Some shoes are harder to fill than others. I bet most of LBJ's presidency was spent being reminded he wasn't JFK. In Boston, the Celtics owners once let Rick Pitino replace Red Auerbach with ... Rick Pitino. I'm still trying to forget that year in the late 90s between when Roger Clemens left the Red Sox and they landed Pedro Martinez and they had no ace. And don't get me started on the Timothy Dalton 007 years.
Well if the Patriots front office was worried about who would fill the role of Blonde Haired, Blue Eyed, Norse Beserker, Muscular "Die Hard" Villain Who Bros Out after losing Rob Gronkowski, it looks like they've found their guy.
Chase Winovich played his ass off on every down last year. But with the exception of an occasional social media post, like the one of Tom Brady sneaking up behind him to cut his hair, he more or less played the role of dutiful rookie and kept relatively quiet off the field. But now that he's no longer pledging, he seems to be going all in as a full fledged brother in the frat. He's started his own YouTube channel. And if this pilot episode is any indication, it's going to be an electric factory.
This is peak Winovich. A Celtics warm up jacket to ingratiate himself to the locals. Telling his draft day story, adding that Belichick on the other end of the line sounded "like he was ordering a pizza." The self-deprecation about that Disney photo holding his goddaughter that made him look like a Karen. Flexing on Brady. The blocked punt TD where he lost his mind and tossed the ball into the stands. That ridiculous highlight from when he was a kid and he ragdolled two players on the same punt and broke a kid's leg. Talking shit to Ben Roethlisberger. Buying his mom a car. Now he's promising to turn it into a travel channel?
This is what it's going to take to fill that Gronk-shaped hole in a lot of hearts. I'll be honest with you and say that CBD/WWE Gronk hasn't been doing it for me. It's hard to keep the interest level up in a guy who isn't on the field 16 times a year, swinging a mace made out of the skulls of his enemies every week. The problem with being a sports personality is that when the sports are taken out of the equation, the public realizes there are much stronger, more engaging personalities to choose from. And they end up gravitating to John Krasinski's videos or Joe Rogan podcasts or whatever. Winovich will have every opportunity to get more reps, play a bigger role the post-Brady Patriots and have a bigger off the field persona. His timing couldn't be better.
And I, for one, will be liking, sharing and subscribing. At least until Belichick tells him to knock it off.