Rob Gronkowski and Eight Athletes with the Best Social Lives in Sports

Adam MerkleContributor IIIJuly 13, 2012

Rob Gronkowski and Eight Athletes with the Best Social Lives in Sports

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    The lifestyles of the rich and the famous are quite intriguing to us normal folk who work 9-5 jobs during the week and are thus forced to keep partying to a minimum on the weekends.

    Although the majority of athletes tend to keep a low profile and smartly manage their wealth for when they will no longer be making the big bucks, there are always going to be those with the party lifestyle flowing through their veins.

    While the stigma that famous people embrace their popularity to the fullest extent may be upheld for only a select few individuals, athletes can fall under this category far more often than not, as they have more money than they know what to do with and when the off season rolls around —they have the time to accomplish whatever they please.

    Having a great social live usually amounts to living life to the fullest and partying up each day like it could be your last, and the nine gentleman that have made this list have accomplished this to a greater extent than most. 

    These nine athletes have risen to the top, surpassing the ranks of people with inferior social lives and truly going above and beyond to shine in the spotlight as social butterflies.

    Whether it be from crashing sorority parties in the offseason or getting kicked off the franchise that recently entrusted you with captain ranks, these nine gentlemen live up each day of existence, regardless of the perception that comes with the territory.

9) Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox

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    I really should dedicate this slide to the majority of Boston Red Sox pitching staff, but after the unearthing of Clay Buchholz's wild couple of days after being released from what was said be a very scary hospitalization for internal bleeding—he takes the cake for this one.

    It takes a certain man (a true party animal if you will), to head straight from the ICU at the hospital to one of Connecticut's premier casinos in Foxwoods to attend a vodka sponsored pool party—just nearly 36 hours removed!

    Take a look at what he said in regards to his hospitalization.

    It seems as though he was dealing with some pretty significant medical problems and I'm not a doctor, but internal bleeding probably isn't normal for a 27-year-old athlete. Via Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston:

    "It was really scary," he said. "I've never felt the urge to pass out every time you stand up and I really didn't know what was going on."

    Granted, according to WEEI's Alex Speier (h/t Eric Wilbur of Boston.com), Clay wasn't drinking at the event, but surely this display speaks volumes about how concerned Buchholz is with retaining his role as a social butterfly.

    The guy has to have quite some social life if he can afford to bounce back from hospitalization in less than two days in order to attend a club event in the next state!

8) Metta World Peace, Los Angeles Lakers

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    I've always wondered what goes through athletes' minds after they drop a big game.  

    Do they go home, get some rest and try to prepare themselves for the next one, or do they take their frustration out elsewhere?  

    While going home, unwinding and leaving the thinking to a day where you are more refreshed seems like the logical thing to do—Lakers forward Metta World Peace has made a name for himself making illogical decisions.

    It's pretty funny considering the guy changed his name to promote "World Peace," yet he is most well known for an infamous brawl that was the talk of the 2004-05 season.

    It should come as no surprise that World Peace has some anger management issues, but the fact that he chooses partying to curb his tensions makes this that much more ridiculous.

    The man has even hosted a "F Lebron" party for crying out loud!

    With his name plastered all over the promotional flyers, it seems evident that this party animal wanted all of the seven-plus million people of New York City to know he was the man behind the master plan.   

    And if you don't think putting himself as a promoter for a very controversial event was enough to warrant World Peace making this list, he even once told ESPN Radio (h/t USA Today) that he probably had been partying way too much after winning with the Lakers.

    That is all the evidence I need to cement Ron Artest, I'm sorry I mean Metta World Peace, as he had his name changed in an attempt to soften his image.

    But make no mistake about it, this guy's consistent partying in Hollywood deserves to be recognized on this list.  Well done Ron, Metta or whatever you are going to want to be called in five years when you're no longer relevant. 

7) Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

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    Detroit Tiger ace Justin Verlander has become quite the trendy topic in the news, but it's not for another no-hitter or anything remotely close to his profession!

    Insert Sports Illustrated cover girl and one of the most well known up-and-coming models in the world, Kate Upton, who has recently been spotted getting quite cozy with the Tiger star at a local bar, according to a CBS Detroit report.  

    While the 29-year-old Verlander is known to be in a long-term relationship, getting intimate with the 20-year-old smoke show that is Kate Upton could be just the end of that road.

    Being spotted with Upton in itself makes the Detroit ace worthy of making a list about athletes' superior social lives. 

    Potentially wooing Kate Upton thus makes him worthy in my book of cracking the top 10 athletes with the best social lives at the number seven slot!

6) Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

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    The guy looks like he could pass as Gym Class Heroes front-man Travie McCoy (minus the piercings and the body art) so I guess it's only natural that Noah parties like his doppelganger.

