Rob Gronkowski is young and he likes to party. And when Rob Gronkowski parties, he usually does it with his shirt off while icing bros or something, if the kids are still saying that. He is a bro, and he always will be.

Well, maybe not always. As humans, we tend to mature as we grow, and with that comes things like, say, marriage and children, and more responsibilities in life that can severely limit bro icing time.

Right now, though, Gronk is still a young, rich, and muscular athlete who on most nights can take his pick from any of the blond shooter girls in attendance at his establishment of choice. That’s crude, and it’s reality.

We all know these facts, yet still periodically there are instances when for one reason or another, his partying ways become controversial. Last year we wondered how the hell Gronkowski could be dancing and caressing devil women just hours after his Patriots lost the Super Bowl. Shouldn’t he be in a dark room somewhere?

One year later on the same night his on-stage shirtless muscle bouncing is the source of old person anger again, and this time he wasn’t even involved in the game.

The primary source of rage is Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, and she’s upset about Gronkowski’s main stage act Sunday night at a Las Vegas club. The footage of his latest night of debauchery comes to us courtesy of TMZ (because of course), and specifically Guregian is displeased with Gronkowski wrestling with his friend and then body slamming said friend, all while wearing a cast on his surgically repaired forearm that he re-injured during the Patriots’ Divisional round win over Houston.

Guergian wonders why Gronkowski isn’t thinking about the Patriots, and football at all times.

He probably wasn’t thinking about minicamp in June, or training camp in July. Because taking a chance with that arm and yet another setback puts him at risk for getting back with his team in time for those camps.

He probably wasn’t thinking about quarterback Tom Brady, who sorely missed his presence during that AFC Championship loss against the Ravens. Brady is going to need him to be healthy and in the lineup going forward to help the offense keep from being stifled by certain defenses.

Gronkowski probably wasn’t thinking about team owner Robert Kraft, who agreed to hand over $54 million with a six-year contract extension.

He probably wasn’t thinking about New England fans, who pay good money in hopes of watching him play every week.

He probably wasn’t thinking about Bill Belichick’s famous words to every player: “Do your job.’’

Firstly, in the TMZ video it’s debatable whether or not he did in fact land directly on the injured forearm (also, I’m no wrestling guru, but I believe it was technically a DDT, if you smell what The Rock is cooking). But that doesn’t matter in the broader sense of this conversation.

When this particular party took place, Gronkowski was nearly three weeks into his projected four-to-six week recovery from surgery. I don’t know if that’s long enough to function as a normal human who does the things in life that he desires with this injury. Neither does Guergian, and neither do you. Here’s the question, though: what would be long enough in the eyes of this public? If this exact footage was taken, say, two weeks from now, would that be acceptable to the bleeding hearts of New England? How about a month?

Probably not.

Rob Gronkowski is a football player. That’s his job, and judging by the passion and intensity we see on the field every Sunday, he very much enjoys that job. It’s also a job that requires deep dedication during a sizable chunk of the year, much of which is far removed from the public’s eye. Gronk attends meetings, works out to maintain his manly physique that reels in those bar vixens, and studies film. Those activities aren’t unique to him, and they don’t make him special. They make him a football player, just like any football player.

But when he’s not fulfilling those highly demanding duties of being a football player, he’s entitled to be a person, just like you are away from your job. For many of Gronkowski’s peers, that means hanging out with children during the offseason, or maybe going on vacation to a secluded location that offers access to many martinis. For Gronkowski, it means doing the things in Las Vegas that young rich people do.

That’s who he is, and that’s who he’ll be until he goes through the very natural and human process of maturing with age. Until then just keep doing you, Gronk.

And now the links part of the links post…

  • The small decisions that cost the 49ers the Super Bowl. [Deadspin]
  • Are super Bowl-winning quarterbacks getting worse? [Football perspective]
  • The nerd guy in me is fascinated by the intricate electrical details surrounding the blackout. [Times-Picayune]
  • Bernard Pollard had six cracked ribs for most of the season. He is not human. [Baltimore Sun]
  • Jacoby Jones does more than just run fast and score touchdowns. He can also get you a pretty sweet furniture discount. [My Fox DC]
  • Michael Vick really likes this Chip Kelly guy. [Phillymag]