Rob Gronkowski vs. Gilbert Arenas: Who Is Arizona's Wildest Cat?

Casey CroweFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2012

Rob Gronkowski vs. Gilbert Arenas: Who Is Arizona's Wildest Cat?

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    Rob Gronkowski is party. It's in his very being, man. Just ask him.

    "Yo soy fiesta." 

    Based on his well-publicized off-the-field exploits—the man's not camera shy, and he's usually running out of T-shirts—those words are scripture.

    And during the week of Super Bowl XLVII, Gronk was at it again, spotted in Las Vegas at XS Nightclub, shirtless on stage, gyrating like the massive bro he is before performing a WWE-style maneuver on another dancing fool (h/t Deadspin).

    In the lore of Arizona Wildcats athletes, at a school that owns a top-shelf reputation for knowing how to do the damn thing, especially during the Gronk era, the New England tight end's antics are nearly unrivaled in terms of media attention (h/t

    There's really only one former Arizona star who can compete with him:

    Gilbert Jay Arenas Jr.

    Arenas was perhaps the most unstable basketball player to ever suit up under Lute Olson, his goofball nature—to an extreme degree—his most infamously lovable trait. It's likely also part of the reason he's had trouble finding work lately (h/t Yahoo!Sports).

    There are plenty of other characters in Arizona football and basketball history, but these two are by far the most nationally visible.

    Gronk vs. Gil: Examining who is Arizona's wildest Cat of all time.

The Swag

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    It was always Shark Week at Agent Zero's castle.

    From confidential notes between a law firm and ex-fiancee Laura Govan, a list of Arenas' stupidly inflated expenditures became public knowledge. Dude didn't skimp on his marine life (via Washington Post):

    There's a lot about how Arenas spent his money, based on her understanding of the household finances: "he states he makes 1.5 million per month," read the notes. Arenas lavished plenty on their Great Falls home, dropping $100,000 on landscaping, $5,000 a month for housekeepers, $675 "per car" washing, and $1 million for his backyard pool and grotto. His sharks are expensive: $5,000 a month to feed them and $1,500 for a keeper to drive from Columbus to take care of them.

    Now that he's no longer an NBA superstar and his massive $111 million contract signed in D.C. finally ran out, the guess here is that he's toned it down.

    But he apparently lived the life to the max at his pinnacle, burning money on toys, grottos and car washes ($675 per car wash is about a $650 mark up in most places on Earth) at an exorbitant rate.

    Here's hoping that his financial planner tucked some of that fortune away in something not ridiculously wasteful. Either that, or Arenas has a career revival and continues to live like jock royalty.

    As for the sharks, Arenas said someone threw pennies in the tanks and killed them all, making it sound like perhaps Govan was behind it (h/t



    Now that he got paid in a major way, Gronkowski will have 53 million ways (h/t to try and rival Arenas in this category.

    In the past he's been more about being on the prowl and spending cash on the town—and in tax-free municipal bonds (h/t Sports Illustrated)—than on material goods like Arenas (whose stash also included an estimated 400 to 500 guns (h/t Esquire)).

    But after his payday he did sink $1.6 million into a 4,781-square-foot Tampa bro pad -- h/t

    Gronk'd been riding his rookie contract prior to June, which allowed for some sweet living, but not on the level of someone raking in $1.5 million per month—which was Arenas's salary for a period. And the 23-year-old has already proven to be a thrifty spender, preferring his used casual attire, when and if he opts for the clothed look.

    So what exactly will Gronk be buying now that he's filthy rich? Several metric tons of cologne and hairspray will probably be in the mix.

    While he is part of a balanced breakfast (h/t, he's yet to prove himself in this category of crazy.

    Arenas is the clear-cut victor.


    Winner: Arenas

The Moves

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    Rob Gronkowski is everyone's nightmare on the dance floor.

    Seriously, he's that guythe giant (6'6", 265 pounds) who decides to do massive arm circles in a wide stomping radius, limbs flailing, plowing into everyone within striking distance.

    He's a brute, no finesse in his dance game. And that's something of a surprise, given his wealth of experience.

    However, this slideshow is a comparison of level of crazy, not overall technical skills in each department.

    And Gronk's moves reek of a reckless boozehound warrior. 



    While I couldn't find any hard video evidence to prove it, Arenas was a smooth operator on the court, an always on-balance shooting guard with impressive footwork.  

    The man can likely cut a rug.

    Even if he stinks on the dance floor, there is little chance he's worse than the public hazard that is Gronk.

