Rob Gronkowski has a fun-loving personality that can make you think he lacks intelligence, but he’s actually a math genius. Well, kind of.
During an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast this week, Gronk revealed that his favorite subject in high school was math. In fact, he says he was so dominant in the math classroom that he was moved up to an advanced class. Unfortunately, it did not go so well.
Fun Fact – Gronk was a math genius growing up (normal math only) pic.twitter.com/ZFyYh0ZEpT
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) September 11, 2019
If that isn’t the most Gronk quote of all time, we don’t know what is.
We saw a much more serious side of Gronkowski recently than we have grown accustomed to, so it’s nice to have the old Gronk back.
Now that the New England Patriots have somehow managed to land Antonio Brown, many fans are wondering if Rob Gronkowski will be the final piece of the puzzle. The former tight end has not totally ruled out an NFL comeback, but would he be even more open to it now that the team he left behind looks as strong as ever?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Gronkowski did some work with Barstool Sports this week, and founder Dave Portnoy confidently told Gronk that he knows he is going to “avoid the grind of the season and come back for the playoffs.” Portnoy speculated that Gronkowski would return in Week 14, and the 30-year-old said that sounds about right.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) September 9, 2019
“I won’t even be (in) single coverage with all those receivers we have,” Gronkowski said. “I won’t even be touched — Week 14.”
Unfortunately for football fans, Gronk was probably joking and just going along with what Portnoy said. The biggest red flag with what he said is that Gronkowski would have to be moved off the reserve/retired list by Week 13 if we wants to be eligible for the playoffs. The NFL has that rule in place to avoid exactly what Portnoy said, which is a player skipping the entire regular season and returning for the playoffs.
The Patriots didn’t look like they had many pass-catching options after Gronk retired, but they suddenly have a depth chart that features Brown, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas. They’re Super Bowl favorites for a reason, and it’s possible Gronk could get the itch to return at some point. However, some recent remarks he made about his retirement make that seem unlikely.
Rob Gronkowski made it clear recently that he has not totally ruled out the possibility of a return to football, and at least two former New England Patriots players seem to think it is going to happen.
The latest is ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi, who has Gronkowski on his fantasy football team heading into the season. Bruschi, a former Patriots linebacker, drafted Gronk in the 15th round of a 16-team league with his ESPN colleagues on Wednesday night.
Most intriguing pick from the 16-team ESPN War Room league Wednesday night: In round 15, with the 225th overall selection, @TedyBruschi takes….Rob Gronkowski.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 5, 2019
There are a couple of factors to consider before overreacting to Bruschi’s pick. For starters, Bruschi picked Gronk in the 15th round, or 225th overall. In a 16-team league, there are only flier picks remaining that late. It’s not a surprise someone picked Gronkowski over a team’s fifth wide receiver or third running back. Also, Bruschi is a TV analyst and former Patriot, so he probably knew the pick would get people talking.
Gronkowski said last week that he is in good enough physical condition to play football, but he has to get the urge. One former Patriots player is all but certain that Gronk will return in 2019, though we still have our doubts.
Bill Parcells famously said during his coaching years that any player who is thinking about retirement has already retired. By that logic, Rob Gronkowski gave up on football long before he actually hung up the cleats.
Gronk recently appeared on an episode of HBO’s “The Shop” that will air on Tuesday night, and he was asked why he decided that the 2018 season would be his last in the NFL. The 30-year-old said his big realization actually came during offseason workouts in 2017, when he was “getting smoked by every rookie.”
Rob Gronkowski told HBO’s “The Shop” that he probably first started thinking about retirement during training camp in 2017.
“I was trying to go out to the practices in the summer and I was getting smoked by every rookie."
“The Shop” airs tonight at 11p.https://t.co/xpOoMf1cYQ
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) September 3, 2019
“I felt in order to do something bigger in life, in order to get to a higher stage — because you (already won) the Super Bowl — I felt like I had to get away from the game to focus on myself,” Gronkowski said.
Gronk suffered numerous significant injuries during his career and had several surgeries, so it’s hardly a surprise his body began breaking down. He still managed to catch 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017, but he looked noticeably slower last season, when he caught 47 passes for 682 yards and just three scores.
A lot of the people who speculate about Gronkowski returning in 2019 forget how diminished his skills were last season. The fact that he started contemplating retirement two years ago is quite telling, and it would still be a surprise if he returned — even if he has found a new way to stay pain-free.
