Gronkowski Gets a Little Help From His Friend

Tom Brady has taken his team to the Super Bowl an astonishing ten times, one of the most remarkable records in sports. Sure, he has been an excellent passer for a long time, but a lot of quarterbacks can throw a football. It seems to me that his record must have to do with leadership as much as with athletic talent. Someday it would be interesting to get insight into Brady’s leadership style; likely it can be applied in other fields.

We might have gotten a glimpse into Brady’s idea of leadership in yesterday’s regular season finale. His longtime teammate and friend Rob Gronkowski was within striking distance of two incentive clauses in his contract that would pay him an additional $1 million. He reached the first milestone, for total yards, earlier in the game. With 6 1/2 minutes to go in the fourth quarter and the game safely in hand, Gronkowski needed just one more catch for an additional $500,000 bonus. The coaches apparently wanted Brady to come out of the game, but he declined to sit down until he had gotten his teammate one more reception:

Interestingly, something similar happened in yesterday’s Vikings-Bears game. As the game neared its conclusion, the Vikings’ Justin Jefferson, the brightest star in a mediocre season, needed just 17 yards to break the Vikings’ single-season receiving record held by Randy Moss. But the Vikings didn’t try to help Jefferson get the record. “I don’t care about records,” said head coach Mike Zimmer after the game. Zimmer was fired this morning after the Vikings went 8-9.

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