The final catch of Gronk's career ended up setting up the Super Bowl winning touchdown.
A few hours have passed since the news broke and I still can't believe it, even though it is a semi-expected move. It's a bummer and knowing it was likely coming doesn't make it any easier. I am sad to see one of my favorite athletes of all-time retire, and even with his fantastic career, there's still a huge "what if?" when it comes to #87 (and sometimes #69).
On a personal level, the timing of this announcement by Gronk is WILD. I was just talking about this very topic last night with my mom. I'm sorry guys, I feel like I'm partly to blame.
We went to the Patriots HOF at Patriot Place (mom's in town for an unexpected visit from Florida) to check out the exhibit and grab some dinner. During dinner she asked me what was up with Gronk and if he was gonna retire or not? I told her I thought he was going to, but since he hadn't announced anything yet I figured he was coming back. (boy was I wrong) I told her that I was almost positive the Patriots announced they were under the impression he was returning. Plus I always held onto hope that Gronk would stay until Brady retires.
24 hours later Rob Gronkowski is retired.
The news of this shouldn't come as a total shock. Gronk has been flirting with retirement for what feels like three years. His relationship with Belichick has seemed at times to be strained, and injuries have clearly taken their toll on him. I get why he's doing this. As much as it doesn't always feel like it 2011 was a very long time ago. He's taken an absolute beating. Gronk isn't the same guy anymore. Although in 2017 he showed that he was still an elite TE. 1st team All-Pro. This year there were flashes of his old self, but his role had significantly changed. He no longer was the focal point of the passing game. Gronk's ability to dominant at the line of scrimmage helped the Patriots shift to a more run heavy team and win Super Bowl LIII.
The writing has been on the wall for some time, and after this exchange with Belichick right after winning the Super Bowl it seemed like Gronk was good as gone one way or another.
When healthy there has never been a more dominating tight end in NFL history. He could block like a linemen, catch like a WR and run like a semi-truck. It was like early 2000's Shaq where defenders had different rules when covering him. You could get away with more against Gronk because he's so big and dominating. I can vividly remember in the Edelman pass game against the Ravens in the 2014 playoffs there was a third down Gronk's arm-shield was getting blasted before a pass but it wasn't called cause you basically could do whatever you wanted to Gronk to try to stop him.
âWhether he was catching touchdowns, throwin dudes out the club, or spiking footballs so hard that Tom Brady was accused of deflating them, Gronk was an absolute delight to watch. I feel like I'm doing him a disservice with this blog, but there will never be another Gronk (even though there are like 8 other Gronks)
Unfortunately for Gronk as the years went by, the injuries started piling up. Actually it started before he was even a a Patriot as he missed his final season at the University of Arizona due to a back injury.
His 2011 season is IMO the greatest overall season a tight end has ever had. 90 receptions for 1327 yards and 18 total touchdowns.
I still can't fucking believe it's actually over. I need more time to truly marinate the magnitude of this and give Gronk the proper farewell blog he deserves. I'll get back to you in 3 weeks.
âP.S. I'm CRYING
THERE YOU GO G-MEN!!!
This has to be the most shocked I've been at a move... in any pro sport in some time. I did not think this would actually happen. I cannot fucking believe the Giants actually just traded Odell Beckham Jr! I know there had been rumors that the Giants were sick of Odell, but after signing him to a 5 year extension less than a year ago I was not expecting him to get the ole Blake Griffin treatment.
Not really too sure of what the G-men are doing? but tbh it pisses me off. I cannot stand the Giants for obvious reasons. It is so g damn annoying that they have been frankly a joke franchise for the better part of 20 years with the exception of 3 good months of football highlighted with Super Bowl wins at the Patriots expense. It's so frustrating. They are a joke, but also have the ultimate trump card over the greatest dynasty ever. And you throw in the NY-Boston shit. They went fucking 9-7 and won a Super Bowl. God damnit I'm not picking the scab right now...
Let's just focus on the trade.
