Was the White House ready for Gronk?
It was indeed, but the New England Patriots might not have been ready for the Deflategate zinger.
President Obama had jokes aplenty about Rob Gronkowski, the team’s irrepressible tight end, and the NFL investigation it would rather forget as it celebrated its Super Bowl victory with him in a White House ceremony Thursday.
“I told him to keep his shirt on,” Obama cracked about Gronk, who also didn’t twerk.
And then there was the Deflategate jab. “I usually tell a bunch of jokes at these events, but with the Patriots in town I was worried that 11 of 12 of them would fall flat.”
Oof. He was greeted with mostly groans — and a thumbs down from Coach Bill Belichick. “That whole story got blown a little out of proportion,” Obama said.
Later, Gronk said he would have danced if there had been music and a joke of his own about Obama that fell flat:
It wasn’t all yuks, though. “The Patriots organization is as good an organization as there’s ever been in professional sports,” Obama said. “To be able to maintain that kind of consistent excellence is a rare thing in any field, including on the football field. And that’s a testament to outstanding ownership. It’s a testament to a Hall of Fame coach.”
Obama turned the podium over to Belichick, joking, “he’s going to go on forever!”
Um, not likely. Belichick paid tribute to Secretary of State John Kerry, the former senator from Massachusetts, and presented Obama with a Harold Shaw No. 44 jersey.
One very prominent Patriot, though, was missing. Tom Brady could not attend because of a prior family commitment.