Rob Gronkowski probably won’t be guest-speaking at a Tampa Bay Mensa meeting anytime soon.
Not after the fun-loving tight end, traded to the Buccaneers on April 21, posted a picture of himself holding his new playbook — a team-issued Microsoft Surface tablet.
“It’s still in the package and hoping it is all pictures and drawings,” he wrote. “I’m pumped to open it one day hopefully soon and follow the arrows to learn where to run to.
“Gronk run Gronk catch ball. No playbook needed. Hehe.”
• At @SportsPickle: “Ehlo family sits down to watch a night of quarantine TV … ehhh … who wants to play a board game?”
• At TheOnion.com: “NCAA wonders why financially struggling student-athletes didn’t just exploit labor of others.”
Heading for pay dirt
The Canadian Football League is seeking federal assistance — $30 million immediately and potentially $120 million more — in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
As any hard-core CFL fan could tell you, that would be a major score.
Too much help
The NCAA fined Nebraska’s women’s gymnastics program and put it on probation for exceeding the maximum number of allowable coaches.
Observers figured something was amiss when four assistants cracked heads rushing to spot a Husker on the high bar.
With stay-at-home orders in effect during the NFL draft, wasn’t every lineman technically an interior lineman?
SEC schools produced a record 15 NFL first-round draft picks this year.
In a related story, the conference just renamed its divisions the AFC and NFC Southeast.
Tweet of the Week
“Just realizing that the Packers’ current QBs are A-Rod & J-Lo.” — @AndyHermanNFL, after Green Bay drafted Jordan Love to back up Aaron Rodgers
Out of the running
U.S. sprinter Deajah Stevens has been provisionally suspended for being unavailable for drug testing.
In other words, you can hide but you can’t run.
The Pistons weren’t bad sports for not shaking hands with the Bulls after Chicago ended Detroit’s two-year title run in 1991.
No, the Bad Boys were simply ahead of their time when it came to social distancing.
Stat of the Week
“Jameis Winston has completed 10 career passes to Saints players. Taysom Hill has completed 7.” — @MasterTes
Just for kicks
The Chiefs released punter Dustin Colquitt after 15 seasons, but that’s not the worst part.
Rumor has Patrick Mahomes gets to go for it on every fourth down next season.
Rerun for the Roses
Secretariat, the 7-2 favorite, overtook Seattle Slew down the stretch to win a “virtual” Kentucky Derby race pitting the 13 Triple Crown champions on NBC.
Next up for desperate TV viewers: 2012 Usain Bolt, 2008 Usain Bolt and 2016 Usain Bolt finish 1-2-3 in a simulated race pitting Olympic 100-meter champions.
Penalty on the play
Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland has been charged in South Carolina with possessing marijuana or hash and driving with an open container of alcohol, with resisting arrest tacked on.
Though defense lawyers are trying to get the latter plea-bargained down to illegal contact.
Talking the talk
• Fark.com, with news from the recent Western Hockey League draft: “The virus of Brayden has passed its peak. Minus, it has mutated into variations of Hayden, Aiden, Kaden, Jayden, Grayden and (deep breath) Teydon.”
• Comedy writer Brad Dickson, via Twitter, on reports the NBA is in talks to resume its season at Disney World: “This is gonna be so embarrassing when Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs defeat the Golden State Warriors.”
NASCAR will return to action with four races in 11 days in front of empty grandstands starting May 17.
Though Kawhi Leonard is urging drivers to take a couple races off in the name of load management.
• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on the NCAA’s about-face in allowing athletes to monetize their names, images and likenesses: “When the changes are in place, will we stop identifying jocks as student-athletes and instead refer to them as ‘athletic entrepreneurs’?”
• Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, on the Showtime series featuring ex-NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez interviewing top QBs in this year’s draft: “Isn’t that like putting top thespians in an acting roundtable hosted by Adam Sandler?”
• Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, tapping the brakes on the notion of MLB making a hasty return to action: “If you’ve never seen the floor of a baseball dugout after a game, know this: It’s a virus and bacteria Petri dish.”
Swimming in saltwater
“I think everything is taken with a grain of salt,” said USA Swimming CEO Mike Unger of getting the sport going again, “and maybe even more than one grain of salt.”
In other words, it’s going to take a saline solution.
On a different note
TCU football coach Gary Patterson is staying busy during the shutdown writing music in hopes it’ll result in an album.
Hopefully it’s not the greatest hits he sees this season.
Quote, end quote
• Jack Finarelli of SportsCurmudgeon.com, on the Eagles drafting OT Prince Tega Wanogho and signing CB Prince Smith as an undrafted free agent: “Remember, this is the team that also had King Hill as a backup QB for about six years in the 1960s.”
• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on Golden State coach Steve Kerr saying his team is operating as if its season is already over: “Well to be fair, since before COVID-19 the Warriors were 15-50, it already was.”
• Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, on ex-Patriots Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski becoming Tampa Bay Buccaneers: “Clichés. Old guys heading to Florida in their older years.”
• Stephen Colbert of “The Late Show,” after Georgia reopened bowling alleys during the coronavirus pandemic: “I’m going to go out on a limb here and say now is not the time for a sport where strangers stick their fingers inside the same three holes.”
Not bullish on Dennis
The NBA says teams can reopen their practice facilities May 8 in a “measured way” for “limited individual workouts.”
In other words, former lovebirds Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra probably won’t be on the Bulls’ admit list.
Jordan Speith, playing in a group with Tony Romo in a charity golf tournament in Texas, lost a hole-in-one when a spacer inserted for coronavirus protection prevented the ball from going in the hole.
Even more amazing, moments before, Romo diagrammed the outcome on his Telestrator.
A sign of Michael Jordan’s impact, from ESPN’s Bobby Marks: “Eight of the 10 highest-paid players in the NBA in 1997-98 were centers. No center is among the league’s top 20 earners in 2019-20.”