Rob Gronkowski spoke about his retirement on Tuesday and the possibility of him ever returning to the NFL, and the former New England Patriots tight end became extremely emotional while discussing the reasons he decided to give up football.
Gronk made a public appearance to announce he has become an advocate for a CBD product that has helped him live pain-free for the first time in a decade, and he fought back tears at one point while telling those in attendance he was “not in a good place” last season.
"I want to be clear to my fans … I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down."
–Rob Gronkowski on his decision to retire pic.twitter.com/zEek2QNPjH
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 27, 2019
“I want to be clear to my fans. I needed to recover. I was not in a good place,” Gronkowski said. “Football was bringing me down, and I didn’t like it. I was losing that joy in life.”
Gronk said he knew what he signed up for when he decided to pursue a career in the NFL, but he still felt he had to “fix myself.” He also detailed how he knew he was going to give up playing when he was in excruciating pain with a quad injury after Super Bowl LIII. The 30-year-old said the deep thigh bruise led to internal bleeding that needed to be drained.
“I got done with the game and I could barely walk,” Gronkowski said, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “I slept five minutes that night. I couldn’t even think. I was in tears in my bed after a Super Bowl victory. It didn’t make that much sense to me. And then, for four weeks, I couldn’t even sleep for more than 20 minutes a night. I was like, ‘Damn, this sucks.’ It didn’t feel good.”
While he said he is “very satisfied with where I am in life now,” Gronk would not rule out returning to football. He insists he feels physically well enough to keep playing but is not in the proper place mentally, though he added that he “will go back to football” if he gets the urge.
There have been plenty of rumblings about Gronkowski playing in 2019, the latest of which came from a former Patriots player who is convinced it will happen. If Gronk himself is not willing to rule it out, perhaps it is a more realistic possibility than we initially thought.
Rob Gronkowski is in the process of carving out a new role for himself now that he is no longer running through linebackers and defensive backs, and the former Patriots tight end gave us a glimpse into one of his passions on Tuesday.
Gronkowski spoke at a conference to advocate for CBD — or cannabidiol — and discuss some of the health benefits he has experienced from using it since he retired. Gronk said he wants to help nudge sports organizations in the direction of letting athletes use CBD and said he is currently “pain-free” for the first time in 10 years.
At a @cbdmedic_pharma press conference in NYC, ex-#Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski comes out as a CBD advocate: “I’m here to appeal to the sports governing bodies to update their positions on CBD (so it can be) used by all players. … For the first time in a decade, I’m pain-free.” pic.twitter.com/DClum5mbe2
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2019
Gronkowski later made the announcement on his own Twitter page.
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) August 27, 2019
Of course, Gronk was also asked some questions about potentially returning to the NFL in 2019. He still seems set on retirement, though he did not rule anything out.
“Physically, I could do it. But mentally, it’s not there. … If I’m just enjoying my life… maybe never.” https://t.co/vxZXN9pBpo
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2019
CBD is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, it does not contain psychoactive properties or alter a person’s mental state. It has gained popularity recently as a treatment for a number of health issues, including pain and inflammation. You can read a more detailed description here.
As for Gronkowski’s NFL future, at least one former Patriot is convinced he will return at some point during the 2019 season. We wouldn’t count on it.
The Rob Gronkowski comeback talk has cooled off considerably in recent weeks, but one former New England Patriots player expects it to pick up again during the regular season, and he thinks it will be warranted.
Former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who has worked for and made several appearances on sports networks in the Boston area, is convinced that Gronkowski will return to the team at some point in 2019. Wiggins told TMZ over the weekend that he would “bet money” on it and is about 97 percent sure.
“You heard it here first, he’s going to be back this year!” Wiggins said confidently. “He loves the limelight, and what better way to keep continue to build the Gronk brand by being out on the field? … He’s still got plenty of gas left in the tank. He’ll be back. I’m telling you.”
Wiggins still has some connections to the Patriots, so his prediction is noteworthy. He also said last year that the tension between Gronkowski and the Patriots had to do with Gronk wanting more money, and the Pro Bowler received a raise before the 2018 season.
Of course, Wiggins is not the first person to predict that Gronkowski will be back. One line of thinking is that he was just tired of the grind of preseason and training camp and will get the itch to play later in the year, especially if Tom Brady reaches out and tries to convince him. And heck, Bill Belichick even cracked a joke this offseason that may have indicated he misses having Gronk around.
It’s worth noting that Gronkowski was not nearly as effective in 2018 as he was in seasons past. He has also appeared slimmer during public appearances this offseason, so it would not be a surprise if his retirement from football is permanent.