retirement last year after New England’s Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles before ultimately returning for a ninth NFL season.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images