Rob Gronkowski: Abusing your body isn’t what brain wants

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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was again asked about the possibility that he’ll retire after the Super Bowl on Wednesday and his reply of “yes, no, maybe so” didn’t push things in one direction or another.

An answer to another question shed light on the kinds of things that Gronkowski will have to consider when it comes time to make a call on returning to the field for the 2019 season. Gronkowski was asked about the physical and mental toll that players take over the course of a season.

“The season’s a grind. It’s up and down. I’m not going to lie and sit here and say every week is the best,” Gronkowski said, via NBC Sports Boston. “Not at all. You go up, you go down. You can take some serious hits. To tell you the truth, just try and imagine getting hit all the time and trying to be where you want to be every day in life. It’s tough, it’s difficult. To take hits to the thigh, take hits to your head. Abusing your body isn’t what your brain wants. When your body is abused, it can bring down your mood. You’ve got to be able to deal with that, too, throughout the season. You gotta be able to deal with that in the games.”

Gronkowski missed three games and was limited in others due to ankle and back issues this season, but has played all but seven offensive snaps in the postseason while looking as healthy as he has all season. His comments make it clear that’s nothing to take for granted and the same would seem to be true of Gronkowski’s return for a 10th season.

35 responses to “Rob Gronkowski: Abusing your body isn’t what brain wants

  1. I know if I have a pain in my knee, or foot and it’s hard for me to walk without putting a conscious effort into trying to ignore the pain, it brings down my mood. Because all I can think about is the times I took for granted I didn’t have that knee pain or whatever it is, and I could walk normally. I could only imagine getting beat up for 17 weeks straight, where that was my life every day. I’d be in the worst mood.

  2. If you think about it, a lot of Patriots players have played a lot more than any other team because of all the playoff games and Super Bowls. That makes what Tom Brady has accomplished at his age so much more impressive, because in reality he has played a lot more games than everyone else. I just hope him and the other players are able to walk in 10 years because of the abuse they have taken.

  3. The man is a cheap shot bullseye. No surprise after all those years of being abused with a flag more likely to be thrown on him for carrying 3 tacklers for 8 yards that he’d lose it on another player. If this were the NHL, Gronk could have sorted out this nonsense a long time ago.

  4. I don’t know how those players do it. The hits they take can be as bad as being in a car crash. And it can be several times a game, week after week. That’s why I think Thursday night football after a Sunday game is cruel.

  5. We certainly take things for granted when watching the NFL. It’s not the same football we all remember playing in high school; it’s wildly dangerous and taxing on players. Gronk has been the epitome of a warrior, with all of the injuries and hits he’s taking as New England’s number one target for almost a decade. If he hangs them up, no one could blame him. NFL football is TOUGH.

  6. football is not an easy game. he is losing his love of the game. that’s why it’s a game of attrition.

  7. I remember reading an article years ago about what Jason Taylor had to go through to be ready to play. He was having foot issues and so he had to go through a series of extremely painful injections into the bottoms of his feet before every game. Just to be able to play. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that numbing your pain so that you can play in an extremely violent sport isn’t good for your body.

    NFL players (generally) get paid a lot of money, but they also put in a tremendous amount of work, and put up with a hell of a lot of pain in order to play. The physical abuse they take will effect them for the rest of their lives. Even kickers develop hip issues.

    In my mind they earn every cent. They have special abilities that allow them to earn a special income. I see a lot of jealousy or sour grapes on here about player salaries and how they should shut up and be grateful for what they have. I’m sure they all are grateful (they’re also 20 somethings – tell me YOU weren’t an “indestructible” know-it-all when you were in your early 20s). But we should also recognize that they’re absolutely NOT just “playing a kid’s game”. What they do has no real relationship to the backyard/pee wee/HS football we may be personally familiar with.

  8. Everyone who plays this game is a warrior. It’s not natural to play football and even those who don’t make it to the highest level suffer the effects from this game. People take for granted how much bigger, faster and stronger today’s athletes are vs. the ones from the old days. It’s a dangerous game and there’s a reason why guys want to make as much as they can as quickly as possible.

  9. But think of how many players have either said or would give up a few years at the end of their lives to have done the NFL all over again. Makes me wonder if part of that reason is because they figure those years could be a struggle anyways

  10. It’s true, even at the high school level. You fool yourself into thinking that getting hit feels good, and that your aching, burning muscles after a strenuous workout is making you feel great. The only thing that you can’t shake is when you get injured. There’s no self-brainwashing there, that pain, stiffness and lack of motion or mobility just plain sucks.

  11. For a guy that comes off as a goofy meathead at times, in regards to this, and his use of money, Gronk comes off as very smart.

