By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Throughout the course of the DeflateGate saga, through Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, through the quarterback’s MVP-caliber season and all the way through his Super Bowl MVP performance, a lot has been made about the burned relationship between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the New England Patriots.
While many in the New England region viewed a Super Bowl victory — with Brady earning the MVP — as the ultimate form of payback, they knew that ultimately, the triumvirate of Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Brady himself would always take the high road when it comes to making public comments about Goodell. That is, undoubtedly, the wise business decision, even if it comes at the cost of entertainment.
Fortunately, the world still has Rob Gronkowski.
The 27-year-old tight end sat down with ESPN’s Cari Champion, and he was asked if it was a sweet feeling to watch Goodell hand the Lombardi Trophy to Kraft.
“Yes, it was great to see him over that trophy,” Gronkowski said. “For sure. I was super-happy for Tom.”
Considering Goodell appeared to have intentionally avoided a visit to Foxboro at all costs this past season, Champion asked Gronkowski if the commissioner can return to Foxboro any time soon.
“To tell you the truth, I really don’t think so,” Gronkowski answered. “The fans are nuts, they’re wild, and they have the Patriots’ back no matter what. They have Tom’s back. I’m telling you, [Goodell] won’t get through the highway if the fans saw him.”
Gronkowski said the ban on Goodell extends beyond the town lines of Foxboro.
“I don’t think he can even land in the airport in Boston, because Patriots fans are the best fans, they’re the most loyal fans,” Gronkowski said. “I’m telling you, they might just carry out Roger themselves. He couldn’t even get to the stadium in Foxboro if he landed in Boston.”
This was not the first time this offseason that Gronkowksi has public commented on Roger Goodell:
The ESPN interview wasn’t all Goodell-focused, though, and the oft-injured Gronkowski was asked how long he hopes to play in the NFL.
“I’m not really sure. I mean, I still love playing the game, and as of right now, I want to play as long as I possibly could play,” he said. “My mind-set is to keep on going.”