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Tag:Rob Gronkowski
Posted on: February 24, 2012 6:30 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 7:37 pm
 

Gronkowski talks about post-Super Bowl partying

Gronk on dancing after Super Bowl loss: 'It is what it is.' (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Ryan Wilson

It's been almost three weeks since the Patriots lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. Which means it's been almost three weeks since Rob Gronkowski and Matt Light were caught on video dancing their troubles away at a postgame party.

Most people didn't have an issue with how Gronk chose to deal with defeat (even if it included taking his shirt off -- in public, no less!). He's a grown man and the season was over. NBC NFL analyst and former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison wasn't one of those people. He breathlessly proclaimed that Gronkowski had "disrespected himself" before adding “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. There’s no reason for that to happen.”

Settle down, Rodney.

Patriots president Jonathan Kraft was more reasoned in his response, saying that “One thing I do know is the guy is 100 percent a passionate when it comes to football. He loves football. He wants to win. He doesn’t like losing. I don’t know specifically what people are questioning, but he’s an ultimate competitor.”

And now, finally, Gronkowski has weighed in. The tight end, who had surgery on his ankle on Feb. 10, hadn't spoken about any of this publicly until Friday.

“It is what it is,” Gronkowski said during an appearance on 97.5 in Philadelphia (via PFT). “We were just having fun with my brothers and stuff . . . family I haven’t seen in a while . . . and the chance of hanging out with LMFAO was pretty cool too. . . . Unfortunately we didn’t win and that was the number 1 goal.”

So there you go, Rodney. It is ... what it is. Hope that clears things up for you.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 9:59 am
Edited on: February 12, 2012 1:52 pm
 

Report: Pierre-Paul to appear on TNA Wrestling

It looks like JPP and Kurt Angle have some differences to settle.  (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m. ET -- Jason Pierre-Paul has decided against resolving his make-believe issues by donning tights. “He declined because he is exhausted,” Robert Bailey, the president of Rosenhaus Sports, told FOXSports.com (via PFT). 

The list may not be all that distinguished but it is long. And now, it appears, Jason Pierre-Paul will be the latest professional athlete to step into the squared circle in the name of entertainment. According to FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez, the Giants' defensive end is scheduled to make an appearance for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling at a Monday night television taping in Orlando, Florida. The segment will air on TNA's Thursday night Impact Wrestling.

Pierre-Paul would join Dennis Rodman and Ben Roethlisberger as former champions to take up wresting. But non-champions can live out childhood fantasies, too; the Jets' Bart Scott, and former Titans Pacman Jones and Frank Wycheck have also been involved in TNA storylines.

Marvez's source reveals that JPP is "is expected to have an in-ring confrontation with TNA star Kurt Angle."

We eagerly await Tom Coughlin's response to questions about Pierre-Paul's offseason workout regimen. Silver lining: at least he's not dancing! 

(This gives us a fantastic idea: maybe Rodney Harrison and Rob Gronkowski should settle their differences in a pay-per-view wrasslin' match with the proceeds going to charity. If nothing else, it would be an opportunity for Harrison to keep his word about Gronk getting his "head rung" for dancing like he was in Footloose hours after the Pats' Super Bowl loss.)

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:31 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 9:43 am
 

Patriots president defends Rob Gronkowski

Jonathan Kraft on Gronkowski: "He hasn't brokan any laws."  (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Rodney Harrison is particularly passionate and passionately particular. For instance, he proclaimed that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski "disrespected himself" by partying (and dancing -- topless) in the hours after Sunday's Super Bowl loss. But the same sanctimony was nowhere to be found when coach Bill Belichick headed to California to play in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week.

Is one worse than the other? Does a few days really make that big a difference? (Seriously, we're talking about mourning a game that includes dressing up in funny costumes and running into other similarly dressed people.)

