Rob Gronkowski almost certainly is going to play professional football again, isn’t he?
The former New England Patriots star retired in March, riding off into the sunset following a Super Bowl LIII victory in which he played the role of hero. Almost immediately after his decision, however, rampant speculation began about whether he’d ultimately change his mind and return to the gridiron.
On Tuesday, Gronkowski revealed the next chapter in his life, announcing a partnership with some CBD company. That seemingly should be a pretty strong indication Gronkowski’s mind isn’t on a return to football, but this latest development might be the biggest indication yet that a return isn’t just possible, it might even be a given.
Quite simply, a fresh, recharged Gronkowski returning to the NFL is what’s best for his new business. He spent the better part of 45 minutes extolling the virtues of CBD use, trying his best to hammer home all the clearly rehearsed talking points. He went out of his way to reveal the hell he went through during his playing days, saying he was getting 20 minutes of sleep per night in the weeks following the Super Bowl after suffering a gnarly thigh injury.
He has set his own baseline. Pre-CBD Gronkowski is this hobbled, broken-down mountain of a man, taken from the game he so clearly loves — he appeared to break down in tears more than once Tuesday — far earlier than he likely wanted. The pain and suffering and the toll it took on his body became too much even for the larger-than-life Gronk to bear. But now that he has his CBD oil, he’s on the road to recovery (??).
Put another way, Gronk and his new business partners have their “Before” image ready to go.
And what greater testimonial could there be for his new business venture than a supposedly pain-free return to football? This is a personal investment for Gronkowski, and a miracle return to football would be the best-case scenario for Gronk the businessman. Whether it’s four months or two years from now, Gronkowski saying he’s finally pain-free and returning to football would be “proof” this all works — the perfect “after” image, if you will.
Gronkowski even propped open the door Tuesday.
“I?m just in the first stage right now,” he said. “And when that time comes down in the future, if I have the desire to play football again, if I feel passionate about football again, if I?m feeling like I need to be out there on the field, I will go back to football.”
Whether football ultimately takes a backseat to business remains to be seen, but do you really think the Patriots (or Patriots fans) would really care, especially if in four months the offense is floundering and a recharged Gronkowski comes to the rescue? Even if Gronkowski returns in a year or two, he’d be welcomed back with open arms, even if it was part of the ongoing infomercial that began Tuesday.
In a lot of ways, Gronkowski spent his NFL career looking up to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The two have been tied professionally for years, and some of the first reports following Gronkowski’s retirement indicated he’d be willing to return if Brady made the call. Gronkowski idolizes Brady, as he should — Brady is the most successful athlete in the history of modern team sports, and his leadership qualities are unquestioned. He’s also a helluva businessman himself, one who has said on many occasions he has a plan for his post-playing days life. The TB12 brand is already off and running, and by all accounts, Brady will make that his life’s work when he finally calls it quits.
When he’ll actually retire is anyone’s guess. Brady, you might have heard by now, wants to play until he’s 45, and why wouldn’t he? There would be no greater testimonial for the TB12 fitness and nutrition method than Brady succeeding in the NFL longer than any other player in the sport’s black-and-blue history.
Why wouldn’t Gronkowski take a page out of that playbook?