    In this case, however, that's not going to cut it. This slideshow is not looking for understated cool. No sir. This slideshow is looking for rage factor only.


    Winner: Gronkowski

The Lingo

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    Based on the video clip above, Gronk's teammates seem to think the tight end's vocab is somewhat limited.

    But at least he owns the fundamentals in what matters most:

    "Chicks, bro. All the chicks, bro."

    Gronkowski comes off as a turbo meathead, and he's unashamed of that status.

    So much so, that he got his own dating show for a minute.

    He's not a wordsmith, he goes heavy on the awkward giggle while speaking and he has a tendency to make guttural noises mid-interview.



    Arenas, at times, can be a smooth talker, and he's a known cut-up. That is, when you understand what in the hell he's talking about.

    For example (via 

    “I had my house converted to the Colorado altitude, so I am always above sea level."

    Or, in a conversation last year referring to himself and then-teammate J.J. Reddick (h/t

    “We’re the two best white shooters in the NBA.”

    On the more introspective side, here's one of his gems (via Esquire):

    "Everyone is having sex until they fall in love. When you fall in love, then it's making love."

    And just like any eccentric superstar, he created a few a.k.a.s for himself

    Based on oddball creativity, variety of uncomfortable subject matter and expanse of vocab, we're going with Gil.


    Winner: Arenas

The Ladies

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    Chicks, bro.

    The immortal words of the man himself.

    Mothers of the greater New England area, hide your daughters. Gronk is well on his way to becoming this generation's Pat Burrell (h/t Deadspin) of the NFL.

    That's Gronk with adult movie star Bibi Jones in the photo above. Other examples of his prowess have been plastered all over the Internet.

    He's one of the NFL's most well-known ladies men in a league that's stocked with playboys.

    Continue doing your university proud, young man.



    It's always devastating news to hear that your fiancee's allegedly been cheating on you—especially with a man over 7'0" tall and 300 pounds who wears a size 23 shoe (h/t

    You can't exactly challenge Shaq to a fistfight.

    And it always hurts your baller status when you're an NBA superstar and your woman has (again, allegedly) been fooling around behind your back.

    That said, he claims to have kicked that same woman out of his house every other weekend for months...and yet she kept coming back to the Hibachi. So Gil's allure does exist (via Washington Post):

    "I've done kicked her out of my house almost every weekend, yet she's still here and she still believes in me," he wrote in 2008 in a post describing his marriage proposal to her. The notes tell an almost identical story: "The reason he proposed to her is that he put her out of the house every other weekend since they met and she stays with him, so something must be working."

    Still, he doesn't display quite the impressive honey stats that the former Arizona tight end seems to rack up regularly.


    Winner: Gronkowski

The Critics

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    NOTE: The winner of this category is the player who is able to produce the most intense criticism from major members of the media.



    That's Gilbert Arenas's leg pictured above, with Barack Obama and Malcolm X in ink.

    Apparently, Tony Kornheiser doesn't think Arenas is in the same class as those two figures (via

    "Gilbert Arenas is the worst person on Earth. He's a coach killer and a team killer. He's a team killer, Gilbert Arenas."

    The worst person on Earth. That's actually a pretty lofty status, what with this lady still in existence (h/t 

    Kornheiser laid out Arenas back in his Wizards days, and rightfully so, as the former Arizona guard made foolish decisions en masse after being handed well over $100 million in contract coin. Some of those decisions will be touched on shortly.

    Kornheiser's criticism was explosive—and it came from one of America's foremost TV analysts. It's going to be difficult for Gronk to top that in terms of passion stirred by a key hater in the media.



    The detractors all like to point out how Gronkowski's excessive party-boy style is eventually going to catch him, how it was outrageous that he was having a few drinks and raging on the dance floor after the Patriots' 2012 season ended in the Super Bowl.

    The season was over. Still, some people demanded that all players grieve for hours on end after the championship loss. Not Gronk. That's just not his style.

    He's always upbeat. Just ask Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who says the kid doesn't know what a bad day feels like (h/t the National).

    One of those laying the hurt on Gronk for his love of the nightlife included former Patriots safety-turned-analyst Rodney Harrison (via Yahoo!Sports):

    "I guarantee you this, if Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Larry Izzo, Richard Seymour or myself had been at that party, [Gronkowski] probably would have got his head rung. There's no reason for that to happen.

