Rob Gronkowski Needs to Quit Playing With Our Emotions to Hawk Sketchy Fads

Posted in: Op-edSports News
October 29, 2019 3:38 PM UTC
  • Former Patriots star Rob Gronkowski continues to tease a potential comeback.
  • He appears to have a shady motivation in staying in the news: hawking product fads as a paid pitchman.
  • Fans deserve better.

When Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement last year, no one questioned his decision. With all the injuries the former New England Patriots tight end dealt with over the years, it wasn’t a shocking announcement. And given his age (he’s now 30), most fans figured he’d announce a comeback at some point anyway.

What they didn’t count on was that he’d string Patriots fans along by continuing to tease a comeback, merely to promote a series of arguably-sketchy products.

Rob Gronkowski’s ‘Comeback’ Talk Is Getting Old

Rob Gronkowski’s “will-he-or-won’t-he” comeback shtick is getting old – fast.| Source: REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni

Nine weeks into the 2019 NFL season, Gronkowski hasn’t pulled the trigger on a comeback, and he needs to stop flirting with the idea.

All the talk, all the teasing—it’s getting old. He knows that fans desperately want to see him play again, and he deliberately stirs up their hopes every time he says or tweets something that makes it sound like he will.

But he remains on the sidelines, talking about possibly making a comeback if he “gets that itch.” He spoke about it earlier this month during his broadcast debut on FOX (starts around the 1:30 mark):

As for his latest comments—they are the cruelest tease yet.

Rob Gronkowski, Professional Pitchman

Gronk knows Patriots fans adore him, and he’s monetizing that adoration to promote one of his latest investment ventures—CBD oil.

At a recent press conference, he called on the NFL to legalize the use of CBD oil so he wouldn’t get banned if he decided to return (via Stefan Geller of the Boston Herald):

“I don’t want to be banned from playing the sport I love because I’m using a product that anyone can buy right off the shelf at their local pharmacy. I’m not really sure why it’s banned.”

He never said he would return, but, echoing his previous statements, he said he wants the door to remain open. He complains that if he’d get suspended for using CBD oil, there’d be no sense in coming back at all.

“I also want to have the option to get back into the game, and if I’m banned next year, I can’t,” Gronkowski said.

So, is he planning a comeback next season? Who knows. But his comments had the desired effect – they stirred the rumor mill in newsrooms across the country.

More importantly, they all talked about CBD oil and the company that’s paying him to keep the comeback rumors alive. You can’t buy that kind of publicity – and it all comes courtesy of Rob Gronkowski, professional pitchman.

But He Could Come Back, Right?

Of course, the possibility is there, like he says he wants. It is something he has talked about often:

Theoretically, nothing is holding him back, whether or not the NFL changes the rules. He looks smaller than his playing weight but is still clearly in good physical shape. As much as he talks about keeping that door open, he must be considering it – right?

Or is he just stringing us all along and making sure he remains relevant (and a highly-sought-after pitchman) even though he isn’t playing?

For shame, Rob Gronkowski. Your fans deserve better.

Josiah Wilmoth edited this article for If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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Travis Pulver @FatManWriting

Travis graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, with a master's in Political Science. Prior to that, he attended IU Purdue in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science and earned his first degree at Texas A & M in Galveston, TX, a BS in Maritime Administration. You can contact him on Twitter at @FatManWriting. Over the last few years, Travis has worked for several news-oriented sites that focused on sports, especially football, baseball, basketball, and to a lesser extent, boxing and MMA. Having grown up in the football-crazed state of Texas, football is his first love. According to his mother, he was more excited to watch NFL and college games as a baby than Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse. His passion for sports quickly spread to baseball (favorite team is the Houston Astros), basketball, and track and field as a kid. It wasn’t until his college years that he discovered the tremendous game of rugby. He currently lives in the United States in Indiana (is a basketball fan but hates going to the Indy 500) with his wife and two adorable kids.