Like most things, it depends. Unless, of course, you're Harrison, who appears resolute in his opinions that there are no gray areas when it comes to skimping on the self-flagellation after a devastating loss. (Although he conveniently forgets to call out everybody.)

Gronkowski reportedly had ankle surgery Friday, and that same day team president Jonathan Kraft went on ESPN radio to speak to those who felt compelled to criticize Gronkowski for his postgame party plans.

“One thing I do know is the guy is 100 percent a passionate when it comes to football,” Kraft said (via the Boston Herald). “He loves football. He wants to win. He doesn’t like losing. I don’t know specifically what people are questioning, but he’s an ultimate competitor. I think the team did accomplish a lot this year. Unfortunately, we fell a little bit short of the ultimate goal. I do think that he and other players probably have different ways of both celebrating what we were able to achieve and dealing with the disappointment of the night, and I think it’s hard to personalize how any individual would deal with that and project it on someone else.”

Kraft also pointed out that Gronkowski “...hasn’t broken any laws, he hasn’t done anything else, and I think it’s hard to place value judgments.”

How this isn't obvious to Harrison might be the biggest post-Super Bowl story.

In related news: it's clear that, in addition Gronkowski, Vince Wilfork, Julian Edelman, Tiquan Underwood's flat top and Robert Kraft don't care about winning, either. This must pain Harrison to no end. 

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:56 pm
 

Report: Rob Gronkowski had ankle surgery Friday

Perhaps we can stop talking about Gronk's ankle for a while now? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, the subject of an unholy amount of media scrutiny over the past two weeks, reportedly underwent ankle surgery on Friday to repair the high-ankle sprain that he injured during the AFC Championship Game.

That's according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, who reports that the arthroscopic surgery was successful and that the recovery time for Gronkowski is "expected to be 10 weeks."

Gronk suffered the injury when he was tackled by "Pats Killer" and Ravens safety Bernard Pollard in the AFC title game. Gronk's ankle was the focus of pre-Super Bowl media coverage to an annoying extent and the tight end managed to play, but was essentially a decoy, catching just two passes for 26 yards.

Since then, Gronkowski's been spotted dancing shirtless at the Pats post-Super Bowl party and taken way too much guff from former Patriots like Rodney Harrison.

The fact is, Gronk suited up for the Super Bowl with an injury that many athletes wouldn't be able to play with; he wasn't necessarily effective, but he was still on the field and running routes.

He got his surgery done immediately following the season and though he probably won't get to dance much in the future, there's really no need to criticize him for what he did once the season was over. Unless you want to rip Bill Belichick for playing golf this week too anyway.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:23 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 6:10 pm
 

Victor Cruz: 'I deserve to be paid more money'

CruzBy Josh Katzowitz

In real-life standards, making $490,000 is a pretty decent salary. In the world of pro football, it’s more like a “meh” financial reward, almost the definition of entry-level pay. For an outgoing wide receiver who was virtually unknown before this season and then exploded with an 82-catch, 1,536-yard, nine-touchdown performance and became known as the guy who salsa dances after he scores, it’s an outrage.

Well, not really an outrage, but after his glorious season that ended with a touchdown catch in the Giants Super Bowl XLVI win against the Patriots, Victor Cruz  -- who made $450,000 in 2011 -- would like a substantial raise for 2012.

“I think I was paid, you know, relative to where I came in this year and, you know, I came in as a free agent so that’s the salary I was on, so I don’t feel like I was underpaid,” Cruz told the men at Pro Football Talk. “I mean, I feel like after my performance this year, you know, I feel like I deserve to be paid more money at this point.  But that’s something I’ll let my agents and those people take care of and I’ll just go out there and play the game.”

I don’t think many people would disagree that Cruz deserves more money after his 2011 performance, but remember, he signed a three-year $1.2 million contract after he went unselected in the 2010 draft. He missed all of last season with an injury, so it's not like Cruz has put together multiple seasons of consistency.

