In this era when most athletes speak in tired cliches, afraid of courting controversy, we find fun-loving Rob Gronkowski refreshing.
Some might argue the New England Patriots tight end is a bit dimwitted, but at least he’s entertaining.
The former Arizona star who once proclaimed “Yo Soy Fiesta” — translation: I am party — to a Spanish-language reporter at the Super Bowl, topped that moment this week when, during a video chat online, he fielded the following question from a fan: “If you could have a superpower, what would that one superpower be?”
Gronkowski: “Man, like, a time machine.”
Moderator Scott Zolak, a former Patriots quarterback: “You could be invisible.”
Gronkowski: “Does time machine count?”
Zolak: “Yeah, let’s do it. We could build a time machine right here.”
Gronkowski: “Like, if I could just be, like, ‘I want to be in Florida right now,’ and then, boom, I’m in Florida.”
Zolak: “That’d be more like a transporter.”
Gronkowski: “Yeah, is that a superpower?”
Clearly, a confused Gronkowski — who we had pegged as an X-ray vision guy — never has seen “Star Trek” or “Back to the Future,” or done much traveling, for that matter.
Provided he knew how to use a time machine, Gronkowski could have gone back to the Patriots’ bye week, when he made some comments that were criticized.
As an Asian man dressed in a Gronkowski jersey danced in front of him at a Boston bar, Gronkowski was caught on tape saying, “They told me he could only cook fried rice.”
A moment later, he called the man “Leslie Chow,” the name of the popular “Hangover” character played by Ken Jeong.
According to the Boston Herald, Gronkowski had told the partygoer, Joe, earlier that he was going to call him onto the dance floor, and Joe laughed it off, saying he can’t dance but he can cook fried rice.
Joe since has said he took no offense to the remarks, but Gronkowski still publicly apologized before getting transported to Carolina, albeit in a plane.
■ BROWNS TOUCH DOWN — After surviving a harrowing flight from Cincinnati to Cleveland following Sunday’s 41-20 loss to the Bengals, the Browns can relate to their fans, who have been praying for touchdowns for years.
“It was terrifying,” Browns guard Jason Pinkston told Cleveland.com. “It was the real thing. The weather was so bad. … We’re actually pretty lucky to be alive right now, to be honest.”
Pinkston said many players were frightened on the 45-minute flight. “There were a bunch of screams,” he said. “You could hear everyone screaming on the plane.”
Sounds like the weekly reaction of Browns fans.
Defensive end Billy Winn, a 6-foot-4-inch, 295-pound former Las Vegas High School standout, “was shaking like a little girl,” linebacker Paul Kruger said jokingly.
“Holy cow — I swear the wing was a couple feet from the ground,” Winn said. “We’re going to land, and it got real quiet, and I heard this big gust of wind, and (the plane tilted) and came back, and we recovered.
“We had a great pilot. A fantastic pilot.”
Now if only Cleveland can find a decent quarterback.
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL