Rob Gronkowski continues to profit from comeback speculation

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 08: Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski reacts during a Super Bowl LIII championship ceremony before the game between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 08: Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski reacts during a Super Bowl LIII championship ceremony before the game between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Rob Gronkowski continues to utilize the never-ending retirement/comeback speculation surrounding his future to his personal advantage as a businessman.

While it might be agonizing for some of the most devout – and some of the most gullible – New England Patriots fans, Rob Gronkowski continues to manipulate the heartstrings and minds of football followers from coast to coast with reckless abandon.

And really, it’s getting harder and harder to blame him.

As long as the media and the fans continue to work themselves up into a fever pitch every single time there’s an ounce of news coverage surrounding him, Gronkowski surely is going to take notice. He’s been on the receiving end of hundreds of reporters and questions since March, the vast majority of them revolving around whether or not he’d consider reneging on his retirement plans and re-joining the Patriots for another Super Bowl run.

At first, Gronkowski stuck to his guns about his decision. After a time though, he presumably got a bit tired with the never-ending redundancy of being asked about the same thing over and over again despite having already given a definitive answer… so he leaned into all the speculation and started messing around, as only Gronkowski loves to do.

He became coy with reporters and started dropping little hints here and there that maybe, just maybe, he’d rethink his choice at some point this season. He added fuel to the rumors of his comeback by giving misleading answers and contradicting himself at times. And as much as all the doublespeak must have frustrated some fans, Gronkowski would probably be the first to point out that they all had it coming.

After all, he’d made his decision public way back in March. He posted it on Instagram for everyone to see and read for themselves. He detailed in exquisite honesty how he stayed up the night after the Patriots’ win in Super Bowl LIII and cried, knowing deep down that he’d probably played his final game in the NFL.

Gronk also outlined his extensive injury history for us, talked about the significant and painful hit to his quad he took against the Rams in the championship game, and joined up with a CBD company because it meant a lot to him to discuss pain management and injury care. He disturbingly revealed that he’d probably suffered close to 20 concussions during his NFL career.

Gronkowski also definitely closed the door on all the comeback rumors multiple times, saying that unless he ever felt that overpowering itch to play again, he was very happy staying retired. He also stated plain as day that not only was the itch not overpowering at present; the itch didn’t even exist for him right now at all.

Despite all of this and more, Gronkowski posted a video online over the weekend that teased a major announcement coming out from him on Tuesday morning. He’s done this before – a couple of times, actually, since retiring – and each time his announcement has been about a new business venture, an upcoming book, a special promotion he’s a part of, etc.

Never has the announcement had the slightest thing to do with his return to the NFL, and yet every time he teases these “press releases,” fans fall over themselves thinking he’s making a comeback. So Gronkowski eventually decided to use all the hype and misdirection to his advantage.

Knowing full-well that the microscope is on him intensely right now with the November 30 deadline approaching to file his reinstatement papers for this season, and knowing that Patriots fans and fans of the NFL in general would be more attuned to social media and the news in general on a Sunday during football season compared to any other week day, Gronkowski dropped yet another teaser video right after the Patriots’ victory over the Eagles on Sunday evening.

When he did finally release the actual video announcement itself via tweet, the subject matter became quickly clear. As it turns out, Gronkowski is hosting a mini-music festival of sorts down in Miami during Super Bowl LIV weekend. He has a slew of premier DJs and rappers performing, he’s selling tickets, and he’s even got sponsorship already from a number of brands and major entertainment companies.

Notably, the video features three different Rob Gronkowskis debating what he should do with his future.

There’s a retired Rob Gronkowski in a bathrobe sitting on a couch peacefully playing with a ship-in-a-bottle. There’s a party-mode Rob Gronkowski trying to convince that first Gronk to “get lit” at the Miami beach music festival he wants to host and promote. And there’s a football Rob Gronkowski decked out with Super Bowl rings and Lombardi Trophies in tow trying to convince the other Gronkowskis that it’s time to return to the Patriots and the NFL.

Patriots fans are obviously rooting for that third Gronkowski to win out over the other two, but it’s not meant to be. The video is promotional material for the festival itself after all, so we all know which Gronkowski “wins” in the end.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Gronkowski at least is still not 100% ready to rule out an eventual return to football… it’s just probably not going to happen this year. Again, this isn’t anything new, but Gronk felt the need to remind us all once again where he’s at with his thinking – while still using the speculation around his “decision” to his advantage for promotional purposes.

"“I wouldn’t say ‘never coming back.’ I’m 30 years old. I’m young. I still stay fit, still watch the game whenever I can, still enjoy it. I’m feeling good, but you know, one year off could possibly be the case. Or maybe two years off, man. It’s always an option in the back of my head. It’s not like I’m not staying in shape and not doing anything. I’m never stressed over it.”"

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Until fans completely give up on Gronk ever coming back to the NFL, it just makes too much sense for Gronkowski as a businessman and entrepreneur to keep playing up the comeback rumors around his future for his own personal benefit. It’s even hard to blame him for doing so.

Now it’s just up to football fans to decide how much longer they want to keep falling for the charade.