NFL Offseason Begins
Also, you have to remember the players who had breakout seasons and demanded more money from their teams and never got it. Players like Sidney Rice, Matt Forte and DeSean Jackson. Just because Cruz had one wonderful season, that doesn’t mean the Giants have to give him a bigger raise than they’d already planned. And considering New York has a powerful receiving corps, is Cruz holding out in training camp really going to scare the Giants into tearing up his old contract and giving him a new one? I’d guess no.

But in other Cruz news, it’s also been reported that he signed with the powerful IMG agency after the Super Bowl. That won’t increase his ability to barter for a new deal with the Giants, because IMG was hired to work on his marketing and endorsement campaigns (I see either a marketing campaign for Tostitos salsa or for Fred Astaire Dance Studios, though considering Cruz turned down “Dancing with the Stars,” he might like to go less mainstream).

However, adding IMG means Cruz most likely will make more money this year. And if that money doesn’t come from the Giants, Cruz might have to be OK with that.

In even more Cruz news, he weighed in on the laughable “Rob Gronkowski was dancing with his shirt off after the Patriots lost” controversy. Cruz, it seems, disagrees with the spirit of what Gronkowski was doing.

“I would have been in my room, watching TV, soaking in the moment,” Cruz told PFT. “It’s not every day you make it to a Super Bowl, man. . . . Some guys play 15, 16 years in this league and don’t make it the Super Bowl. Or even the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl. . . . I probably wouldn’t have been partying too much after that.”

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 11:56 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:50 pm
 

Harrison: Gronkowski 'disrespected himself'

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.

NFL Offseason Begins

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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Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:02 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 12:43 pm
 

VIDEO: Light, Gronk dance at Pats SB party

Gronk and Light break it down at the Pats Super Bowl party. (Deadspin.com)
By Will Brinson

On Sunday night about 1:30 a.m. ET, the EoF crew walked past Victory Field in Indianapolis, headed home from Lucas Oil Stadium. It was straight bumping. This morning we asked a member of the Indy Super Bowl Host Committee what was going on there and were informed it was the Patriots Super Bowl party.

With those dots connected, it's a little more awkward to see the report on Deadspin.com that Rob Gronkowski and Matt Light were dancing shirtless on the stage with LMFAO. Well, Gronk wasn't shirtless in the DJ Pauley D-style fist-pumping going on above. But he did get shirtless later. (Reportedly?)

Yo Soy Fiesta indeed. (Deadspin.com)

This is the definition of "Yo Soy Fiesta" and it also reportedly occurred during the LMFAO set. (We were told the same thing Deadspin was -- that Earth, Wind and Fire played along with Steven Tyler, the aforementioned LMFAO and Pauley D, and Maroon 5.) It's also exactly the way we'd expect Gronk to celebrate.

We're not so sure that this is the kind of thing the Patriots should take flak for though. Is it somewhat insulting to the idea of how players should take a loss at this level to see two of them shirtless dancing on the stage just hours after a huge loss at the highest level? Perhaps.

But if you think that dancing like this means that Gronkowski and Light don't care about the loss to the Giants, well, you're just wrong. They're professional football players. Light's a three-time Super Bowl champion. Gronkowski played in the Super Bowl two weeks after a high-ankle sprain.

They might not be acting like Wes Welker was late on Sunday night, but it's also not illegal to dance at a Super Bowl party. Getting your picture taken isn't a smart idea, but it's no dumber than having a party at Victory Field after losing the Super Bowl.

And for those who like to watch moving pictures, here are two videos (though Gronk is shirtless in exactly zero of them).





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Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:12 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 12:15 am
 

Sorting the SB Pile: New York wideouts are giant

Posted by Will Brinson

Manningham's toe-tapping changed the momentum of the game. (AP)

Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action and, um, sorts through it for you. The big story, winners and losers and sometimes fancy moving pictures. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter.

