The Summer of Gronk is over and the Winter of Brady is at hand. Tom Brady isn't content with just being the best on the field, but he's showing his teammates that he's the undeniable King of New England as well. In fact, it could easily be argued that Rob Gronkowski's off-season is only the fourth most impressive on the roster, behind both Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler.
It all started after the Patriots sealed their Super Bowl title.
The Spring of Butler
When Butler snagged the game saving interception, he transformed from a former Popeye's employee into an international sensation. He received a special parade in his home town, picked up the Super Bowl MVP truck (even though he didn't win the award), went to Disney, and made one of the most impressive talk and award show circuits in recent memory.
His off-season has been pretty one-dimensional, though, with all of his headlines relating to his Super Bowl interception. If he is truly going to bloom, he stands to expand his pop culture landscape to reaches beyond just that one play.
The Summer of Gronk
By all accounts, Gronk has been having a tremendous off-season. He caught a key touchdown in the Super Bowl. He went absolutely out of his mind during the Super Bowl parade. He's in the Entourage movie and he's playing a police officer in the film You Can't Have It. He's spiked hockey pucks and has found a loving companion that fits his lofty requirements. Even before the Super Bowl, he was the subject matter of an erotica book series.
But even though Gronk is drawing headlines, doesn't his off-season seem a little more reserved than in years past? There's no reality show. Instead of raising hell, the Gronk Bus is raising money for charity. He attended the Kentucky Derby and the Floyd Mayweather - Manny Pacquiao boxing match in the same day. Gronk is growing more refined with time.
The Autumn of Edelman
Jules' off-season has been a little more inconspicuous than his counterparts. He was the inspiration for the team's comeback victory in the Super Bowl and caught the game winning touchdown. He accompanied Butler on each one of his headline stops- at Disney, at the Grammy's- and looked to play the role of big brother, proud of Butler's success. He made headlines for his Tinder excursions, he crashed parties all around the city, and he has become one of the most beloved figures in New England sports.
He shows up in the Entourage movie as well. His social media game is on fleek. He is the absolute leader of the younger generation of Patriots players, the glue that brings them all together, and the brain that directs everyone where to go. He's become Tom Brady's right hand man. But if you're the right hand man, that still means that you're not the man.
The Winter of Brady
He claimed the Super Bowl MVP. He's become the most successful player in football history. His wife, the most successful figure in her field, is retiring from runway modeling, and Brady wrote one of the sweetest notes a husband could every write. Brady has gone cliff jumping, he's played basketball with Michael Jordan, he's been buried in the sand by his kids. He's also in the Entourage movie, and has a role in Ted 2 because of his, ahem, golden member.
Brady went from the Kentucky Derby to the Mayweather - Pacquiao fight and sat towards the front with heavy hitters like Robert Kraft. He wore a shirt to Fenway, that simply said "5", his quest for a fifth Super Bowl title already underway.
He gave Butler his MVP truck. He landed a greater headline role in a movie than Gronk. Edelman took a pay cut in order to stay on the same team as his quarterback. Every player on the roster loves, worships, and would do anything for their leader in order to make #12 look like Tom Brady.
The Winter of Brady will come to an end at some point. But like this past winter season in New England, Brady won't go away until he sets every possible record.