While Rob Gronkowski’s days with the New England Patriots are behind him, he sure does know how to leave his mark.
The Patriots posted a video to their Twitter account on Wednesday showing a huge dent in their brand new championship trophy, earned from their victory over the Los Angeles Rams at Super Bowl LIII in February. The dent comes courtesy of Gronkowski, who used it as a bat before appearing at the Boston Red Sox home opener last week.
Nearly two dozen members of the Patriots were at Fenway on April 9 to be recognized for their championship win, and Gronkowski, Stephon Gilmore and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman were scheduled to throw out the honorary first pitch.
“The first thing I remember is Julian (Edelman) like, ‘Hey, if I’m throwing out the first pitch, I need to get loose. I need to warm up,’ ” backup quarterback Brian Hoyer recalled, according to the team’s website.
As Edelman warmed up before the game, Gronkowski took the 22-inch tall Super Bowl trophy and held it like a bat, challenging Edelman to throw the ball his way. While it was a move typical of Gronkowski, players didn’t expect he would actually swing the trophy.
“You see Gronk with the trophy, and you see Julian at our fake mound,” cornerback Keion Crossen said. “He’s at the fake mound preparing to pitch like it’s the World Series and Gronk is just the final batter here. He’s definitely not going to hit it.”
“I was like, ‘He’s not actually going to swing.’ I don’t think Jules thought he was going to actually swing,” added backup quarterback Danny Etling.
But Edelman did throw the ball, and just as it came Gronkowski’s way, he put the trophy into bunting position and connected dead on, leaving a baseball-sized cavity right on its tip.
“Now, we’re all under the impression these are replica trophies, then we learned that indeed these were not replicas,” special teamer Matthew Slater said. “These were the real trophies.”
Said cornerback Jason McCourty: “Everybody went wild like the bunt just won us the World Series.”
According to ESPN, while the team may one day fix the dent in the future, they are currently in no rush to correct it at the moment.
“We’re going to keep the dent and tell the story,” executive vice president of media relations Stacey James told the outlet.
Patriots players seem to agree that it’s only fitting that if someone was going to damage the team’s sixth Super Bowl trophy, why not Gronk?
“If anybody could do it and get away with it, it’d be Mr. Gronkowski himself,” defensive back Duron Harmon said.
“He’s going to go all out no matter what he’s doing,” long snapper Joe Cardona added. “What you see is what you get with him. He always has the biggest smile in the room, so to see him have a little fun right there in the outfield of Fenway Park, maybe at the expense of priceless sports history, he’s earned every right to do it.”