The Summer Of Gronk: A Journey That Ended Too Soon

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 03: Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots celebrates as Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics on June 3, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski went on a whirlwind world tour of bro-ness this summer. It was a journey that ended far too soon.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is a bro among bros. Everyone knows this. It is indisputable. Gronkowski and the Pats came up just short in Super Bowl XLVI, but that hasn't stopped Gronk from celebrating his offseason in a way that puts all other bros to shame. He has certainly broed down like a champion. Of that there can be no doubt. Let's take a look at what has been, for all intents and purposes, the Summer of Gronk.

Gronk's wild year began, of course, when he suffered a pretty spectacular injury in the playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens. Perhaps you remember the wonderful adventures of Rob Gronkowski's ankle. No? Here's a refresher.

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That ankle sprain was followed by agonizing weeks of speculation about how Gronk would perform in the Super Bowl. The eventual answer of "fine" isn't nearly as exciting as the other, more pertinent question. That question being, "Will Gronk dance around like a massive bro to LMFAO at the Super Bowl after-party?"

The answer: a resounding yes.

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Bro so hard motherf***ers want to fine me. For not wearing a shirt in a place of business. Seriously, I've been cited more than a few times for this.

Even though it was only February, it was clear that the Summer of Gronk was already in full swing.

In April, Gronk kicked off his Bro World Tour in earnest, as he visited the University of Rhode Island to sit in a bro-throne (a brone, perhaps) and answer the bro-est question (an "FMK" scenario) in the bro-iest way possible. In case you missed it, watch him make a Tim Tebow virginity joke and then crack up at his own joke like it's the funniest thing he's ever seen. (Which, considering it's Gronk, would probably be Dane Cook falling off something on an episode of Ridiculousness.)

Hehhhhhhhh.

Gronk also took in a couple of Boston Celtics games with the studied posture of a lifetime, rich-athlete bro: leaning forward and laughing uproariously just every second of his life.

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"Bro, that's a clown pass bro. AW MAN WHAT A CLOWN FIELD GOAL. Hahahaha, everything that's happening right now is an enormous pair of clownfail shoes."

Gronk popped up again to cheer on the Celtics in the NBA Eastern Conference finals and to grace us all with the glory of some shaved-head, self-congratulatory fist pumps.

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The best part of the above GIF is indisputably Brandon Lloyd (the guy behind Gronk in the cardigan) who cannot stop laughing at how hilarious his main man Gronk is. Being part of the Gronkowski posse (the Gronkosske?) must just be a nonstop parade of hilarity, crisp collars and domestic beers.

The summer of Rob really kicked into high gear in June, when he once again could not keep from taking his shirt off, this time at a charity event. Then in July, he appeared on a dating game show called "The Choice," which was a mash-up of "The Voice" and a bunch of people who have never even heard of the concept of dignity.

This time, Rob was on the other end of the whole "virginity" thing and his stunned expression speaks for itself. Also speaking for itself is the giggle of the person filming this clip for YouTube:

How could Gronk follow that performance up, you ask? Why, by posing nude for ESPN The Magazine's annual "Body Issue," of course!

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Reminder: that "sticker" was added in post. A whole photography studio and editorial post has seen Gronk's "little Gronk and dangling bros." (Which is what I'm assuming he calls his genitals.)

And of course, Gronkowski got a shout-out from Rob Riggle at the ESPYs, which goes beyond a bro hat trick and is like the bro version of winning the EGOT.

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At the ESPYs after-party (which is already something that sounds like it was invented solely for Rob Gronkowski), Gronk asked if he could "party with his shirt off" and then took part in some communal peeing.

Sadly, the Patriots front office reportedly told Gronkowski -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- "Hey, why don't you cool it for a while with your wiener-showing and shirtlessness-partying for a while." Now Gronk is all about football, baby.

It's a damn shame that the Summer of Gronk was taken from us before our time. However, we here at SB Nation have been lucky enough to obtain Gronk's handwritten SUMMER TO-DO LIST, which is now printed here in its entirety.*

- GET TOTALLY RAD

- Go to Legoland with LMFAO, remove shirt

- Crash London Olympics, insist beer pong become a recognized event. Don't leave until that dumb Queen listens to reason.

- GET A KITTEN

- Hire a nerd to Photoshop(?) me into the Star Wars movies as Mace Windu

- Reality show idea: Steven Seagal teaches me how to break fools' arms (maybe for History Channel?)

- Break a mess of criminal arms

- Beat a horse in a footrace

- Order sasquatch suit, scare Jim Caldwell

- Punch a blimp

You were gone too soon, Summer of Gronk. Maybe 2013 will be even better, but this offseason will be hard to top. Even for you.

* This is all clearly fake. Jokes, people.

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