  12. I love that Gronk gave the bare bones honest answer to the question. It gives fans some real insight into what playing in the NFL is like. He has taken many vicious hits in his career. I wouldn’t blame him if he retired after this game. He gave the fans a ton of great football, and his body has paid a heavy price. Time to relax, enjoy life, heal that body up,and wait for the call to the Hall.

  13. Gronk has been great fun to watch all these years, and I sincerely hope the Pats win the SuperBowl, so he can retire and heal and then hopefully lead a happy, healthy, and productive life and father a batch of little Gronks with a beautiful and supportive wife.

  14. Fortunately for him, he’s probably saved enough money so that finances won’t be a major part of the decision. I hope that he retires if he thinks he should, but I also hope he doesn’t regret whatever decision he makes in a year or two. Take your time on this, Rob.

  15. I read the comments to this thread and wonder why readers understand the harm to players bodies while in other threads readers attack players for using steroids to repair injuries.

    Using steroids over an extended period of time is intended to gain an unfair advantage but that advantage goes south fairly quickly because long-term use is counter productive.

    Using steroids during the recovery process from injury is a basic medical practice that should not be denied players. Denying such medical care can lead to much longer recovery periods or players returning to play too quickly.

    The NFL needs to get a reality check. And their marijuana restrictions are just inane.

  16. I cannot even imagine the life of an NFL football player who arrives at this level after playing High School, College, and now, years in the ranks of elite athletes.

    If I knew then what I know now, I would have tried a different position.
    I used to pitch. As years mounted, the hip became progressively ‘cranky’

  17. Sounds like a lot of pre-game excuse making for when he gets clown stomped on Sunday.

  18. Funny how Pats fans love his honesty but when other teams players do it it’s called being a drama queen……..fact!

    Brain and Gronkowski in the same sentence alerts meet to get ready for some BS.

  19. Get out now why you can still walk away relatively healthy. And it’s not just your body but your head as well (CTE). Thanks for all the memories, Rob. You are a very special player. See you in the HOF.

  20. I’d hate to see him go for sure…… was hoping he’d play out the final year of his contract, but I also understand if his pains are starting to outweigh his passion for the game…..
    I’m sure Bill already has or will have the definitive answer within 2 weeks of the Super Bowl as it will directly effect the way the Pats approach both free agency & the draft……
    No matter what he does, it’s been a real treat to watch him play….. the guy is amazing for sure!!!! Wish him the best in his post season career when he decides to hang up the cleats…..,
    Go Pats….. GRONK SPIKE!!!!!

  21. Really interesting and insightful response to the question. Him talking about dealing wieh rhe hits and the pain during the week, but also dealing with the pain of rhe hits during the game. You never really think about the pain thebplayers are dealing wieh dueing the game in real time. If you’ve ever wiped out hard skiing or had any kind of accident that involves trauma, you know how your whole body shuts down. You can only imagine what thatbisnlike if you have 45 seconds till next play. He’s a pretty fascinating guy, and the more he speaks, the more you realize his intelligence has a much to do with his success as his physical gifts do

  22. It seems to me that Gronk gets hit as hard as anybody in the game. He’s big, fast, has great hands and runs great routes, and he’s tough to bring down. So the defenses hafta bring their A-game, which means… that dude gets punished.
    Tom Brady hasn’t ever been hit as hard as Gronk has or as many times, despite more years back there. He’s a flag magnet, but his big tight end is not.
    I’d totally get it if he hung up his cleats and went to Hollywood. He’ll make a great action movie star.

  23. Catching passes from Brady can be hazardous to your health. Welker, Gronk, Edelman all beat up.

  24. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    January 31, 2019 at 12:23 pm
    Catching passes from Brady can be hazardous to your health. Welker, Gronk, Edelman all beat up.
    That they all catch over the middle has nothing to do with it…

  25. I used to have an older lady who worked for me who had serious problems with both her knees, had to go to a lot of Dr appointments to get shots, do physical therapy, all kinds of crap. She has probably had them both replaced by now.

    I asked her once what caused it, she said she played soccer all her life, at a pretty high level through college, that she was really good at it.

    I said “wow, you must have really loved the game.” I asked her if it was worth it, if she would do it again?

    She said “[EXPLETIVE] NO!! If knew what was going to happen to me, I never would have TOUCHED a soccer ball!”

    And that was just soccer. And just through college, folks.

    THIS stuff Gronk’s doing will kill you if you do it long enough. How many times do we hear about ex-players dying at 64 years, 70 years?

    And the ones like Earl Campbell who basically wish they were dead?

    And the ones who can’t even think straight enough anymore to know they’re still alive?

  26. He needs to retire. Has taken a lot of punishment thru the years as he was hard for opponents to bring down. He has brought joy to PATS NATION and will be missed. Too bad because he could have set every receiving TE record if he could have stayed pretty healthy. Enjoy retirement rob and thanks from PATRIOT NATION!!

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