Rob Gronkowski is the only member of the New England Patriots organization with any redeemable qualities. He is quite good at football when he is healthy enough to play, and also he is a charismatic doofus at all times. An unrepentant meathead. An honest, NC-17 version of J.J. Watt. He is a guy who misses a free throw on purpose at the end of a high school basketball game so his team's total score remains at 69. Because 69 the sex number, and represents a sex thing that people do.
A local new outlet in Rhode Island did a bit of digging on the youthful days of several key players on the Patriots and, naturally, the Gronk stories had the most flair. One anecdote, from his former high school coach Chuck Swierski, has Gronk ripping the rim off the backboard in practice after a ferocious dunk and responding with "a silly kind of 'haha' laugh" and saying "that's cool." But it's the live game action where things get real nice:
Swierski continued, "So we're playing a home game and we have 68 points—now it's not a blowout, but it's not a particularly close game either. So he [Gronkowski] gets fouled and goes to the free throw line. He hits the first one to get us to 69 and the place goes nuts because he's playing into it. On his next free throw, he purposely chucks the ball off the backboard and misses so the score would stay at 69 and then runs back on defense pointing at the scoreboard."
Apocryphal tales from pro athletes' younger playing days are legion, but if there ever existed one that demanded to be believed, it is without question that Rob Gronkowski intentionally and brazenly ensured that his team's score remained 69.
Rooting for the Patriots is, of course, morally indefensible, but Gronk at least pushes the needle a little bit closer in their favor.