Tuesday I posted about Chris Gronkowski going on WEEI to say how his brother was unhappy with the Patriots, how he wanted a new contract, how “he was being paid like he was just a mediocre tight end” (author’s note: Gronk has been the highest paid TE in the league for most of the last six years), how he wanted more “freedom” in how he prepares, and to that end how he and Belichick sat down, talked, and worked out their differences with a new deal and a new understanding about his training methods.
All of which is good news. My only issue was with Gronk’s personal dealings with his team and coach being talked about by anybody but Gronk, his team or his coach. As I said:
Look, I like the Gronkowskis. … They are in the Rob Gronkowski business, and business is good. … And that is fine. I respect a family that looks after their own. That said, I could live with the brothers staying out of this publicly. As much as I appreciate knowing the inside dope we would never get otherwise, overall this is a bad look for the organization. Right or wrong, they don’t air this kind of thing out there for public consumption. They simply don’t. Especially not in the middle of a season. The Gronk brothers might not like it, but it’s how business has been done here since long before any of them wore a Patriots uniform. It’s a little harder to follow the signs in the locker room that say “Ignore the Noise” when one of your own player’s family members is making the noise.
Which is why I take great comfort in knowing that Gronk agrees with me:
No, I didn’t talk to him at all and to tell you the truth, I mean I feel like he probably was going on for a promotion thing for his ice shaker because if you’ve ever seen – no lie. I mean, because he’s been on Shark Tank with it, he’s teamed up with A-Rod so it’s actually a pretty big deal. So I guess buy his ice shaker is what he was trying to get to and then he probably got caught up in all that nonsense. But I mean, he doesn’t speak for myself and he knows he doesn’t. But he probably just got caught up a little bit. Just got to move on, buy his ice shaker I guess and that’s all. … I mean, he better send me a couple free ones now or something.
Spoken like a true brother. I’ve got three older brothers and I can totally relate. Not just to the words he used but the way he said it. No malice in his voice. He doesn’t mind at all that Chris is using his name to hawk ice shakers. Because again, he’s in the Rob Gronkowski business. He’s not mad. He just doesn’t want anybody in the family fucking his shit up at work. And if Chris is going to shoot his mouth off and put him in an awkward position with his bosses, the least he can do is offer a couple of freebies of whatever the hell he’s selling.
Again, I know exactly how he feels. Believe me, the other Thornton brothers are no strangers to trying to benefit from living in the reflected glow of the world’s most talented and handsome Patriots writer. Dropping my name to get free beers, women, cars, vacations, prestige at the Gillette tailgate scene they would never otherwise get. And I don’t begrudge them. You get yours. Just don’t be putting words in my mouth or say anything I have to explain later on.
P.S. Chris Gronk has to learn that the first rule of Marketing 101 is don’t say anything that takes away from promoting the product. Don’t bury the lede. Until Rob even mentioned it, I had no idea he was on WEEI pushing a product. He’s a better tight end and a better salesman.