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The Patriots Would Like You to Know They Didn't Tell Gronk to Retire Now to Take the Attention Away from The Tug Rule

Tom E. CurranRobert Kraft wasn’t just the main dish on the media menu this week at the NFL’s Annual Meeting, he was the only dish. …

Rob Gronkowski’s exquisitely-timed retirement announcement Sunday evening meant Kraft was relegated to side dish.

Gronk’s Instagram post came late enough on Sunday to ensure that Monday would be also devoted to taking the measure of the Gronk.

But it came early enough on Sunday to boot Kraft’s arrival at the meetings and his Saturday statement off the front page for that news cycle. …

It couldn’t have been any better if the Patriots planned it. So, did they? Was the timing orchestrated?

“No,” was the reply that Stacey James, the Patriots VP of Media Relations, gave when I asked him on Monday.

Kraft was Phoenix-bound on Sunday when he received a call from Gronkowski telling the owner he was retiring. …

While in the midst of a phone conversation about when the news release would be ideal, the person James was talking to said, “Stacey? He just announced on Instagram.”

I love it. God help me, how I love it so. The rest of the NFL is suffering such a moderate-to-severe case of Patriots Derangement Syndrome that even losing one of the best players in franchise history to early retirement is rolled into a conspiracy theory.

To be perfectly clear, I’m not accusing Curran of this for asking the question. Not at all. He’s just following through on what is without a doubt is the narrative going on at the meetings in Phoenix right now. That the other 31 franchises were hoping the whole thing would dominated with embarrassing hand job talk. Which in and of itself is laughable given how many owners down there have dead mistresses and Perv Buses filled with strippers and Dean Blandino and massive, polar bears-killing yachts with the carbon footprint of China and have covered up for their woman-beating players.

It just speaks to the insane level of how much prime, waterfront luxury real estate the Pats own in their heads that they’re reacting to Gronk’s retirement like it took all the fun out of it for them. It’s like Mr. Kraft is a sitting president who declares war just before an election to distract from his shitty poll numbers or something. It’s collusion, with Gronk in the Putin role. And it’s the first thing since the announcement that’s managed to put a smile on my face.

But it gets better. From the same article:

I asked Mike Tomlin if he wanted to come on TV to give me some perspective on Gronk’s retirement.

“Is he retiring?” Tomlin asked.

Yes. Just announced.

“Awesome!” replied Tomlin.

I don’t know that I’ve ever heard such a loser comment in my life. A great, popular, exciting player finally succumbs to the myriad of injuries he’s been battling through since college and an opposing coach’s reaction is “Awesome”? He might as well just have said, “Who are we shitting? You know I could’ve coached a thousand games against him and there was no way I was ever going to devise a scheme to stop him! Life just got a hell of a lot easier for incompetent ass!” Spoken like a guy who just lost his two best players to contract beefs and a general lack of respect for the way Tomlin runs a team.

Hopefully more executives and coaches in Phoenix will have similar reactions and the whole handie story will never come up.