Rob Gronkowski, Patriots tight end and friend to at least one porn star, scored two touchdowns in New England's 34-3 win over Kansas City last night.
Gronkowski's second TD of the night came on this dive from just inside the three-yard line. He was hit by Kansas City's Derrick Johnson midair, and then he landed directly on his neck. For his efforts, he was awarded with a post-game interview with ESPN's chipper Monday Night Football crew, where the boys giggled about head injuries together.
After a lot of fluff, Steve Young asked Gronkowski about that landing. Specifically, he wondered if he the second-year player remembered it:
Gronkowski: I don't know man. I landed, I was like—I looked, I was like, "Did I score?" I didn't even know if I was in or not. I never jumped up in the air before, everyone always goes at my knees... I jumped up in the air, my head was kinda...
Young: ...Rob, it looked like you were a little bit—kind of groggy. Do you remember that moment right there or did you kind of go out for a second?
Gronkowski: Uh, I remember the moment, and everything, uh... If I didn't I still wouldn't even say I didn't, because I want to play this week!
All of the MNF boys laughed along with him, and then Stu Scott (who, as an entirely separate complaint, really needs to stop saying "dude" like that) asked about "the competition at home" with his four brothers. Gronkowski's hinting that—and then laughing at—having possibly ignored a concussion in order to keep playing—went mostly unnoticed.
Gronkowski's near-admission is one of those rare moments when the player's public front falls and for once, we hear something honest said, but it is unnerving to hear him laugh so freely about possibly losing consciousness during a game—especially since he reportedly passed his sideline concussion test. After the score, the Boston Herald reports, he "ended up on the bench attempting to convince the training staff that he could count to 10":
He later started giggling, in that slightly delirious way of his, following the Pats' 34-3 win against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.
"It feels great. I think it feels better now," Gronkowski said, with a laugh. "(The trainers) were asking if I was fine, and I said I was fine. I just got the wind knocked out of me a little bit. They're always cracking jokes. It was cool. They asked me math problems, and then I started throwing out my own math problems. It was pretty cool."
But the Scott, Young, and Trent Dilfer interview is probably not the place to address a player's responsibility to his brain and spinal cord, so we'll let their conspiratorial giggles slide here. It seems ESPN did, too: They cut the question from the online version of the segment.