Oftentimes in sports, there is no right or wrong answer. This is one of those times. Take the story this week of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The pass catching tight end was one of the main pre-game stories of the Super Bowl as he was trying to play in the game with a high ankle sprain. You know the drill. The Patriots lost to the Giants and the fans in New England are crushed.
After the game, the Patriots had a team party and Gronkowski could be seen drinking, partying and dancing, all on his bad ankle. The video has created a firestorm in New England.
I have worked in sports and athletics all of my life. I know the scenario. For the athletes, even after a crushing loss, the end of the season is the end of a long grind, months and month of tough, physical work and stress. The post-season party is a chance to un-wind, let your hair down and party. Who am I to say that Gronkowski shouldn’t do that after the game?
But, that isn’t how the fans see things. Patriot fans were crushed by Sunday night’s loss and it may take days, weeks or a year for them to get over it. Fans would like to think that the players are crushed by the loss also. It bothers fans to think that Gronkowski was dancing and partying after the game.
Reports are that Tom Brady was also seen after the game and he was so discouraged that he could barely keep his head up. Fans can relate to that. That is how the fans feel and that is how they want to their players to feel.
Gronkowski has every right to party after the game. But, I have to admit, it looks bad.
It would be perceived better if he had waited a day or two. It might have been better still to do whatever he was going to do behind closed doors in a more private, less visible setting.