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Sportress of Blogitude

Rob Gronkowski’s ‘Super Bowl Opening Night’ joke sparks criticism

Rob Gronkowski is facing a backlash over some questionable comments made Monday during Super Bowl Opening Night, and his brother is now coming to his defense.

Gronkowski, who played things pretty fast and loose throughout Monday night’s event, raised some eyebrows by constructing an arguably crude bit around his favorite number, which he has frequently utilized as comedic fodder over the years.

In a discussion related to his potential retirement in light of how Tom Brady made it clear he will be back next season, Gronkowski, as he is wont to do, riffed on the number 69.

The issue with the innuendo-fueled comments from Gronkowski is mostly due to how he incorporated a nearby woman into the routine when answering a question about what number he’d place on potentially retiring.

“You guys know my favorite number,” Gronkowski said, via the New York Post. “You know what I’m talking about. She knows what number I’m talking about [pointing to a reporter]. Ask her. That’s the answer.”

He then delivered a math problem to a reporter: “I’ll give you a math problem: What’s six times nine plus six plus nine?”

Gronkowski has been subjected to some criticism over his sophomoric routine, with WFAN’s Maggie Gray saying it “crossed the line.”

Gronkowski’s brother, Dan, came to the Patriots tight end’s defense Wednesday during an appearance on WEEI’s “Mut & Callahan Show.”

“Yeah, that’s ridiculous,” Dan Gronkowski said, as transcribed by NESN. “You’ve got to put yourself in his shoes. He gets asked that (retirement) question every single day. He’s going to start messing around with people. Because like I said, he hasn’t even sat down and thought about it.

“So yeah, it’s just ridiculous, those kinds of things. He’s just having fun down there and enjoying himself, and the media can [tell] any story however they want it and go from there.”

The case can be made that the Patriots superstar courted controversy by relying on his well-used bit during Super Bowl Week. It should not come as shock that he did go down that road, though.