Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
I understand why everyone focuses on Tom Brady getting back to the Super Bowl, but what about Rob Gronkowski? Do Patriots fans still root for him too? He did retire and came back only when he could go to the Bucs. Does that hurt his legacy in New England? – Patrick D.
Well, there is definitely a segment of the fan base that holds it against him that he retired from the Patriots and only decided to come back when he could go elsewhere. I get that, but I don’t see it that way. He was too fun to watch here to hold a grudge regarding how it ended.
I’d remember Gronkowski well based on what he did on the field alone. He’s the most dominating tight end in NFL history, and the most fun to watch, whether he was rumbling down the seam for a long touchdown or blocking like like a high school upperclassman delighting in trucking the incoming freshmen.
Travis Kelce is going to get a lot of hype this week as one of the best tight ends of all-time. No matter how many 1,000-yard seasons he has, he’ll never be close to Gronk in his prime, because Gronk would have been in the league as a blocker if he couldn’t catch the ball.
But it’s not just about what he did on the field. Gronk is about as guileless and friendly as any athlete we’ve ever had around here, and he used his special kind of fame for good over and over again. I don’t think I ever saw a superstar who was nicer to kids.
It was an absolute joy to watch him in his prime, and given what he put his body through, I’ll never blame him for walking away for a year. The game is so brutal that it almost broke his spirit. What a shame that would have been.
Though that catch he made to set up the only touchdown in the last Patriots Super Bowl win would have been a perfect final scene for his career, I’m happy that he’s having fun again. He deserves it. I hope he scores the winning touchdown on a pass from Blaine Gabbert.
Oh, I’m kidding. Gronk and Brady are with the Bucs right now, but they forever belong to the Patriots.
But what does everyone else think? Are you rooting for Rob Gronkowski to win the Super Bowl? I’ll hear you in the comments.
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