I know all good things must come to an end. Today was one of those days. Today was the day Rob Gronkowski announced that after nine years in the NFL he was retiring.
Before Gronk came into the league I understand the tight end position was a position created for a player to stand at the end of the offensive line. He could be a pass catcher. He could be a run blocker. He was smaller than an offensive lineman but bigger than a receiver. The tight end would be the in between. He’d be more a blocker for the running game. When Gronk came in he did both exceptionally well. He was a phenomenal run blocker and could catch a pass and run—because he was faster than most tight ends and had better hands than those that came before him.
The Patriots, being the Patriots, used him in both ways. The question for other team defenses became how do you stop Gronk? You can’t cover him with a linebacker; he’s too fast. If you try having one of your defensive backs cover him he’s too big and he’ll run them over. Gronk was the ultimate tight end who could do everything. He changed the tight end position as we know it. That’s what made him so special. We’ve never seen anyone like this. And it will be a long time before we see it again. If ever.
Throw in the fact he was a fan favorite, a good presence in the locker room, a fun-loving overall good guy and you have the perfect prototypical tight end and player.
I can’t blame Gronk for his decision of retiring. He is going out on top, having just won his third Super Bowl. He is undoubtedly a first-round Hall of Famer. What else was there to achieve?
As a fan I will miss Gronk as a player and a personality. Some of my favorite football moments were because of Gronk. The football spikes. The goofiness on the sidelines. The goofiness off the field. The Gronk Nation Youth Foundation. His numerous product endorsements. The Gronk Party Bus. He’s. Just. Gronk.
Knowing how Gronk is I’m sure we will see plenty of him in the future one way or another. Whatever he chooses to do with the rest of his life, I’m sure he’ll do it in the same way he played football: with greatness.
Here’s to you, Gronk!