Angus King tells U.S. Senate he wants Gronk’s job on the New England Patriots

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine.

Despite the seriousness of the pending question of the Iran nuclear deal, plenty of people in New England have one eye cast toward tonight’s NFL season opener between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.

That includes at least two senators who mentioned the Patriots today during debate on the U.S. Senate floor. One of them was Maine independent Sen. Angus King and you won’t believe this: He said he wants Rob Gronkowski’s job.

“I wish I could play tight end for the New England Patriots but it’s not going to happen,” said King, bolstering his argument that if the nuclear deal fails, Iran is unlikely to return to the negotiating table.

For those who don’t know, Gronkowski — known simply as Gronk in the football universe — is laying claim to being among the best tight ends that professional football has ever seen. Even though he’s been in the league since only 2010 and has missed 15 games due to injury, Gronk is ranked sixth in catches, third in yards and first in scores.

I’m not about to sit here and doubt Sen. King’s abilities, though the 71-year-old acknowledged that suiting up and running a crossing pattern through a gauntlet of NFL linebackers is a personal dream whose time has passed.

Not long after King’s comment, another senator mentioned the Patriots. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, likened trusting Iran to abide by inspection protocols in the nuclear deal to letting the Patriots have control of the air inside their footballs.

Ah, the footballs again.

The treaty would set up “a convoluted process in which Iran helps make the decisions, like giving Tom Brady and the Patriots the right to determine if the footballs were inflated,” said Coats. “I’m from Indiana and that’s a biased statement.”

He’s right, in my opinion. There’s no way the Ayatollah should be given control of the Patriots’ footballs.


Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.