First of all, pardon me if I take issue with the "BIG DEAL HERE" part of this Tweet. If there has every been anything in the history of human endeavors that was this much of a mortal lock/guarantee/fait accompli, it's that Rob Gronkowski was going wherever Tom Brady went. They are more than a package deal, they are conjoined twins. An offer with the Promo Code BOGO. There was no chance any team talking to Brady - Miami, San Francisco, anyone - was going to send him an invitation without the +1 that is Gronk.
In fact, the biggest indication all along that Brady was not, in fact, retired was that when he issued that Instagram statement about no being 100% committed to football, or however it was phrased, was that the other head growing out of his shoulder remained silent. Gronk told the Patriots he'd quit football rather than accept a trade to Detroit and play with Matthew Stafford, ferfuckssake. If Brady decided to spend next fall exploring the depths of the ocean with Robert Ballard and James Cameron, they'd have had to make room in the bathysphere for all 6-feet-7, 260 pounds of Gronk.
None of which is the point of this post. In fact it wouldn’t even be blog worthy, were it not for the way the message is delivered. This is just such classic Gronk. There is still a lot of lingering resentment towards him in New England for the way he left. “Retiring“ because his body was broken down, he wanted to pursue other interests, build a cannabis enterprise and so on. And then the second his boy comes back to football, he forgets all about the injuries and the surgeries and sits up in his professional coffin, Undertaker-style.
But honestly, how do you stay mad at a guy like this? He has to be the most unassuming, unpretentious great athlete of all time. Randomly grab messing with people at a barbershop like he’s one of them. Playing along with the joke. Just being authentic. This is just one of the reasons why we embraced them so much, and it was so hard to see him go catch Super Bowl touchdowns somewhere else. He’ll be back this year, obviously. But eventually that they will come where he’s retiring a Patriot and all will be forgiven.