Rob Gronkowski on his wild and crazy ways: I wouldn’t ‘put myself in jeopardy’
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who plays as hard off the field as he does on it, opened up on Wednesday during an interview on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning,” saying that despite his highly publicized outings, hijinks and whatnot over the years (see here for an incomplete, but revealing rundown), he would never do anything that would jeopardize his successful NFL career or his health.
Gronk specifically addressed a February incident in Las Vegas where he was captured on video (which was subsequently reported upon by TMZ) horsing around with a pal while his arm was in a cast. Gronkowski has been criticized heavily for appearing to be more focused on partying than rehabbing after having to undergo three surgeries on his arm stemming from two injuries to it that he suffered last season, including most recently during New England’s playoff game against the Houston Texans.
Video of the tomfoolery in Las Vegas:
Gronk claims to understand the nature of the criticism he receives. According to an ESPN Boston report: “They’re my fans,” said Gronkowski, adding, “They’re looking out for … they’re big fans of the Patriots and they just want to see the team do well. I totally understand where the fans are coming [from], where they don’t want [me] to put myself in jeopardy of getting hurt. I totally understand that. I would never do that, put myself in jeopardy.”
But would he put himself on “Jeopardy!”? Because that would be something to see, Gronk matching wits with his fellow competitors and engaging in some banter with Alex Trebek. Those guys are sure like two peas in a pod if you ask me.
Gronkowski also noted that despite the way he enjoys his time away from the game of football, a competitive fire burns inside of him. “To the max, I love going out there every week and performing to the best of my ability, and I love going out there playing. I understand where they are coming from. They just don’t want to see me hurt again. That’s totally understandable.”
Gronk later said he is learning to deal with his notoriety.
“It’s a little different,” he answered. “Growing up, just doing whatever you want and no one looking at you and no one really caring, and now you go out … I was in the airport on the way here and everyone has their camera out videoing me walking through the airport. It’s weird at first, but you just can’t let it get to your head at all, affect you at all and just keep doing what you’ve been doing since Day 1, which I have been.”
As far as any conversations that have occurred between Gronk and the Patriots regarding his high-profile public persona, Gronkowski chose not to comment upon on any of those details.
“Whatever I talk to [with] the Patriots, we stay confidential. We really don’t give anything out,” Gronkowski said. “Basically, just coming from myself, [I] just have to watch out who’s out there, who’s watching and everything, and basically just keep doing what I’ve been doing since Day 1. That’s what got me here this far.”
Gronk seems to enjoy using that “doing since Day 1” line. I wonder if he has been using it since Day 1. If he has been, that’s pretty cool.