Honestly wtf is this organization doing? I'm no econ major, but this doesn't seem like a good use of resources.
this tweet will for sure get deleted
While I am in the school of thought that elite, play-making, dynamic WR are not essential for winning a championship---they for sure help. And imo a 1st, 3rd and low key position-less draft bust are simply not enough return for someone like Odell.
As for the Browns?
Dude, they are gonna be a prob-lem this year. Look at this offense. I totally forgot about Kareem Hunt!
With the Steelers imploding and the Ravens letting their entire defense walk, and the Bengals being the Bengals, it looks like the AFC North could be the Browns for the foreseeable future. I still don't love their choice for HC, but with this talent and youth on offense the Browns are going to be a fun ass team to watch yet again in 2019. Landy and Odell. I didn't even realize they were college teammates when they were playing. Who tf was the QB then? I do not remember LSU from 6 years ago, sorry.
It's wild to think the lowly Browns could be the team to unseat the Patriots as kings of the AFC. What a story that would be from 0-16 to Super Bowl. After breaking news that the Chiefs just traded Dee Ford you never know? Browns fans sure do have a lot to be excited for. I'm sure nothing crazy will happen to ruin it.
A tradition unlike any other, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are losing key pieces in the free agency. The line play on both sides of the ball has taken a hit.
It should come as no surprise that both DE Trey Flowers and LT Trent Brown chose to leave the Pats in free agency. I think most knowledgeable Patriot fans would have assumed Trent Brown was as good as gone. He wasn't in the teams long-term plans. He was a solid replacement for Nate Solder this year, but let's not forget this team already drafted who they hope to be their next franchise LT in Isaiah Wynn. The first rounder out of Georgia missed the season with a torn Achilles, but if he's anything like the other Bulldog the Pats took in the first round they should be fine.
The fact that the Raiders just made a guy who's never been to a Pro Bowl, or elected to an All-Pro team the highest paid offensive linemen ever is just hilariously perfectly Raiders. Did they not learn anything from Nate Solder and the Giants this year?!!? It's like they were blinded by the ghost of Al Davis. Who cares about anything other than measurables? When a 6'8" offensive tackle who's nearly 400 pounds is available you gotta make it happen, even if he is rated as average as average can get. Just win (4 games a year) baby.
To be fair, teams like the Raiders have the money to take chances like this.
With Flowers as high #3 on all the "top X free agents of 2019" lists it looked like another team would outbid the Pats (who are notorious for trying to use coupons and promo codes during negations) for his services. 98 was never going to get 17 million a year in New England. More power to him for getting paid. That's just not how they do things here. You hoped that maaaybe he'd sign a Hightower or Devin McCourty like deal to return, but with the money pass rushers get on the open market it seemed unlikely.
âNow Trey is reunited with Matt Patricia in Detroit. With the rumors he was going to team up with Brian Flores in Miami, personally I'm glad to see Trey leave the division.
In 3 full seasons with the Patriots Flowers averaged 7 sacks a year, although most football guys would tell you he's a lot better than the sack numbers would indicate with all the responsibilities he had in the complicated Patriots defensive scheme. In the biggest moments Flowers came to play. Most notably his 2.5 sack performance in the Patriots 28-3 comeback in Super Bowl LI. Highlighted by a sack on 2nd and 11 late in the 4th quarter during the drive that saw the Falcons punt after reaching the Patriots 22 yard line. Without this sack the Patriots comeback efforts may have been too little to late as the Falcons were in v make-able field goal range at the time.
Trey thanked the Patriots organization on IG today.
With the trade for Michael Bennett a few days ago, it appeared the writing was on the wall that the Pats were moving on from Trey Flowers. As much as I hate Michael Bennett as a man, he's not a bad replacement (on paper). As much as it stinks to see them go with like 32 draft picks this year and one of the youngest rosters in the league the future is still bright for the New England Patriots.
Look for another Razorback to step in for the loss of Flowers.
Artist: The Black Keys
It's been nearly half a decade since their last album, Turn Blue but The Black Keys are back.