    To go along with his massive size, Noah seems to have quite the appetite for the party life, as he has been spotted in the past boozing it up with the the legendary train wreck that is Dennis Rodman.

    One early Sunday morning way, way back in 2008, Joakim was charged with the possession of alcohol and marijuana in Gainesville.

    He was clearly trying to recreate some of that college magic with those plastic red cups hiding his alcohol and the sticky green...whilst roaming the sidewalks—at 2 o'clock in the morning.

    While Noah may have refined his act in the past few seasons and continues to mature, he is still regarded as a regular in the Chicago social scene, and he put on a display with a high turnout for his magazine launch party several months back. 

    And like any true partier that has to deal with defeats in one way or another, Joakim combats missing out on the All-Star festivities with something he probably enjoys more than his profession—more partying and a lavish getaway with his woman in St. Barts.

    You just keep on rocking in the free world Joakim!

5 & 4) Jeff Carter and Mike Richards: Los Angeles Kings

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    It isn't often that we see guys shipped out of town after their team entrusts them with the highest responsibility that an athlete can receive, the captaincy. 

    In the City of Brotherly Love, constant, reckless partying cost not one, but two captains (Mike Richards and sniper Jeff Carter) their jobs.

    Insert the now infamous story of "Dry Island," a policy which then new head coach Peter Laviolette attempted to implement after the rumors of some players on his new squad's consistent nightlife prowling surfaced.

    The coach asked players to abstain from drinking for a month and the obvious response from Richards and Carter as team leaders should have been compliance–but it was not.

    The photographic evidence in itself serves as the greatest competition to Philadelphia's other most eligible partier, Pat "The Bat" Burrell, for the biggest celebrators in the history of Philadelphia sports.

    Pat, however, never got kicked off his team for his partying ways and for that reason, Jeff and Mike have qualified for a high ranking position on my list at No. 5 and No. 4, respectively.

3) Tiger Woods: PGA

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    Oh poor Tiger, there haven't really been too many celebrity athletes that have drawn worse media coverage due to their partying than Tiger Woods.

    Make no mistake about it though, he set himself up for the media barrage by trying to portray a clean, wholesome family man image to the public—when in reality he was the exact opposite of that in private.

    I think it might have been a good thing that his image blew up in his face, because lets face it, Tiger was going to party—regardless of whether or not he was tied down by a marriage.

    Now, he won't have to worry about these obligations and can continue to go back to living it up!  You go Tiger!

2) Patrick Kane: Chicago Blackhawks

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    These young hockey players sure get caught in the act of embracing party mode a lot, huh?

    I guess in Patrick Kane's situation it makes more sense, seeing as he would just be getting out of college—and obviously college kids and people in their early 20s know how to party like there's no tomorrow!

    But good times in Mr. Kane's case usually involve him getting blackout drunk to the point where he makes a complete fool out of himself.

    The folks over at Deadspin have uncovered and exposed this 23-year-old's monster partying lifestyle in the offseason—not just once, but several times over.

    The stories are absolutely hilarious and involve plenty of the antics that you would expect out of a young 20-something that enjoys drinking—even if it is to the point of being an alcoholic by passing out in a bar on a stool.

    Pat Kane's weekend benders include a plethora of drinking, causing a ruckus with fellow party-goers and hitting on young ladies at random while flat out enjoying his offseason like it's his last.

    I absolutely consider any Deadspin piece on Kane's partying antics a must read if you fail to comprehend why Patrick Kane slides into my list at No. 2.

1) Rob Gronkowski: New England Patriots

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    And finally we have come to our No. 1 spot, the honor that can be given to only one single party animal. 

    The gold standard, if you will, is of an athlete that is constantly down to chill with some alcohol and have a good time—despite a high profile status as one of the sporting world's youngest bright stars.

    Rob Gronkowski is the definition of a one-man wrecking crew for all things involving a party—and he doesn't even need the ladies' presence most of the time!

    The guy absolutely crushes the term "offseason party mode," taking things to a completely new level after he decided to hit the club—fresh off loosing the biggest game of his life.

    As if clubbing after loosing the Super Bowl wasn't enough, the infamous Twit-Pic with a porn star sure got our attention—while at the same time giving him bragging rights to something that no other athlete has under their belt: a picture with a porn star that was broadcast via Twitter for the whole world to see!

    One beer bong and lady at a time, Rob Gronkowski is changing the game for high profile celebrities with the social lives to match their statuses. 

    He's young enough to just be another one of those rambunctious college students with a care-free attitude, but he's also such a high profile figure that he draws prolific media attention with him wherever he decides to go.

    As long as the self proclaimed, "Yo Soy Fiesta" is out there doing just that, the stories of such endeavors will continue to roll in hilarious fashion and highlight the fact that Robert James Gronkowski is the one athlete that can claim the title to the most superior social life in all of sports.