Everyone handled the news of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement from the NFL in their own way. But for many fans of the New England Patriots, there was surely a mixture of sadness, disappointment and yes, even some tears.
It’s hard to blame fans for being upset about one of the most beloved Patriots players ever deciding it was time to ride off into the sunset. But one young fan may have taken it tougher than anyone, and her mom had the tough task of breaking the news to her.
To the young girl’s credit, after trying her best to keep it together, she eventually broke down into tears and had to be consoled.
It’s never fun seeing the disappointment of young fans, but it goes to show just how much Gronk will be missed by the fanbase. I spoke with the girl’s mom who offered some insight into why Gronkowski’s retirement was so upsetting for her daughter, and it’s a pretty incredible story.
How Young Patriots Fan’s Love of Rob Gronkowski Began
In a text message from the mother, she explains how Gronkowski was actually what sparked her daughter’s love of football. When she was just three years old, the girl who can be seen below in the No. 87 Gronk jersey got upset about the NFL star not winning a Grammy.
“The year the Eagles beat the Pats she got in an argument with two older boys after school. They were picking on her for winning the Super Bowl and she told them she was friends with Bill Belichick and he was going to come and tell them not to pick on her,” the mother said via text message.
“Every time we watch football she cheers him on by saying ‘that’s my guy.'”
Rob Gronkowski’s Stellar NFL Career
While Gronkowski is only 29 years old, he’s dealt with his fair share of injuries over the years. Even still, through his nine-year NFL career, Gronk has played in 115 regular-season games, catching 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns. His best single season came in 2011 when he hauled in 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns.
During his time with the Patriots, the team posted a 12-4 record in the playoffs and won two Super Bowls. Over Gronkowski’s 16 postseason games, he totaled 81 catches for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was pivotal in New England’s most recent Super Bowl victory at the end of the 2018 season, hauling in 6-of-7 targets for 87 yards. This included a crucial diving grab to set up the team’s only touchdown in a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.