This past Sunday, America looked at their phones in the middle of whichever underdog wasn’t playing Cinderella around 5pm to learn that the most talented tight end in the history of football, Rob Gronkowski, had retired. After struggling to read his Instagram caption about it, many took to the internet streets to voice their appreciation for the young man’s career. All except one circle, Cam Newton fans.
You see, Cam Newton fans have had a huge gripe with Gronk for the last few years. He’s kind of been a beacon of white privilege for the uninformed (WOAH! Political!). For instance, when Cam Newton danced (00:40)
angry mothers wrote letters to the league.
When Rob Gronkowski danced
ESPN had dance competitions on set trying to emulate it.
The juxtaposition of the two sparked a social commentary that was a mad libs of buzzwords. There are other examples, but you’re not here for serious interpretations on America’s race relations.
If you are, I’ll turn into Info Wars so fucking fast. I really need the clicks.
But I digress.
Simply put, it was the dumbest argument in the world. As far as any dancing opinions go, fuck anyone that had an issue with anyone doing it. I bet that mother did have a racial motivation to write that letter, whether she knew it or not, but everyone that jumped on that bandwagon took away from two great players that offered way more than athletic talent to the NFL.
If you DO want to hate Newton, maybe look at other things like the time he got into a car accident, or when he refused to talk to the media after losing the super bowl, or when he refused to jump on a fumble in that super bowl and called it a “business decision.” Just a thought. None of these are big deals, but people sure like to say they are.
And by all means, do as much digging into Gronk as you want. Just know it’s all been pretty much the same article since high school.
And that, right there, was what made Rob Gronkowski so likable. You knew exactly who he was. 69 jokes weren’t a schtick. They were funnier than Caddy Shack, Superbad, and “Who’s On First,” combined. Gronk didn’t dance to be funny. He truly believed that his standing seizure of a routine could get him an instructor role on “Dancing With The Stars.” He was a child both in personality and intelligence, it was real, and we loved it.
He was everything we look for when we decide someone is genuine. He was authentic to himself every day and it was refreshing.
So that’s the real issue here. There will be more first ballot hall of fame tight ends. We will see more 1000 yards seasons out of them. But we will never see a player who was so childishly original that he embodied our 8th grade sense of humor to it’s purest form.
That’s a legitimate societal loss.
But by all means, keep getting mad about his dancing. He’ll just laugh it off anyway.