The Turning Point

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL might be a quarterbacks league, but if you don't think the guys catching the passes are the most important players on an NFL roster these days, you need to re-think your approach to what constitutes a truly dangerous team. Look no further than Mario Manningham, who's insanely difficult catch on the first play of the Giants final drive sparked New York to its second Super Bowl victory in five years.

"That was the turning point," fellow wideout Hakeem Nicks said about Manningham's catch. "Mario comes up in clutch situations time in and time out throughout these playoffs and that was just another time of him showcasing that."

Manningham, who had a down regular season but made huge catches in recent games, simply "wasn't going to let the ball go."

"I knew I had to freeze my feet when the ball touched my fingertips," Manningham said. "Wherever I was at when the ball hit my fingertips, I just froze my feet and fell. I knew I was either going to get hit or hit the ground. I knew something was going to happen but that I couldn't let that ball go."

He didn't and the Giants were able to march 88 yards the field to score. What makes it particularly impressive is that the Patriots forced Manningham and Nicks to step up by blanketing the salsa-dancing Victor Cruz after his touchdown catch in the first quarter.

That's why Manning, even though was facing a Cover-2 look from the Pats secondary and didn't have a good window to work the ball in. But he trusted Manningham, found a look, stepped up and made a big-boy throw in the biggest moment on the biggest possible stage.

"Usually that is not your best match-up," Manning said afterward. "I looked that way. I saw I had the safety cheated in a little bit and threw it down the sideline. Great catch by [Manningham], keeping both feet in. That's a huge play in the game right there, when you're backed up, to get a 40-yard gain and get to the middle of field."

This isn't to say that Manning wouldn't be great without his wideouts. He would. He's a great quarterback and he played like it, particularly on that final drive and the start of the game, when Manning kicked things off by going 10 for 10.

"We notice," Nicks said of the quarterback's start. "We notice everything. We notice when he's clicking. We know when we have to step up and get the job done. Our hard work that we put in through the week and in practice and in film room just paid off."

Manningham's catch was ridiculous; but more than anything it's a microcosm of how much these wideouts meant to the Giants during their run.

Cruz carried New York at times during the regular season. Manningham scored a touchdown in the first three playoff games. How about Nicks? He only finished the season with 28 catches, 444 receiving yards and four touchdowns ... in the playoffs. The catches

Nicks was nearly unstoppable on Sunday in Indy, making big catch after big catch in traffic, going up for slightly overthrown balls and reeling them in, including a pair of critical grabs on the final drive.

"You just address [the fourth quarter] like any other time," Nicks said. "We knew what we were capable of doing. We knew we could come through in clutch situations."

That's what they did, and it should look familiar. It's the same formula that the Packers used last year when they toppled the Steelers. Nicks and Cruz are actually better than Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. And Jordy Nelson had a superior year in 2011 to Manningham, but his 2010 season (45 catches, 582 yards), followed by a postseason full of big catches is eerily reminiscent of the year Manningham (39 catches, 523 yards) just had.

"I think we as an offense have been very, very successful," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said afterwards. "Certainly the trigger-man's got to do his job. I think collectively the receivers have really stepped up, made some tremendous plays. Mario did it tonight, but it's been either Victor or Hakeem. Somebody as made some big plays, so as a group, they expect to do well. They expect to put it in the end zone."

Take it back two more years and look at the defending champions -- the Steelers and the Saints -- and you have talented wide receiving corps making catches on a huge stage.

The Patriots, like the Steelers before them, didn't have enough bodies to cover the weapons offered by their opponent. They decided to shut down the Giants top option -- Cruz -- and got torched by Nicks and Manningham.

It's the definition of sound roster-building. Given all the hype surrounding the Pats tight ends in 2011, it's particularly ironic that the Giants receivers were the key to beating the Patriots. Or maybe it's just proper NFL evolution.

Winners

Eli Manning: He has two Super Bowls and these are not backdoor-luck wins either. The 2007 victory might've been defensively-based, but the win doesn't happen if Eli doesn't make some monster plays. On Sunday, he truly propelled himself into a rare class of quarterback; with less than four minutes to go and 88 yards to move the ball, Eli, quite simply, got it done. The receivers helped, of course, but he made huge plays.

