Rob Gronkowski played his last game for the Patriots on Jan. 13, breaking his arm in a playoff win against the Texans. A week later, New England was eliminated from the playoffs and Gronkowski was once again free to roam the Earth. The Summer of Gronk had begun.
Above, we've mapped out a timeline of Gronk's 2013 offseason odyssey, which appears to be coming to a close. There are at least as many happy Gronk faces in there as you'd expect—this man enjoys life—but there are some sad faces, too, as the young tight end, the Patriots, and the city of Boston itself went through a lot of genuinely hard times this year. Here's a breakdown:
Jan. 31: Taking a break from Super Bowl festivities–which is happening 80 miles away in New Orleans–Gronk hits up a Baton Rouge bar for some topless partying. Gronk: Happy.
Feb. 3: Vegas, baby! Gronk engages in some shirtless dance-wrestling and makes everyone worry about his already-broken arm. Gronk: Happy.
Mid-February: New England's favorite man-child visits Universal Studios in Orlando, donning a "Sorry For Partying" tank top. Gronk: Happy.
Late February: Oh no! Gronk's broken forearm has an infection. The tight end undergoes a third surgery. Gronk: Sad.
March 7: Donning a groovy-ass shirt, Gronk struts the catwalk at a breast cancer benefit in Natick, Mass. Gronk: Happy.
March 8: "Gonk" chills with some girls in a hotel room in Boston. Things look low-key. Gronk: Happy.
April 22: A few days after the Boston Marathon bombing, Gronk takes a photo with two nurses. Gronk: Somber.
April 27: Gronk is a football machine that runs on Bud Light Platinum. He refuels at Kansas State. Gronk: Happy.
May 19: Gronkenstein travels to Manhattan to take in some exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nah, just kidding—he's drinking in the Flatiron District. Gronk: Happy.
May 20: Another arm surgery. Gronk: Sad.
June 15: Oh, Gronk. That's a pile of moderately expensive clothes, not a bed! Gronk: Happy.
June 18: One more trip to the doctor for the gigantic 5-year-old, but this time, it's for back surgery. Gronk: Sad.
July 3: After Aaron Hernandez is arrested in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd, the Summer of Gronk slows down. But he is seen at an Independence Day party in Buffalo, N.Y. Gronk: Happy.
Aug. 14: The era of Gronk's mansion in Tampa—the Gronksion?— comes to an end, as he puts it on the market for a $2.4 million listing. Gronk: Sad.
Aug. 18: The Summer of Gronk draws to a close at an outdoor bar in Quincy, Mass. Gronk: Happy.
Sept. 30: Unless something goes horribly wrong, Gronk will be back to playing professional football again. He pronounces himself "jacked." His return brings much-needed veteran leadership to the Patriot's young receiving corps. It's a scary idea if you think about it too much. Gronk: Happy.
Bus graphics by Jim Cooke.