New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski deserved his NFL suspension, but does that mean every cheap shot deserves one? Michael Dwyer AP
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski deserved his NFL suspension, but does that mean every cheap shot deserves one? Michael Dwyer AP

Tom Talks

Tom Sorensen's off-beat and often biting take on the world of sports

Tom Sorensen

Short takes: Rob Gronkowski deserved suspension, but does every cheap shot deserve one?

By Tom Sorensen


December 07, 2017 10:17 AM

The shot that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski delivered to Buffalo rookie defensive back Tre’Davious White merited a suspension. White, who had been all over Gronkowski on the previous play, was on the ground, and Gronkowski drove into him. Gronkowski weighs 265 pounds, White 190.

Gronkowski is not dirty. The one-game suspension was his first.

Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict is dirty. So the shot Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster delivered Monday was payback, karma, whatever word you choose to use. It also was cheap. The longer the game went, the cheaper the game became. The Bengals are the league’s dirtiest team. Smith-Schuster should be suspended anyway. ...

If social media did not exist, I believe LeVar Ball would invent it. ...

I looked up the box score to the Charlotte Hornets-Orlando Magic box score Tuesday morning, and according to Fox Sports, Frank Kaminsky didn’t play. Kaminsky does have games where he doesn’t earn a place in the box score. These are the games in which he roams the perimeter, a 7-foot tall jump shooter.

When Kaminsky goes to the basket, he is a consistent factor, a force even, off the bench. He has the moves to attack. But he sometimes shrinks, to the extent a 7-footer can. When he goes to the hoop and suddenly he’s open outside. Kaminsky scored 14 points (on 14 field goal attempts) against Orlando and added nine rebounds, an assist and a steal. He was good. …

Got in three Twitter tiffs last month. Even if I felt as if I won, I lost simply by participating. There’s a beautiful world out there, and I was in my little office sending Tweets. Seize the day. Or don’t. My parents have both passed, but I feel as if I should apologize to them anyway. Sorry. …

The Carolina Panthers opened as an underdog at home Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. How many other visiting teams would open as favorites in downtown Charlotte? New England would. Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Rams might. The Panthers have four more games. Their final four are: At home against Minnesota, at home against Green Bay (and likely quarterback Aaron Rodgers), at home against Tampa Bay and at Atlanta. If the Panthers make the playoffs, they will have earned it. ...

I’m babysitting my almost 3-year-old granddaughter Sunday (do people even use the term babysitter any more or do they simply say watch or keep?). If anybody can suggest an activity, let me know. Her dad and mom, who live outside Minneapolis, are going to see the Panthers and Vikings. My sense is that Charlotte (the girl, not the city) doesn’t like sports bars. She’s said no each of the 14 times I’ve asked.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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