Rob Gronkowski spiked the Buccaneers reputation with a nice dose of validation

Rob Gronkowski wants to be a part of the Buccaneers franchise moving forward, which is absolutely wild validation for fans.
Rob Gronkowski wants to be a part of the Buccaneers franchise moving forward, which is absolutely wild validation for fans. / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

It's tough being a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans sometimes. The highs are incredible, but they're often chased by incredible lows that get so dark that all hope seemingly gets blocked out.

That was the case in the two decades following the team's first Super Bowl win in 2002, but the franchise was pulled out of that deep pit in 2020 and things have been uncharacteristically good ever since. After Tom Brady retired the Bucs were expected to fall back into football obscurity, but instead have started carving out a path toward the future that we didn't see the first time around.

Baker Mayfield, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Mike Evans were all paid handsomely this offseason for their part in helping the Bucs navigate the choppy post-Brady waters, but they're not the only ones trying to help the good times continuing to roll.

Rob Gronkowski wants to play a role in Buccaneers franchise moving forward

Tampa Bay Buccaneers chief operation officer Brian Ford stopped by The JP Peterson Show recently and dropped a pretty big nugget on fans -- or should we say Gronk spiked some news.

Ford said that future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski wants to have a front-facing place with the Buccaneers moving forward. Not only is this huge from a notability standpoint, but it is absolutely incredible validation for Tampa Bay.

"[Gronkowski] is just an unbelievable man. He wants to come back to Tampa and be part of this community and be part of this franchise and we are so excited to have him back in the fold. And he’s going to be here,” Ford said. “He’s definitely going to be one of our captains of the Krewe this coming season."

Fading into obscurity is sort of what the Buccaneers have tended to do after experiencing heights like they did during the Brady Years. Following some success in the late-70s and early-80s, the Bucs were almost non-existent until the Tony Dungy era of the late-90s. After winning the Super Bowl in 2002, the Buccaneers failed to make the playoffs more than twice over the next 17 seasons.

Baker and company are helping restore the reputation on the field, but things like Gronkowski wanting to be closely associated with the franchise not only feels good but confirms that the Brady Years were real.

It's easy for general NFL fans to sort of write off that era for the Bucs as being lucky for having Brady, which isn't untrue. Saying that sort of cheapens things, though, and Gronk wanting to return proves that it wasn't just some random fluke where Tampa Bay essentially won the lottery.

Those years mean so much to Buccaneers fans, and it's nice to know they also mean just as much to Gronk. Seeing him as the captain of the krewe will be more than a gimmick or a stunt -- like some try to write the Brady Era off as -- it's validation that means the world to fans in Tampa Bay.

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