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A horse named after Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will compete in the Kentucky Derby

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Gronk will be racing in the 2018 Kentucky Derby. It’s just not the Gronk that we’re used to.

141st Kentucky Derby - General Atmosphere
The plaid suit worn by Rob Gronkowski (right) at the Kentucky Derby may have been the greatest gift of 2015.
Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Churchill Downs

Would anything Rob Gronkowski decided to do surprise anybody anymore? I mean, let’s look at what’s been going through his mind lately:

- Considering leaving the NFL for a movie career in Hollywood … ho hum.

- Considering going to the WWE for a career as a professional wrestler … I’m surprised it took him this long to think of that.

- Considering giving up football to become a treasure hunter, after discovering a mysterious doubloon and treasure map hidden in the attic of his old family home … sounds a little goonie, right?

OK, I made that last one up. But would it surprise you? Gronk randomly deciding to go on a hunt for hidden pirate treasure, because, why the heck not? It wouldn’t be as crazy as trying to compete in the Kentucky Derby, which also seems like very a Gronk-like thing to do. I’m sure he thinks he could get out there and actually run with the horses, and he would have the absolute time of his life doing it, because he’s Gronk.

Fortunately, he’s not actually going to try that. But there will be a Gronkowski competing in the 2018 Kentucky Derby. It’s just going to be a horse named “Gronkowski.”

If there’s one thing in life I’m going to regret, it’s going to be that I wasn’t there to witness the conversation that took place when choosing this horse’s name. Apparently it’s around the same height and size as the human Gronk, and that’s what led to the idea of naming this horse Gronkowski.

It had to be a great conversation.

“So, what should we call him?”

“Well, he’s a big horse. He kind of reminds me of Rob Gronkowski from the Patriots. Let’s call him Gronkowski.”

Yep, whenever I see a horse, Gronk is the first thing that comes to my mind too. Totally understandable. I’m just mad that these people stole my idea, because when I own my first horse in a few years, “Gronkowski” was No. 1 on my list of potential names. Now it’s ruined. Thanks, guys.

All jokes aside for a moment, I’ll be honest. Never in my life have I ever actually truly paid attention to the Kentucky Derby. Horse racing has just never been high on my list. When it comes to TV viewing pleasure, it’s down near the bottom along with golf, soccer, bowling and lacrosse. None of them have ever done much for me.

The most attention I’ve ever given to the Kentucky Derby was in 2015, when a handful of Patriots players attended the event, including Gronk, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola etc. The all-plaid suit Gronk wore to the event absolutely stole the show. I remember seeing those pictures constantly popping up on social media left and right, and seeing Gronk in the all-plaid suit never got old. Not once.

And that’s the most interest I’ve ever given to the Kentucky Derby. This year, however, things might slightly change. Since there’s a horse named Gronkowski competing this year, I might occasionally check in and see how he’s doing. I won’t watch a single second of the derby, but once in a while, I might keep tabs on my new favorite horse, just because why not? Who knows when I’ll get another chance to root for a horse named after one of my favorite athletes? Carpe Diem, seize the day. Am I right?

Good luck in the derby, Gronkowski. I’ll be rooting for you from afar.