On Thursday the Nashville via Akron, OH duo released their latest single "Lo/Hi" seemingly out of nowhere (maybe I'm just old and lame, but it came as a major surprise to me) to delight of their fans that have been anxiously pondering the future of the keys. what-does-dan-auerbachs-solo-career-mean-for-the-future-of-the-black-keys.html dan-auerbach-gave-more-insight-to-the-future-of-the-black-keys-on-cbs-this-weekend.html
Not to make excuses for my sporadic writing, but like J. Cole, I too think one listen reviews are ruining the music industry. How are you supposed to truly digest a song or album after one listen?
After letting this song marinate for a few days, I have my official opinion on Lo/Hi.
Like most meals, it left me wanting a little more. Do not expect to see this on the best of 2019 blog.
While I am absolutely pumped one of my favorite bands ever are making new music again.. like do not miss that. If you remember one thing about this blog it should be that I am fucking pumped the Black Keys are back. With one of my favorite shows, Crashing getting cancelled it's nice to have something I like still be around. I know they have their critics, but I associate their music with a lot of great times in my life. They'll always be one of my favorite bands. I think Brothers and El Camino are perfect. I've seen them live twice, and they were two of the better live shows I've ever seen. (Florence + the Machine is still the best concert I've ever been to)
But this "Spirit in the Sky" rip off with an elementary, Imagine Dragons-esque chorus is a bit underwhelming. Are we really doing "lo/hi... hi/lo" ??????????? In terms of chorus writing this is shade above "Thunder, feel the thunder, lightning and the thunder". I mean how many times has this already be done?
"Low, like a valley?"
Come on, Dan you're better than that.
Don't get me wrong, it's not fully like Imagine Dragons, because it's not a truly horrible song. Despite a weak chorus Lo/Hi has a lot of qualities that I enjoyed. The rest of the lyrics aren't horrible, but sadly they are forgotten due to hill I am fully prepared to die on. But okay, it's time to be a little more positive. This song rocks. Not in like a "you rock!" way, but this bitch gets down. This is some good ole fashion bluesy rock with a little soul. Sure it's sort of sounds similar to a lot of their music from earlier in the 2010's, but there's nothing wrong with a signature sound. The guitar solo around 2 minutes in is classic Dan Auerbach. To me this song is a lot like in rap when a beat can carry a track and the lyrics almost don't matter. It shows they still got it musically, while I do think the whole "low like a valley" thing is pretty fucking tired and lazy. After five years that's all you've got? I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed. It's like getting C work out an A student. I know they can do better.
"Lo, Hi, Hi, Lo"
I can't get over that, bro. It's like the blues-rock version of Livin La Vida Loca. All I can think about is "upside, inside out", "push and pull you out" whenever I hear that line. It's just so simple and kind of hacky to me. Although I can't lie Livin La Vida Loca still bangs.
Despite kind of shitting on my favorite band, I still really excited to see what else the Black Keys have in store. I'm not going to write off this latest comeback because I'm not in love with this one song. If anything it makes me more excited to see, or in this case hear what else they've got for us. Like I said, I'm just happy this song exists. It is fantastic news that the Black Keys are making new music.
I just hope next time maybe they can do what I do, and go to thesaurus.com when feeling a little too simplistic. Because I mean I totally get it, not everything is like riding a bike. Sometimes you can't just pick up right where you left off like nothings changed. I feel that in my writing constantly. Like I've lost my fastball due to lack of use. Maybe the same could be said for the Black Keys? Both Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have been separately p busy exploring other opportunities in music since the keys went on hiatus after finishing the Turn Blue Tour, but after years apart maybe it's to be expected?
Overall I give Lo/Hi a 7.2/10. The foundation is solid, but the exterior could use some serious work.
Just absolutely devastating news; Alex Trebek has stage IV pancreatic cancer. That is the worst stage there is according to my research (webMD).
The greatest game show host of all-time released a video today facing this prognosis head on. Like Trebek always does, he handled this with class, professionalism and a sense of humor.
