Sad news out of Boston this weekend – Patriots badass Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL after only 9 seasons. Anyone that watches pro football regularly has seen the rapid deterioration of Gronk’s body; football is a violent sport. If Gronk would have kept playing then his longterm health would be in serious danger. With that said – when Rob played he did so at an elite level.
Scoring is in the nature of a super-bro like Gronk, and no TE has ever been as good as Rob at getting into the end zone. Homeboy was a scoring machine and he did so with a childish joy most of us dream of feeling – golden sound bites, golden blondes… Gronk keeps that same energy on and off the field.
Beast best describes Gronk. Linemen were too slow to keep up with him (at his Arizona Pro Day Gronk ran a 4.68 40-yard dash), and defensive backs were too small to contain Goliath Gronk. From a physicality standpoint Rob backed up the beast title with a 6’6″ 260 pound frame. Dude just towers over his teammate #13:
Gronk was open even when he wasn’t, all Tom Brady had to do was get it in his star TE’s vicinity. On more than one occasion Rob dragged multiple defenders on his back to pickup extra yards. Gronk played a complete offensive game – he could line up at any receiver position, block almost any defender on run plays and, most importantly, he altered defensive schemes by just being on the field.
A Nicki Minaj quote sums up how badly Gronk son’ed his defenders:
All these B!_Ch3$ is my sons, And I’ma go and get some bibs for ’em
His best season came in 2011 where he recorded a league leading 17 touchdowns… as a tight end! Here’s Gronk’s full 2011 stat line:
17 TDs / 14.7 YPC / 1327 YDS / 90 Rec / 124 Tgt / First-Team All-Pro
Other notable career feats include:
- x5 10+ Touchdown Seasons
- x4 1,000+ Receiving Yard Seasons
- x5 Pro Bowl Appearances
- x4 First-Team All-Pro
- 80 Total Career Touchdowns
The Pittsburgh (but born in New York) native was drafted with the 42nd pick in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Arizona. Coming out of college NFL teams were skeptical of Rob’s ability to stay healthy due to a well known back problem. The Patriots took a chance and drafted Rob anyway because they saw the potential in his Terminator-like abilities. It’s sad to see Gronk retire so soon, but few players have had the chance to leave on top. The sure-fire Hall Of Famer won 3 Super Bowls as a Patriot and he’ll go down as one of the most dominant offensive forces in league history. Go show him some love on IG @Gronk. Peace out, big-dawg.