DATELINE: A Plaintive Plea
The hoary, old joke about how long you’ve had a weak back seems rather unfunny today. “About a week back.”
Rob Gronkowski will have back surgery for his herniated disk, apparently from another brutal double hit he took early in Sunday’s game. He left almost immediately, and he walked tall and unassisted off the field.
Our heroes are like that.
However, a bad back in football is tantamount to a glass jaw in boxing. We do not like the sound of it, and we worry for Gronk’s future. A few nitwits were trolling that he’ll be back in two weeks. No, not with a weak back. It won’t be a few weeks.
He’s had these problems since college—and his medical history played into his draft selection.
We will become our usual alarmist self when looking at someone we really care about: Gronk could be out for a long time. We fear he will try to come back too soon. This is not the concussion protocol. This is a weak back, perhaps a genetic situation.
Gronk has shown his infectious humor and bonhomie will make him a talk show star, or a movie star of adventure/action fantasy. We’d urge him to consider going there as an option. Don’t play around.
Though we love his camaraderie with TB 12, even his dressing up like Santa Claus last holiday for an anonymous visit to Brady’s kids, he is too much to be cherished as a healthy specimen.
If it means leaving the game that has brought him fame, it’s better to walk away than be wheeled off the gridiron on one of those ugly golf carts to sympathetic and pathetic cheers.
The cheering will never stop for Gronk, even if he moves to another, safer venue.
We cast our vote to have Gronk whole and healthy over playing again in a dangerous situation that could end in true tragedy.