It seems once a Patriot, always a Patriot. If you played for New England, you’d better be sure to “shout out” to chowder town always. Why are those people so sensitive?
Blah, Blah, Blah
If there is one thing Buccaneers’ fans have never forgotten is where they came from. Many years of toiling in the depths of despair that is the NFL basement. Only recently crawling out of the primordial ooze to enjoy the light. Always cognizant of all the moving parts that got this team to the top of the mountain.
When former Patriots’ Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski joined the club, there was fresh, exiting wind in the sails of the ship. Charting a new course for an organization that floundered for so long. Buccaneers’ fans have seen former players go on and win championships with other teams. With barely a mention of Tampa Bay when those players exit stage left.
Rare Air Indeed
What Tampa Bay fans, Patriot fans, or any other NFL fan has never seen was this. Two dynamic, Hall of Fame players in Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, move forward to another team and win it all. Just think football fans, Joe Montana to Kansas City, Brett Favre to wherever and Jerry Rice to Oakland. These are just a few of the Hall of Fame players that come to mind who went elsewhere and had even limited success.
What Buccaneers’ fans have never done is look a gift horse in the mouth. Always appreciated what it must be like to be Patriot fan, knowing that the organization made a decision. Or was it Tom’s decision. Either way, feeling appreciative to have these guys in Tampa. Feeling no less empty when one said good bye temporarily. The other it seems, more permanently. And we had them but for moment in time. But ah, what a moment.
So here is the rub. When both left their playing days in New England behind they gave all the props and thanked a great organization. Heaped praise upon a glorious run. Apparently that wasn’t enough for the Patriot faithful as they took their grievances online posting things like, “Rob Gronkowski didn’t mention a single thing about the Patriots in his retirement post on Instagram.” The vitriol wasn’t limited to Gronkowski, “Brady & Rob Gronkowski hate the Patriots with a passion lol.”
Truth is, Gronkowski and Brady later made posts just for the fragile Chowderheads.
Nevertheless, They Persisted
Gronkowski recently addressed this on NESN, “I think it’s a little blown out of proportion,” Gronkowski told NESN on Tuesday. “I mean, I kind of did it when, you know, my first retirement.”
“There’s no doubt I love New England. I love all the fans here in New England. There’s no doubt. But I felt like that speech or whatever, the time and place I did for the first one was great, and I was just kind of giving it for that retirement for the two years I had in Tampa. But I think it was blown out of proportion maybe a little. But I love New England, love everything about it.”
Brady’s statement to Patriots fans after retiring from the Buccaneers, “Thank You Patriots Nation,” Brady wrote with a red heart emoji. “I’m beyond grateful. Love you all.”
But that was then, this is now. When they ride off into that beautiful sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, they thank the Glazers. Mention Jason Licht, Bruce Arians. Current Buccaneer teammates. See Patriot fan. You had your time. This is our time. There’s no mentioning you in our time. That’s how it goes.
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