Despite the grim news Trebek, who (somewhat shockingly) is 78 years old said intends to continue to work as he battles this calamitous disease. Total bad ass. I'd crawl up in a ball and just wait to die. He's going to fight. Unfortunately pancreatic cancer is essentially a death sentence, and as he said over 50,000 people a year are diagnosed with this disease. It's synonymous with death. Hopefully he can prove the statistics wrong. Why God couldn't it have been Sajak??
It's an overused cliche by hacks like me, but Alex Trebek is one of those people that I've never heard a bad word about. I'd say beloved is a fitting adjective. I don't know anybody who dislikes him other than Sean Connery and Turd Ferguson. He's staple of American entertainment, which of course is the dream of all Canadians.
Probably the most famous Jeopardy alum of all time, Ken Jennings had this to say about Trebek. A take I agree with wholeheartedly.
Classic Alex moment.
What do pancreas' even do besides get cancer? Real talk. I've never heard anybody ever talk about a pancreas without cancer immediately following. Without the aid of google I bet you don't know either.
As a lifelong Jeopardy fan and anti-cancer man I am rooting for you, Mr. Trebek. As are millions of other people who have open their homes to you for what has to be close to 40 years at this point.
What I love about Alex Trebek is how real he is. A real straight shooter. He told you he has stage four cancer. He'll laugh at you when you get an easy question wrong and call you a loser when you tell him your favorite music is nerd-core rap.
As is tradition.
Song: Pearl Cadillac
Artist: Gary Clark, Jr.
Album: This Land
In my last blog about the Bryce Harper contract I was talking about how I cannot wrap my head around the idea of the 2030's. And while part of that is for show on the blog, I'm not an idiot, I understand how numbers and time work (at an elementary level). I just cannot picture 2031 being a real year.
I have to imagine that's something people have felt throughout history. I know I'm not the only one. Like there were definitely Romans all confused why the years were counting down backwards or people in the 700's who never thought the world would see a four digit year. Oh those fools. I can vividly remember being a kid and seeing a commercial for Spiderman 2 that said coming Summer 2004 and thinking that was a made up year.
13 years feel like a lifetime. 13 years ago I was in 8th grade. Sadly for some children, 13 years is more than a lifetime. It's fucked up, but one of the first thoughts that popped into my head when I was thinking about the length of this deal is how long 13 years is, and how many people will die over the course of this deal. Idk what that says about me, we can move on soon. I mean there are totally people reading this who won't be alive in 13 years. I probably won't if I don't stop eating 6 pop-tarts a day, but in my defense when it's four boxes for $10 you'd be a sucker to pass up that deal.
So instead of talking about how many of us reading this won't have living parents by the time Bryce Harper is no longer under contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, instead lets focus on 13 celebrities I can guarantee won't see the end of this deal. Fun! It's like a long form celebrity death pool. Call me Joe Namath because I am guaranteeing victory here. Don't forget to check back in 13 years to see if I was right.
Age in 2031: 88
Broadway Joe guaranteed victory against the Colts in Super Bowl III so I figured it's only right that I return the favor. I actually love Joe Namath, but let's call a spade a spade. With a history of alcohol abuse and hard hits to the head late in his career when players were avoiding his knees out of respect (during an era where equipment wasn't much better than leather helmets) I can say with confidence Broadway Joe will be Pearly Gates Joe by the 2030's.
Age in 2031: 72
Sadly being an overweight black man puts Magic at higher risks for things like diabetes, gout, hypertension, high blood pressure etc. You add being 6 foot 9 to the equation and it sure doesn't help Earvin.
Oh by the way this man also has the HIV virus.
I know he likely has already consumed the cure for HIV, but should Magic live to see 2031 it will mean he would have lived with HIV for FORTY YEARS. As a gambler, I feel like that well is gonna dry out eventually. Don't forget the added stress of owning the Dodgers and losing in the World Series every year! Should Bryce lead the Phillies to a couple World Series after it looked like he was going to be a Dodger ... I'm just saying
Age in 2031: 107
Kind of a lay-up considering his age, but Jimmy Carter is the oldest living President and less than a month away from becoming the oldest President ever. No President has ever seen 100. Based on that picture and history I'm just playing the percentages here. Like betting that the sun will rise.
