First of all, let’s be clear about one thing: Whatever Rob Gronkowski was doing Sunday night after his Patriots lost the Super Bowl, it wasn’t dancing.
You’ve seen the video by now, unless you’re living under a rock. And you’ve learned this: It’s a good thing Gronkowski can play football — at least when he doesn’t have a high ankle sprain, as he did against the Giants. His ankle got almost as much camera time last week in Indianapolis as Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay — convincing Pats fans that only his injury kept him from being the difference in the game.
Now Pats fans gave to decide at whom to be angrier: Gisele Bundchen or Gronk. Sadly, there were no cameras around to catch Bundchen’s remarks upon seeing the video, but one may assume she didn’t say something like, “Oh, I’m so glad he was able to shake off the loss and have fun. I wish Tom could move like that!”
New England takes its sports seriously, and it expects its players to take their sports seriously as well. The fried-chicken-and-beer-in-the-clubhouse story wouldn’t have gone over well anywhere, but it really caused indigestion in the greater Boston area.
But there is no evidence to suggest that Gronkowski didn’t take the Super Bowl seriously. He rehabbed and trained and had the ankle wrapped and tried to play on it. There is certainly a difference between running routes and making cuts and doing . . . whatever that was Gronkowski was doing into the wee hours. “Dancing with the Stars” won’t be calling any time soon. (Or perhaps it will. In the world of reality TV, Gronkowski could be the next Baryshnikov.)
Did we expect Gronkowski to retreat to a silent hotel room, where he would read “Being and Nothingness” while pounding Red Bulls? Perhaps instead he thought of Sartre’s advice — Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you — and decided that after what the Giants had done to him, he would go to a club, pound something a little stronger and . . . do whatever that was that he did.
I can’t get worked up over Gronkowski’s dance recital, any more than I can with Bundchen’s color(ful) postgame commentary. She isn’t sitting with the players’ wives in the stands and joining in the players’ wives’ bake sales anyway. She’s not trying to make friends. So she says what she thinks, in response to a heckler who attacked her at a fairly inopportune moment. Brandon Jacobs says she should “stay cute and shut up.” I see no reason she can’t be cute and talk at the same time.
Bundchen’s real fumble came earlier in the week, in an e-mail to friends asking them to pray for Brady and the Pats to win the Super Bowl. Usually, that type of e-mail is reserved for friends and family suffering from disease or serious issues, not for a millionaire quarterback with a supermodel wife trying to win a football game. But okay. I’m guessing a few of her “sweet friends” greeted that with the eyeroll it deserved and moved on. The hilarious part is that Bundchen was really surprised to find out it had been leaked to the media. Seriously?
We live in a world where very little is private, often by our own participation in multiple social media platforms that ensure our every mental emission will be expelled into the gaseous thought-osphere.
What Gronkowski and Bundchen should both have learned from Super Bowl week is that, squared. Send out your prayer chains. Dance the night away. Stand by your man. But don’t be surprised by the fallout.
On the other hand, Bundchen and Gronkowski on the same season of “Dancing with the Stars”? Ratings gold. Are you listening, ABC?