I try not to be a cynical man. I don't consider that to be my nature. But the world as I observe it has a certain track record. One that has made me skeptical of practically everything. And as the late, great George Carlin put it in his typically brilliant way, "Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist."
So I would have loved to believe this announcement by Rob Gronkowski yesterday that he had finally reached the end of his unforgettable career. Just like I believed Tom Brady's similar announcement a few months ago. And Gronk's back in 2019. And all the bands who have gone on multiple Farewell Tours, like the one Elton John is currently on, which by my math could be his fourth or fifth "final" tour. But like I said, I've been paying attention all these years. And the thousandth time or so you see a thing happen, you start to notice a pattern. So Tuesday afternoon, I expressed my doubts about Gronk's second retirement.
Only to have my suspicions pretty much confirmed in the most confirming way possible:
Gee, do you think there's the slightest chance that hypothetical call from Tom Brady might actually happen? Let's go to the source and see how he feels:
Oh you guyyysss …
So I guess that's what's going on here? The comedy duo of Tommy & Gronky, just having a little fun with us?
A couple of laughs at our expense. A few harmless chuckles. Gronk will spend Bucs camp bouncing back and forth from whatever side hustle he's working on, selling cruises, beach parties, CBD oil or whatever, and workouts at TB12 Fitness. There'll be no press conferences. No mention of his nine seasons in New England or signing a one-day contract to retire with the Patriots. Then at some point in the regular season the Bucs will lose a game, this mythical phone call will be fictionally made, and Gronk will unretire for the second time (known henceforth as his Unreretirement) and return to Tampa a conquering hero.
That's just how it goes now, I suppose. The season long Retirement Tours of, say, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter or David Ortiz are a dying art. The idea of a 42 year old Ted Williams telling no one but his owner, manager and teammates he was having his last at bat at Fenway (his 521st home run) instead of going on the final road trip, is a dinosaur that will not be cloned back to life. The once noble, revered act of announcing the end of your career with poignant words of inspiration and manly tears is dead. Now it's just another tool you can use to get a few months off.
OK, so let's just play along with the charade for the time being. I did one tribute blog to Gronk's unparalleled career, there won't be another. Not until Drew Rosenhaus, Adam Schefter, Gordie Gronkowski and Buddha himself all report together that he's not coming back. Not ever. Until then, see you in November, Gronk.