(ESPN)Analyst Tedy Bruschi was at ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn., on Monday, appearing on “NFL Live”, among other programs. At one point, the topic of discussion turned to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. “If I was on that team, I’d talk to him. I’d pull him aside,” Bruschi said. “You have a cast on your arm, you’ve had it surgically repaired twice, and you’re out there on stage ‘DDT-ing’ guys; it’s some wrestling move we used to do when we were in high school. You can’t do it.”

 

PFTAfter Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski did his traditional post-Super Bowl shirtless dancing routine, there was some talk in New England that Gronk needs to grow up, and that a veteran in the Patriots’ locker room ought to say something to him. But one of the Patriots’ veterans, guard Logan Mankins, says that as long as Gronkowski is neither breaking the law nor injuring himself, there are no concerns within the locker room about the way he conducts his personal life.  “As long as he’s not getting DUIs and doing things that are against the law . . . I don’t think he’s hurting anyone,” Mankins said, via Mike Reiss ‏of ESPNBoston.com. “Hopefully he doesn’t hurt his arm. Then that would be bad. Gronk is a big meathead that likes to party and play football.

I take a back seat to no man when it comes to my respect and admiration for Tedy Bruschi. I’d take a bullet for him then carry him out of the room to “I Will Always Love You” and I think the world knows it. That said, I’m with Logan Mankins on this one. While the Fun Police (no disrespect, Tedy) are out trying to persecute Gronk and the 21st century Puritans (Full Tilt, Full Time, #54!) are running around in hysterics about him out having harmless, goofy, drunken hijinks with his brothers, Mankins tells us what they really think of him inside the locker room.  That they love him because he enjoys football and enjoys life and he’s not hurting anyone.  And make no mistake, Mankins is a captain and a true leader and speaks for everyone when he says it. Bruschi and Gronk never played together and he doesn’t know the way Mankins does. Like I told Felger and Mazz Friday, If I could create the perfect ballplayer to root for, “Weird Science”-style, I’d make Gronk.  I’m not on the cafeteria plan with him, picking and choosing which parts I like.   I’ll take my Gronk as is. The whole ball of wax. The catches, the blocking, the spikes, the naked pictures on the Body Issue, playing Crossies in the men’s room at the ESPYs, the porn stars and yeah, DDT-ing his brother with a cast on his arm.  It’s all part of the Gronk package.  Just like it was for hard-partying teams like the Big, Bad Bruins in the 70s, the great Celtics teams of the 80s or the Idiot Red Sox World Series champs.  They worked hard and they played hard. And we not only accepted it, we loved them for it.  So the modern day Temperance Union can back the hell off and let Gronk be Gronk, a big meathead that likes to party and play football and who isn’t hurting anyone.  Just the way Mankins and Barstool like him.  @JerryThornton1