Tom Coughlin
: Homeboy is 5-1 in his career against Belichick and has two Super Bowl wins in the last five years. Eight weeks ago? He was on the freaking hot seat. Now he's probably headed to the Hall of Fame if he can coach another three to four strong years in New York. If he wants, he can coach there forever, regardless of what ignorant and impatient fans say amid losing streaks. Two Super Bowls is the equivalent of a lifetime contract in the NFL.

Mario Manningham
: Manningham didn't make every single catch, and he wasn't as good as Hakeem Nicks on Sunday night, but he had five catches for 73 yards and none were more important than a toe-tapping 38-yard catch along the Patriots sideline late in the fourth quarter. With 3:46 left on the clock and down two points, the Giants took a shot, Manning made a big-boy throw and Manningham made an absolutely insane catch along the sidelines. Not only did it totally flip momentum and give the Giants better field position, but it forced Bill Belichick to burn a timeout to challenge the play.

NFL Honors: Awards shows are ticking timebombs stuffed with potential disaster. Which is what makes it so impressive that the NFL pulled of a polished, professional, tidy and entertaining one-hour special that managed to dole out all the big end-of-year awards in impressive fashion. The only question is: what took so long?

Indianapolis: The city of Indy isn't supposed to be a great location for a Super Bowl, but the town gets an A+ from us for their effort in Super Bowl 46. Things were a little rowdy and crowded downtown over the weekend and I could've dealt with a few less bag checks, but it's hard to give Indy other than a gargantuan round of applause for the way they set up and ran the Super Bowl. Everyone was courteous, the weather was wonderful, people running hotels and restaurants adapted to surging crowds. (Even the people in Indy got quotes to the press box faster than Dallas did.) Sunday night's game -- and absolutely thriller -- was the perfect cap to a well-run weekend.

It's a crippling Super Bowl loss for Belichick and Brady. (AP)

Losers

Tom Brady: There's not much difference between 4-1 and 3-2. It's just one game. But if Brady was 4-1 in Super Bowls, we'd be talking about him as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Instead, some people will label Brady as "the guy who couldn't beat Eli on the big stage." Travel back in time to January of 2008 and inform someone of that information. They'll laugh at you and double down on their monster bet on the Patriots the first time these teams met up. Brady's an all-time gamer, for sure. No one can take away three Super Bowls. But it's going to be hard to win an argument where you claim he's the GOAT.

Ahmad Bradshaw: The first loser to ever score a game-winning touchdown, Bradshaw scored what might be the weirdest TD in NFL history. (See: below.) He took the handoff, started doing what he's done thousands of times in his life and ran up the middle. Only he wasn't supposed to score. He did anyway, falling into the end zone and giving Brady nearly a minute left on the clock to attempt a comeback. It would be awkward to be him if Brady had completed the Hail Mary.

Bill Belichick: Maybe it was just karma for cutting Tiquan Underwood?

Madonna: When Mrs. Brinson is texting me to tell me how boring the Super Bowl halftime show was, that's not a good thing. And look, Madonna was big time and I know a lot of people enjoyed the show, but she lip-synched most of it, played one song that no one really likes, and another that no one knows. You're not here pimping your new album. Play the stuff people want. All that was missing from that fiasco was a painting of Alex Rodriguez as a centaur.

Peyton Manning: Peyton's not a huge loser, because he gets to celebrate his brother winning a second Super Bowl. That's cool stuff. I'd be pumped if my brother won a second Super Bowl. Actually, I take that back. If I was an NFL quarterback and my brother was an NFL quarterback and he had one more Super Bowl than me, I'd be furious, and probably a little bitter. And if it so happened that I was dealing with a neck injury, I'd probably be pretty motivated to catch him.

GIF O' THE WEEK


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com