BUFFALO, NY When we last spoke, I was getting out of the car in Williamsville and heading over to the field where Rob Gronkowski played his first three years of high school football.
Why? I don't know. I was in the neighborhood.
So I walked off into the snow, across the field and took some video.
Before you watch this you should know that I was intentionally impersonating Fatty McGee in between sentences.
Also, not really.
After making it back to the car, I headed into the high school to see if there was anyone around in the athletic department. Once I got there, the AD was gone but the girls basketball team was at practice, and there were a few coaches and parents more than willing to talk about Gronk. With one major theme being that him winning a Super Bowl might be a bittersweet moment for the town.
One one hand, they're happy to see a local boy make it big, but on the other:
A) There's still a little bit of ill will surrounding Gronk's decision to leave the school for his senior year.
"He was in another league," one coach said, "and he wanted to play at a higher level. So he went to Pittsburgh. They do it a little different than we do in Western New York.
It was the right move, but didn't sit well with everyone."
B) Everyone there hates the Patriots.
"James Starks grew up around here and won a Super Bowl last year," said the coach, "and that was a pretty big deal. People were very kind about it.
But James Starks doesn't play the Bills twice a year."
On that note, I'm settled down in Buffalo for the night. Tomorrow morning, I'm heading back to Willamsville North at 8 am to meet with Gronk's old AD, before heading down to Canton, Ohio and the Football Hall Of Fame.
It was a hectic first day, and the blog hasn't quite found it's rhythm, but now that the longest leg of the trip (It was seven hours from Boston to here) is in the books, things should settle down and we'll get a little more cohesive action.