Age in 2031: 109
Another lay-up, but sometimes you gotta see the ball go through the hoop to get hot. Her 2010 comeback was cool and I have nothing bad to say about Betty, but I mean, she's been old for like 65 years already and all her friends are dead. It's okay to say goodbye.
Age in 2031: 90
He actually seems to be in better shape than he was when the Patriots won their first string of 3 Super Bowls but sadly due to the stress from the jealous media and haters (of which there are many) I am truly worried that this added stress will do Bobby in. Please do the right thing and let this man pay for BJs in peace before it's too late.
Age in 2031: 104
He's been wanting to go since 2014 (at least).
quote from 2014:
"I want to tell you this, I just had a birthday; I was 87 years old. And before I die I want to see that championship flag flying out there in center field. ... I've got a great feeling about this team. I think we're going to do it, I think we're going to get to the Fall Classic, and then the big Dodger in the sky can take me away."
Age in 2031: 66
Andy Dick has been on borrowed time since Clinton was in the White House. He's allegedly calmed down in recent years, but this dude is one bad line off a 23 year old's boner from an early check out. With fentyal lurking behind every doorstep, who knows how long Andy can avoid it?
Age in 2031: 64
Despite the sticky situations he's gotten himself in, I am a Louie fan. He's one of the funniest comedians of the last 25 years. He's very dark, just like this blog. He's a brilliant writer and a very funny guy. Historically guys like that love to kill themselves. And sadly Louie has had that future suicide guy vibe for a really long time.
Age in 2031: 35
I mean come on. This dude was born to not see 30. Personally, I want him to die. Just a straight up piece of shit, waste of life, human being.
Age in 2031: 64
Jokes gonna be on me when Artie Lange is pissing on my grave at age 93.
J/K he eats heroin for breakfast and been the #1 overall celebrity death pool pick for like 8 years running.
Age in 2031: 108
Pretty scary without the tan, huh?
Bobby told us to help control the pet population for 30 years. Hopefully Bob will get cremated to help with the ever-growing lack of grave plot availability. 0.00% chance Bob Barker is alive in 2025, forget the 30's.
Age in 2031: 101
At only 88 years old there are a few older contenders on this list. By looking at him you'd guess Clint is at least 95. He's looked like a zombie since about 2013.
Age in 2031: 47
Didn't expect to see this name did you? Maybe that's the wake up the self-proclaimed King needs? Lebron is the real reason I wrote this blog:
Lebron this is me reaching out. You need help.
Despite being a world class athlete, Lebron has a crippling wine addiction. It explains his irrational behavior over the years. I mean who leave Miami to go back to Cleveland? A drunk that's who. He's spinning out of control. Threatening to trade everybody on his team, then blaming them when they aren't committed. Only a drunk would think like that.
The drink has destroyed many great people and by the look of it Lebron could be next. Just because he can run fast through the lane and make a lay up doesn't mean he's immune to that. Mickey Mantle every heard of him? Dude hit 500 home runs and also drank himself to death. I just hope Lebron can get the help he deserves. Maybe the realization that time stops for no man is just what he needs?
From the nation's capital to the original capital, Bryce Harper is finally a Philadelphia Phillie. I am elated that one of my favorite players in the game is not going to the Yankees!
In an off-season where the biggest story line has been the lack of signings despite a star-studded free agent class.... it's technically not even the off-season anymore. It's fucking spring training. This took for-ev-er. The 2019 season is in full swing. The off-season came and went before Bryce signed.
Despite that little nugget, up until this week, it really looked like the calendar was going to turn to March without Manny Machado and Bryce Harper on Major League rosters. With February on life support former Cy-Young winner Dallas Kuechel and Craig Kimbrel still are available. It makes no sense. They're really good and could help every team in the league.
Even with these two massive deals I think baseball is a big trouble when it comes to players and owners being on the same page. Collusion has been tossed around like a juul on a field trip this off-season. V worried about a potential strike.
