Former Arizona Wildcats tight end Rob Gronkowski likes to party, and that's OK
Rob Gronkowski is a bro. He’ll wear a tank, he’ll drive a truck, he’ll call you “bro,” he’ll shotgun beers and he’ll dance with his shirt off.
He’s also an All-Pro tight end for the New England Patriots, and a former AP All-American for the Arizona Wildcats.
Gronkowski likes to have a good time, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But Gronkowski, or Gronk for short, has gotten flak two years in a row for his post-Super Bowl celebrations.
After the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in last year’s game, video surfaced of Gronkowski “dancing” — or running back and forth, jumping up and down and chest bumping people — at a post-Super Bowl party. Essentially, people got mad because he was having a good time after his team lost.
The Patriots weren’t in the Super Bowl this year, but Gronk still partied.
This time, video surfaced of a shirtless Gronk dancing on stage at a club in Las Vegas (or really just waving his arms around) and play-wrestling someone on stage, landing on his casted, twice-broken left forearm.
Sure, maybe not the best idea for a man worth $54 million. But he’s fine. And Gronk warned you about who he was and what type of person he is. After the AFC Championship game last year, which the Patriots won, Gronkowski was asked by an ESPN Deportes reporter if he would celebrate the victory.
He responded, “Si, yo soy fiesta,” which directly translates to “Yes, I am party.”
Gronk is party.
At heart, Gronk is still a college kid, and that’s fine. As long as he keeps producing, that is. Might be a good idea to avoid wrestling with a broken arm, though.
Still, in just three years in the NFL, he already has 38 touchdown catches.
Gronk being Gronk seems to be working, so let it be.
I’ve asked some former Arizona football players about Gronk and what he’s like.
The response was unanimous. He’s funny, fun-loving, a nice kid and a “freak” on the gridiron.
“He’s a great dude,” former Wildcat offensive lineman Eben Britton told me last year. “Great teammate. Loved playing with him. He’s a goofball but in a really good way.”
As for the whole post-Super Bowl celebration?
“Probably wasn’t the best thing to be doing,” Britton said. “But what are you gonna do, man? The guy just finished the season and he worked his ass off.”
He’s never been arrested and he performs on the football field, what more is there to ask?
Plus, is there a more likeable dude in sports?
Former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops was not very likeable, at least publicly. He doesn’t give off the sense that he has much of a personality, outside of his animated sideline outbursts. If he’s OK with Gronk’s antics, then you should be too.
“Rob’s a very serious player on the football field, but like a lot of kids, he’s a happy-go-lucky guy, and that’s led to some suspect choices at times,” Stoops told ESPN.com. “Rob likes to have fun. He’s not a malicious kid at all. He’s just a little quirky.”
In fact, Gronkowski was recently offered $3.75 million to star in a pornographic film. By comparison, Ron Jeremy, perhaps the most recognizable name in that industry, reportedly earned $5.5 million for 2,000 porn films.
Taking that offer might not do wonders for his image, but it’s still funny nonetheless. Anyway, who cares what a 23-year-old kid does in his free time? The story has become so big that even Kobe Bryant (heard of him?) gave his two cents.
“Everyone is so worked up about what he did [in Vegas]. It’s funny,” Bryant told ESPN.com. “If there were camera phones back in the day, the biggest athletes in the world would have a lot of explaining to do.”