    "When we lost the Super Bowl, any of my Super Bowl losses, I was so devastated the last thing I ever wanted to do was party, let alone dance or take off your shirt. It's just immaturity. It's not right. He made a mistake and I'm sure he feels absolutely stupid about it at this point. There's a time and place for everything."

    So, he would've gotten his "head rung" by some old timers. Big deal. Gronk and his brothers probably do gut punches in lieu of high fives.

    Harrison's critique, which is really the most-common knock on Gronk by the media, doesn't come close in comparison to Kornheiser's aggression towards Gil.


    Winner: Arenas

The Parties

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    Gilbert Arenas's 25th birthday party was obnoxiously overdone, the way a man with way too much cash to blow should throw a 25th birthday party (

    It reportedly cost over a million dollars, was hosted by Diddy, involved performances from Lil' Wayne, T.I. and Busta Rhymes, had an ice sculpture of Arenas's likeness (h/t Deadspin) and came with 7,000 Black Arenas Express Cards for guests to use to imbibe (h/t

    However, prior to that shindig, Arenas was not known as a regular on the party circuit.

    That was his main foray into celebrity status, and he managed to insert himself into the circle explosively for a moment.

    But he doesn't seem to have the every-night-is-right type attitude that Gronkowski's already displayed in his two years as a pro.



    The legend of Gronk continued its trek into the absurd when he revealed that he was paid in the five figures just to make his presence felt at a birthday party (h/t Sports Illustrated).

    That's right, Gronk collected all that coin (no exact details available in the SI piece) to play drinking games with strangers, and apparently he didn't disappoint in keeping the party going.

    Finally Gronk took action. Striding down the steps toward the large back lawn, he bellowed, "Shotgun contest!"

    The lady from the speakers' agency looked nervous. Sensing it, Gronkowski shouted, "No pictures!" Then, so as not to disappoint anyone: "You can take them after we chug." It is a testament to his affability and earnestness that he expected this to work.

    Gronk's not been linked to much celebrity-riddled bromanship.

    Instead, the man likes to keep it real, hanging with his boys and scooping on ordinary coeds.

    That's the right way to go about it. Hard to understand athletes' persistent interest in dating celebrities, and vice versa. Hotties are hotties and Gronk is a man of the people. He's certainly not image conscious.


    Winner: Gronkowski

The Antics

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    The man had a Wild West-style gun draw with teammate Javaris Crittenton in the middle of the freaking Washington Wizards locker room—and on Christmas Eve. Via the New York Post:

    The duel in DC -- unprecedented in sports history -- was sparked when Crittenton became enraged at the veteran guard for refusing to make good on a gambling debt, a source said.

    "I'm not your punk!" Crittenton shouted at Arenas, according to a league source close to the Wizards.

    That prompted Arenas to draw on Crittenton, who then also grabbed for a gun, league security sources said.

    Everything else he's done, and a lot of it is way over the top, pales in comparison. Still, there's been some strange occurrences.

    He once pooped in the shoes of ex-teammate Andray Blatche (h/t

    He had the bizarre habit of tickling Antawn Jamison's underarms during his pre-game routine (h/t

    His Twitter handle was a general manager's live-updating headache.

    But it's the showdown in D.C. with Crittenton—who was later charged with murdering an acquaintance (h/t ESPN)—and the dramatic, expensive aftermath that will forever be at the top of the discussion when it comes to Gil.



    Gronk's antics are more of the fratboy variety than the instant-death-at-point-blank-range variety.

    Check out this story (h/t about Gronkowski apparently playing another version of swordsies with a stranger he pulled into a stall with him and his The ESPYs.

    And while on the red carpet en route to that awards show, he and his brothers did the wheelbarrow and other bro dances on the way in.

    A recent Sports Illustrated piece illuminated several of his other excursions:

    *Attended the marriage of pro wrestler Kurt Angle

    *Owned the lead role on Meredith Pineapples's Twitter feed

    *Posed nude for ESPN's Body Issue

    *Took over as an ambassador of Zubaz pants (h/t

    That's all absurd, but Gronk's probably not going to put your life into imminent danger.

    Because Arenas's stunts occasionally involve the possibility of severe bodily harm—and shoe pooping—he has to take this category.


    Winner: Arenas

The Winner

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    And the wildest Cat of all time is....Gil, toppling Gronk by a margin of 4-3 to claim the upset victory.

    For any future Arizona athletes to transform into the human spectacles that are Gilbert Jay Arenas Jr. and Rob Gronkowski, they'll have to heed the reigning champ's timeless piece of advice (via

    "Everybody get drunk and make bad decisions."