69 Best Tributes to Gronk Since He Retired: 'The NFL Was a Better Place With You in it!'
Posted by: Gronkowski
It's been a week of tears, celebration, nostalgia and 69 jokes since Gronk officially announced his retirement from the NFL last Sunday.
As we've all battled to come to terms with the reality that Sundays are going to be a helluva lot less fun next season, our favorite part of Rob's swan song from the sport he dominated for so long is the epic tributes that have flooded in.
The Patriots put together an entire hype video honoring No. 87 that runs five minutes long (seriously, they couldn't have added another 1.9 minutes to make it a round number???).
The video spans from Draft Day in 2010, a.k.a. the start of the Era of Gronk, and spans his entire tenure at the Pats, with soundbites from teammates and the big fella himself. Cue goofy moments, impossible touchdowns, Super Bowl wins, sick dance moves and the most important achievement of all, Rob being honored with the Ron Burton Community Service award for paying it all forward.
"This is the most satisfying year I've ever been a part of," Gronk says to close out the clip.
The G.O.A.T. himself had high praise for his go-to receiver for almost a decade, posting on Instagram:
What an honor and privilege to play with you these past nine years @gronk! You accomplished so much and our team was almost unbeatable when you were on the field! Your fun-loving, inspiring, and positive energy made an impact on everybody you came into contact with!
"Not just that, but for as great as a player you are, you are a better teammate and person. The NFL was a better place with you in it! But I have no doubt you will be a success in anything you do!!!"
Rob's longtime boss, Robert Kraft was also full of high praise, with the Patriots owner releasing an official statement saying: "In the nine years that I have known Rob Gronkowski, I have never known him to have a bad day,” the statement read. “He always has a youthful exuberance about him and is a joy to be around.
"As a player, he earned the respect of his coaches and teammates for his hard work, preparation, selfless attitude and the sheer dominance of his game.”
As for Bill Belichick, he said it was a "pleasure and a privilege" to coach Gronk. "His production spoke for itself, but his daily attitude, unmistakably positive energy wherever he went and toward whoever he touched will never be forgotten."
Julian "The Squirrel" Edelman posted not one but three tributes to his giant-sized teammate, calling him the other G.O.A.T.
Check out them and other sweet send offs below.
Congrats to my little, I mean younger, bro. Unreal career that entertained and impressed everyone that got to watch. pic.twitter.com/2TpPNsgaer— Chris Gronkowski (@Chrisgronkowski) March 24, 2019
Gronk— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) March 24, 2019
Top-5 Patriot ever
Best tight end I’ve ever seen
Incredible big game guy
One of the most lovable Boston athletes ever
First ballot Hall of Famer
Can’t believe he did all of it in less than a decade.
Good luck @RobGronkowski
Who is the youngest dude ever to get inducted in the HOF because Gronk shouldn’t wait long.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 25, 2019
Congrats on an incredible career @RobGronkowski. One of the best to ever do it. Best wishes on whatever comes next!— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 24, 2019
A couple of retired Boston sports legends and champs.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) March 25, 2019
Thanks, Gronk! pic.twitter.com/JfabUDVCBo
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