|Gronkowski was a maniac on the floor. Harrison did not approve. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)|
By Ryan Wilson
There was plenty of blame to go around In the hours and days following the Patriots loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. For the most part, it seemed like a collective knee-jerk reaction from media and fans (and family members) not accustomed to losing. Of course, this is what happens when the hometown team wins three Super Bowls in five seasons and Tom Brady begins his postseason career by going 10-0.
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Depending on your perspective, any number of people were at fault for the outcome: Brady, Wes Welker, Bill Belichick, the defense and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was limited by a high-ankle sprain.
But it wasn't Gronkowski's lack of production, or even that he didn't battle Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn for a Brady arm punt that became an interception that upset his critics. It was his after-game exploits that got some folks worked into a lather.
In case you missed it, Gronkowski, along with teammate Matt Light, were spotted dancing (topless, no less!) at an Super Bowl party hours after the game.
Scandalous, we know.
(If the sarcasm dripping off that last sentence isn't obvious enough, we'll just repeat what we said on the Pick-6 Podcast: what's Gronkowski supposed to do? Sit in his room and cry himself to sleep? Will that make him a better player for the Pats' next game in six months? No? So what's the problem then?)
This makes no difference to NBC analyst and former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who is very upset with Gronk's decision to gyrate his hips after a loss.
“I guarantee you this, if Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Larry Izzo, Richard Seymour or myself had been at that party, [Gronkowski] probably would have got his head rung,” Harrison told ESPN 1000 in Chicago (via PFT). “There’s no reason for that to happen.”
Oh god. Nothing like an old-timer invoking old times. Yes, Rodney, we know. You had to walk 10 miles to practice, uphill each way, you didn't have shoes and it always snowed.
(Worth mentioning: back in September, the aforementioned Bruschi happily called out Chad Ochocinco for tweeting. We have yet to hear his mock outrage over Gronkowski blowing off steam early Monday morning.)
Harrison wasn't done.
“When we lost the Super Bowl, any of my Super Bowl losses, I was so devastated the last thing I ever wanted to do was party, let alone dance or take off your shirt,” Harrison said. “It’s just immaturity. It’s not right. He made a mistake and I’m sure he feels absolutely stupid about it at this point. There’s a time and place for everything.”
Rodney's right: there is a time and place for everything. Time: after the season is over -- check. Place: party where music is played and dancing is encouraged -- check.
This is almost as ridiculous as Gronkowki having to apologize for having his picture taken with a porn star. Almost.
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