Earlier this week Manny Machado signed an 10 year $300 million dollar with the San Diego Padres. Not to be out-done Bryce Harper inked a 13 year $330 million dollar deal with the Phillies.
Considering the fact that Bryce is going to be in Philly for 13 years (we'll see) I guess what's really the hurt in waiting longer than usual to make it official? While the AAV is less than the Machado deal at $25.5 million what makes Harper's contract stand out is the lack of opt-outs (which have become the biggest contract trend in baseball) and the length.
That is lunacy! A teenage contract. One and a third decades. That's kindergarten to graduation. 13 years is such a long commitment it blows my mind. Sandy Koufax only played 12 years. Plus just with the concept of time it's really fucking me up. This deal expires in the 2030's. 2031 to be exact. Like that isn't even a real decade. I'll be basically 40. FUCK THAT. NOPE. By the time this contract expires we could be on President #48 and I wouldn't be shocked if the world is actually over.
I can't remember the last time, if ever where there's been a contract like this in sports. Rick Dipietro's 15 year deal in 2006 is really all that comes to mind. Not exactly the best company to keep. Probably the worst contract in NHL history lolol and had they not bought him out he'd still be under contract for like 3 more years.
On the diamond the move immediately makes the Phillies roster a lot sexier, as Bryce Harper, despite his detractors is one of the most dynamic and electric players in the game. Citizen Bank Park is going to be sold out again most nights, even though I think a 13 year commitment is INSANE, this is the right move (as of now) for the Phillies. They are on the doorstep of being a contender and have the money to spend. In a market like Philly, with the success this team experienced in late 2000's it clear they want to return to those glory days. I don't buy into all the new-age stats and still don't totally get WAR but Harper has been pretty solid since he got to the show.
With a core of guys like Nola, Arrieta, Hoskins, Realmuto the Phillies are all in to compete for a World Series. Idk if they'll even make the playoffs this year because the NL East is really top heavy with the Phillies, Braves and even the Nationals (despite losing Harper). 2019 is going to be a lot of fun, and look at this way Philly, with 13 years of Harper you have plenty of time to win it all.
Admittedly, I haven't been giving the NBA the attention it deserves this season, so this could totally not be the shot of the year, but with my knowledge of the 2018-19 NBA campaign, it is.
I mean, it's D-Wade in his last year. coming up with a classic prime years D-Wade moment. That's gotta take the cake up to now. The power of nostalgia baby. It's delicate, but potent. S/o Don Draper.
Now that the NFL is over and it's post all-star break, I'm trying to dive back in to basketball, but when you are busy trying to reach these kids it def doesn't help.
TBH C's being the biggest disappointment in the association definitely doesn't either; but hey, ratings are down like 30% so I know it's not just me. Plus the Red Sox and Pats won it all. I'm going to be okay. Guess we can deal with a little reality that not every team wins a championship (although despite how poorly they've played I still feel like they can figure it out)
But with a moment like this I am BACK.
Hol-e-yyyyyy shit Father Prime!!! ( I guess people are calling him Father Prime now?... I fuck with it)
What a sequence!!!
That is such a classic good-ole fashion holy shit highlight. I mean what else can you say? One-footer-fade-away-bank-shot-buzzer-beater-3 after basically getting blocked/losing it ... I still can't really tell.
I did not watch a second of that game so I have no idea how that game-flow went...but it does not matter. Game winner against the two-time defending champs what else do I really need to know?
For D- Wade to hit that shot, against that team, in those uniforms. (The Miami vice look heat jerseys are no exaggeration 839 times better than their normal unis) What an awesome final season moment for guy like Dwyane Wade, who team who's probably not going to the playoffs. I mean might as well call it a career after that.
I must've watched that shot on IG five times before I had to go show my roommate that clip. It was that incredible. Like in person. No tagging or DMs. I got my should be in bed already (thank God for a 2 hour delay at school tomorrow) ass up and showed another human being my phone and for a brief moment we connected.
Wow the power of sports.