How Gronk Left a Lasting Impression on the Patriots - and a Dent in the Lombardi Trophy
Posted by: Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski certainly left his permanent mark on the Patriots – literally.
A “we-wouldn’t-believe-if-it-wasn’t-true” story came to light this week involving Gronk, Julian Edelman, the Lombardi Trophy and the Boston Red Sox that maybe our favorite thing ever.
Do you remember when Rob and some of his now-former Patriots teammates threw out first pitch at the Sox home opener in Fenway earlier this month? Well it turns out that even Super Bowl champions have performance anxiety.
While the Sox were getting their latest World Series rings in an on-field ceremony, the Pats guys were huddled in a tent waiting to come out. Seems innocent enough, right? What could go wrong …
As some of the players later recounted to Patriots.com reporter Angelique Fiske ,a few of the guys wanted to get some practice in on their fastballs before heading to the mound.
The only problem was that the “bats” they had on hand were 22 inches tall, weigh 7 pounds and are made of sterling silver.
“You knew something was going to go wrong when you hand out the six Lombardi trophies, especially one to Rob Gronkowski with idle time,” cornerback Jason McCourty said.
Apparently Edelman decided he needed a batter to step up to the imaginary plate so he could practice his accuracy.
“Somebody had the bright idea to have Rob go be the hitter while Julian was practicing pitching,” backup QB Brian Hoyer explained.
“He didn’t have a bat when he stepped up to the plate. A little strange,” Duron Harmon continued.
But Gronk was armed with a Lombardi Trophy, and not just any Lombardi Trophy – he grabbed the brand new shiny one from Super Bowl LIII that didn’t have so much as a fingerprint on it.
“You see Gronk with the trophy, and you see Julian at our fake mound. He’s at the fake mound preparing to pitch like it’s the World Series and Gronk is just the final batter here. He’s definitely not going to hit it,” Keion Crossen went on to say in the reenactment.
Cole Croston was the first to predict disaster: “My first thought was if it’s Rob and he’s standing up there with the trophy, he’s not going to not hit that ball that Julian’s throwing. He’s definitely going to hit it. Julian isn’t throwing it real soft. He’s throwing it pretty hard.”
“I see Rob standing at the backdrop where they’ve been throwing with the trophy, wielding it around like he’s getting ready to swing for the fences, but I say to myself, ‘Certainly that’s just Rob having some fun. He would never hit the ball with that,’” Matthew Slater said, recalling his thoughts right before impact.
Hoyer explained: “Julian’s doing the wind up, comes back to the stretch looking like there’s runners on base, and he throws it. I’m watching the ball like it’s in slow motion.”
Then Gronk made contact: HARD.
“It sounded exactly what you think a baseball hitting the Lombardi trophy would sound like,” Ted Karras revealed. That’s a sound that we’ve oddly never imagined hearing.
Apparently it goes “tink,” “ding,” “doing,” or “doot,” depending which player you ask.
“Everybody went wild like the bunt just won us the World Series,” McCourty recalled.
As for Gronk’s reaction, Slater said: “I saw the look on people’s faces like I see on my son’s face when he’s done something that he shouldn’t have, and Rob’s got a little grin. Then I turn to our fearless leader Stacey James. I see the look on his face, and it dawns on me, “Oh goodness. Something has gone awry here.”
While most of the guys thought they were replica trophies, it turns out the hardware was very much the real thing – and now the newest one has a big old baseball-sized dent in it.
“Rob’s parting gift to the organization was leaving his mark on his last Super Bowl trophy,” Hoyer said, while Slater marveled: “Only fitting though that the lasting mark, pun intended, left by Rob would be on a Super Bowl trophy, right?”
At least the Patriots organization can’t suspend or bill Rob for damaging their property, and they definitely have something to remember him by now!
Thank you Patriots.com for this endlessly entertaining retelling of the incidient - and to No. 87 for more hilarious memories.
For the full oral history courtesy of the Pats players as told to lifestyles editor Angelique Fiske, click here. The only thing that could possibly make this any funnier would be a reenactment with hand puppets!
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